Guest blog from sheep farmer Sadie Darke
Lambing has begun here on Coleridge with the pedigree flocks of Coleridge and Darkridge Devon and Cornwall Longwools lambing throughout January and February.
The Coleridge Flock was established many years ago by Jim Darke and this was successfully carried on by Edward and his son Richard to the present day. The Darkridge flock is run by Matt and Sam Darke, Edward’s grandsons and was established in 2002. Both flocks now live here on Coleridge and are here for the foreseeable future with Matt’s son Jack likely to be involved in years to come.
Lambing is such an intriguing time for us all – watching the new life and next generation of breeding stock coming through, wondering who will make the grade for showing and then keeping everything crossed that they grow on as we would like! The weather has proven testing for some of the ewes and lambs with cold winds and rain meaning a more difficult start for the lambs going out into the fields. Let’s hope the new dryer weather is here to stay with us.
This week we have also started to pick out the show sheep for the major shows. Ewe hogs, ewes and lambs have been picked out along with the rams for a little more looking after prior to the annual wash in May for the shows. This year is slightly different with not taking the sheep to Devon County Show but we are hugely proud of Edward (Grampa) who has been breeding Longwools all of his life who is this year’s show president and judging the interbreed sheep. This gives us an extra two weeks for preparation to the sheep for the next show being the Royal Bath and West. They will then go onto the Royal Cornwall Show and then have their annual haircut courtesy of Matt in June.