Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit and Herdwick Sheep

@JudyEv (125891)
Bunbury, Australia
May 5, 2017 3:05am CST
This post is for Claudia Kirkland (@CRK109) who revealed that she likes hearing about different sheep breeds. When we were in the Lake District in England I was thrilled to see some Herdwicks. It doesn't take much to please some people, does it? The Herdwick is a coarse-woolled hill breed. What is particularly interesting about this and some other indigenous British breeds is that they are hefted or 'heafed' meaning they instinctively keep to their own area of the country. Mothers stay on their own 'patch' and the lambs learn the heaf from their mothers. Fences aren't necessary and, after shearing or dipping, the flocks immediately return to their own patch on the common land. 'Herdwyck' actually means 'sheep pasture' and the word is documented as far back as the 12th century. Beatrix Potter (creator of Peter Rabbit and his pals) was a great fan of the breed and owned property in this area. When she bequeathed her farms to the National Trust, a stipulation was that the farms were to be stocked with Herdwicks. In 2002 entire flocks throughout Britain were eradicated during the foot and mouth crisis. Because the animals heaf, it was not easy to replace stock. Lambs are born almost black and become lighter as they grow. The fleece is virtually two-in-one with an undercoat of fine wool and a dark, coarse outer fleece which is heavy and dense and a strong, coarse mane round the neck and top of the shoulder. The wool is of little commercial value or use, although some is used for carpet making and for speciality fabrics. The meat is very flavoursome and of high quality. Native breeds play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of life in their particular regions. Photo copyright Vince Evans
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29 responses
@LadyDuck (163135)
• Switzerland
5 May 17
This is interesting Judy, this one in the photo is a young lamb changing color for sure.
5 people like this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
I should think so although it doesn't really look that young.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (163135)
• Switzerland
5 May 17
@JudyEv No, it looks like a "teenager" lamb.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
@LadyDuck If you go to TRBRocks comment you'll see a younger lamb.
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@DianneN (79896)
• United States
5 May 17
Loved reading this. I love sheep, and have seen most while in the U.K. Once, I chased one up a mountain in Norway for a photo shoot.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
Did you catch him? Some in England were relatively tame or at least would let you get close enough to get a good shot.
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@DianneN (79896)
• United States
6 May 17
@JudyEv Yes, I did! He posed for several shots.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 May 17
@DianneN Well done! I'm a bit surprised you caught him if he didn't want to be caught.
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@JohnRoberts (59904)
• Los Angeles, California
5 May 17
That is a handsome little fellow or gal in the photo. Friendly face.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
He/she/it does look friendly, doesn't he/she/it?
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@prashu228 (25808)
• India
5 May 17
here the sheep is little bit brownish and white , this is a rare breed .Never tried lamb meat, my eyes are struck here "The meat is very flavoursome and of high quality."
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
Yes, they are quite rare. We lived on a farm in Western Australia and had lamb/mutton at least once a day for years.
@breine (75)
5 May 17
Sounds like an entire farm.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
I suppose it does!
@velvet53 (16987)
• Palisade, Colorado
6 May 17
This is interesting. Sheep are interesting and I love to watch the lambs.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 May 17
Groups of lambs have a great time playing, don't they?
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@velvet53 (16987)
• Palisade, Colorado
6 May 17
@JudyEv Yes they do and they still make this ole gal laugh.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 May 17
@velvet53 Here's a photo of lambs we saw once. One actually fell off the trunk but he bounced straight back up again.
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@Fleura (7195)
• United Kingdom
12 May 17
Nice photo, but it's not as attractive as the blacknose is it?
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
13 May 17
Definitely not as attractive as the blacknose!
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@Fleura (7195)
• United Kingdom
13 May 17
@JudyEv By the way it's the Lake District (singular). Did you enjoy your time there?
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
13 May 17
@Fleura Thanks for that. I've edited it and will remember it in future. We had a very enjoyable time thanks. I should do more posts on the region as we saw lots of interesting things.
1 person likes this
@manasamanu (3731)
• Bangalore, India
5 May 17
Interesting information it was, here we see both whit and black sheep among which whites are more and their meat tastes delicious.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
I like lamb to eat too. Roast lamb or lamb chops are my favourite meals.
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• Bangalore, India
5 May 17
@JudyEv I like chicken more than lamb but I am thinking of giving up eating meat.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
@manasamanu Well, if you do make sure you still get enough protein.
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@Jessicalynnt (47895)
• Centralia, Missouri
6 May 17
I haven't ever been around sheep, cows, horses, chickens sure, but not sheep, nor really ducks.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
7 May 17
I'm sure you'd love sheep - or at least Herc.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
9 May 17
@JudyEv he does seem like a character
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
20 May 17
@Lupita234 will sheeps eat non grass stuff?
@Jackalyn (6651)
• Oxford, England
5 May 17
That is really interesting. I know more about Jacobs as my parent in law bred them.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
Jacobs are wonderful too and can have multiple horns. I'll all itching to write more sheep posts now!
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@Jackalyn (6651)
• Oxford, England
6 May 17
@JudyEv I have a spinning wheel..
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 May 17
@Jackalyn Do you use it? I had one too and used to spin but I found it very slow work and then it used to make my back ache and I eventually sold it.
@1hopefulman (30012)
• Canada
5 May 17
So many little interesting facts about sheep that I did not know! That foot and mouth disease was quite devastating.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
I'm sure it was a terrible time for the farmers. Imagine someone coming in and shooting all your livestock.
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@1hopefulman (30012)
• Canada
6 May 17
@JudyEv That would be horrible and it was horrible for those poor farmers.
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@1hopefulman (30012)
• Canada
13 May 17
@Lupita234 Yes, she's an expert on literal sheep. Here is a very intriguing verse about a different kind of sheep. John 10:16 New International Version (NIV) 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
@TRBRocks420 (79393)
• Banks, Oregon
5 May 17
Very interesting to learn and, cool sheep. I didn't know they were all born mostly black.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
Not all breeds are born black, just some. Here is a Wikimedia photo of a young lamb. It reminds me of a badger.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (163135)
• Switzerland
5 May 17
@JudyEv He is funny, all black.
2 people like this
@TRBRocks420 (79393)
• Banks, Oregon
5 May 17
@JudyEv He does look a bit like a badger. Cute Lamb there.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
8 May 17
Never heard of them, but as always, I learned something.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
10 May 17
I have another really cute one coming up soon. Perhaps I should do a series of '10 cute sheep'!
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@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
10 May 17
@JudyEv - That would be interesting.
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@Nawsheen (23068)
• Mauritius
6 May 17
i had so much fun reading this. My uncle has a farm but and he has goats and sheep too on his farm. Unfortunately I have no photos of the animals. You are right the last time we went on the farm I noticed that the lamb was black and i was having a discussion with my cousin on this
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
7 May 17
Perhaps next time you visit your uncle you might be able to get a photo. I'd love to see it.
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@Nawsheen (23068)
• Mauritius
7 May 17
@JudyEv oh yes. I will have to get a photo on my next visit
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@msiduri (5749)
• United States
6 May 17
Didn't know that. Interesting pic, though. I read a passage from something that was supposed to be set in rural New Zealand once. It was nicely written, but after a couple of chapters, I noticed there was no mention of sheep. I told the author there was something important missing.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
7 May 17
There are some settings where it is important to mention particular things - like Venice without canals.
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@msiduri (5749)
• United States
7 May 17
@JudyEv Yes... a lovely stroll down a Venice boulevard just wouldn't work.
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@JESSY3236 (6738)
• United States
5 May 17
They are cute. I didn't know that Beatrix Potter owned sheep.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
Did you see the film about her? I don't know what it was called now but it was very interesting.
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@JESSY3236 (6738)
• United States
9 May 17
@JudyEv no I haven't.
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@just4him (120067)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
5 May 17
I've never heard of that breed, but it is very interesting and especially how they 'heaf' their own plot of land. I've also never seen that kind of coloring on a sheep. That one is a beauty. Great picture of him.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
The farmers would have to keep to this breed or else go to the expense of fencing to keep in any they bought in from elsewhere.
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@just4him (120067)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
12 May 17
@JudyEv That would be an unwelcome expense.
@MALUSE (41186)
• Germany
5 May 17
"Who'd have thunk it" as the English say. One never stops learning, does one?
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 May 17
The older I get, the more I'm surprised at how much I don't know.
@MALUSE (41186)
• Germany
5 May 17
@JudyEv That's understandable. There are always more things to learn. Imagine how little people had to know centuries ago in order to appear well informed.
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@Gillygirl (17340)
• Sutton, England
13 May 17
There is something soothing about green fields and sheep. I have seen this breed in the Lake District. A lovely part of the UK.
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 May 17
England and Scotland have some lovely breeds. They were all lumped under "British Breeds" in Australia and imported to provide fat lambs for market.
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@snowy22315 (49009)
• United States
6 May 17
Very interesting post Judy Ev. I know a little bit about different cow breeds, but nothing about sheep breeds..so you have opened my eyes!
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@JudyEv (125891)
• Bunbury, Australia
7 May 17
I'm pleased you found it interesting. I think I'll have to do a couple more as there are some wonderful sheep breeds around.
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