In 2015 we decided to add another breed of sheep to South Yeo. Herdwicks are renowned for being the hardiest breed of UK sheep and although Cumbria is their main home, there are plenty up on Dartmoor. In 2016, hugely enjoying the breed, we added significantly to the flock with Cumbrian stock from the Weir family in Borrowdale. They are strong boned – their legs are significantly sturdier than those of our other breeds – have coarse wool, and are extremely agile, used to coping with mountain grazing. On harsh terrain they tend to have just the one lamb – born entirely black – but we have found on our kinder pasture that the majority of our ewes produce twins. As they mature the heads and legs become completely white and the black coat turns first brown and then grey.
YOUNG HERDWICK EWE
Like the rest of our sheep breeds, the ewes are polled (hornless) and the rams horned. The breed is what we can only describe as independent; not flighty, just preferring to look after themselves. We are growing on all the lambs not intended for the breeding flock as hogget so that we and our customers can enjoy the wonderful deep flavour. The Herdwicks are the final addition to our South Yeo sheep breeds – and we are delighted with them.
We have Herdwick livestock and lamb, hogget and mutton boxes available at various times of the year so please contact us for further information. We will give support to first time keepers and you might like to join one of our smallholder training courses, in particular our two day intensive Sheep for Beginners course.