Cofton Flock - the story so far
We both went and took out animal transport tests and found out how to get them over here, ferries, DEFRA rules etc. However, the Dutch authorities were impossible to tie down as to whether it could be done by us, so becuase of the uncertainty, our Dutch friend peteragain helped by finding Theo van Dejine, a regular transporter, and it was arrange with him to bring them. They arrived in November 2015, all in great health and we were delighted. Theo was even wearing clogs, much to my delight!
OUR FIRST DSS LAMBING
One ewe we knew had been covered and two proved not to be in lamb. We lost one ram lamb at birth so we ended up with four ewe lambs and three good rams. Luckily we could use these rams back to the ewes and each to two of the lambs the next year.
In October 2016, Pam and Andrew Parker, Kath Leiver and Keith Harryman came all the way down south to see us and our Spotties. We had an interesting afternoon adn it was lovely to meet them. They were beginning to set up a society fro the sheep in the UK to register and regulate the breeding of them over here. People with them were mostly living in the North of England and Scotland. We though we were the firt people in England to import them, but maybe it was just after the first few into Lancashire?? The Society was to the called Dutch Spotted Sheep UK and the rest as they say is now history.
In 2017 we ended up with seven new lambs, four ewes and three rams, luckily some of each sex from each line.
James had wanted to show some at our local agricultural show and we decided to book in two of the shearling rams at the last minute. As the show ccrept up we realised we needed to get them trimmed; they were scruffy, woolly monsters! And, they should really have been shorn back in January!!
After a false start due to a misunderstanding we managed to get put in touch with a young Texel breeder who lived in Cornwall, and who was willing to come and see whst she could do.
She told us they needed washing last week! So how to wash a sheep? Worked out, this st up which worked quite well.
Adopting yoke fixed firmly to some hurdles and a soft spray nozzle on the pressure washer. Baby shampoo for the greasy bits and then all they had to do was stand in the sunshine all day to dry!
Nic Prouse came and was amazing, cope with the scruffy pair and trimmed them to perfection. It took many hours and two visits, but we learned loads about showing them. We cannot thank her enough!
We realised that it was a bit late to get a sign board done but with a bit of help from a lovely lady at Vista Print and next day delivery, our stunning sign arrived and she even refunded the postage! I found two white coards from when James used to show and judge poultry and hoped they would fit. Also, just days before the show, the new pedigree registrations certificates came from the recently set up Dutch Spotted Sheep UK Society.
The day of the show came, James and his good friend Ashley took them and set up camp in the back of their trailer, they had beds, a barbecue and even a sofa!! Apart from a small fire in the barbecue which turned out to be terminal, all went well!
They had much interest in the Dutch Spotted Sheep breed. The rams behavedd perfectly and even the white coats more or less fitted. They were n a class of eleven, and other breed, not separately classified, which all looked good to me. If you look on Cofton Flock on facebook I managed to video most of the class.
Anyway, we were thrilled to be third and fourth with Zebedee and Zorro, although we ourselves had expected them to be placed the other way around. All very exciting and a lovely way to end the 2017 lambing season. We now look forward to 2018 with great hope.
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