The tups have gone in with sheep. The cross breeding is carefully managed and this year we’ve bought an additional Charollais tup. He is what’s known as a terminal sire – when crossed with our North Country Mules the resulting lambs will go for meat. Our other tup is a blue faced Leicester. He breeds with the Swaledales to produce North of England Mules that will in turn be crossed with the Charollais.All three tups have a coloured powder and oil paste called raddle applied to their brisket (chest area). When a tup mounts a sheep the yellow will transfer to the ewe. Next week the colour will change so we can track which sheep he has served and predict the week next Spring when she is likely to lamb.The North Country Mules are in the field next to the farm which yesterday proved a temptation too far for Sam the diligent youth sheep dog. He took it upon himself to round them up, just because he could.

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