Strong, hardy sheep
When we moved I worried about how the sheep would cope with the change in both climate and pasture. I shouldn’t have been so concerned though. The stars of the Broadstone flock have definitely been the Devon and Cornwall Longwools. They have met each challenge with ease. The abnormally wet and cold winter this year hasn’t affected them in the least. They remain strong and ready to lamb in 5 weeks time.
Of course, they are meant to be hardy. But they’ve endured wind blasting through their fleece at 80MPH at times on a mountain 1000ft above sea-level, hail the size of golf balls battering on their heads and water flowing through their toes like a river. Yet, they’re still fighting fit. Ok at times they’ve been bought in for a rest from the weather but these girls are exceptional.
For me their success on this farm has been good breeding. Animals need to be strong and able to adapt easily to their environment. This has been achieved by choosing the best of the best to breed from. If you breed from stock that persistently have health problems you get rubbish off-spring. The passing on of good strong disease resistant genes is a ‘no-brainer’. These sheep cost me little in time, energy and money. But it has taken years to get to this point.
I farm without vaccine, antibiotics, and routine worming or pour-on solutions to control external parasites. In this day-and-age when too many drugs are present in the food chain this is a good thing for our meat and fleece customers. It’s also a good thing for our healthy sheep. By encouraging natural immunity they remain robust beings living a natural life.