We run a flock of rare breed Coloured Ryeland Sheep on our rented land. Ryeland (white sheep) and Coloured Ryeland (Brown sheep) are one of England’s oldest sheep breeds, going back seven centuries when they were used by monks in Herefordshire to graze the rye pastures; giving them their name.
They are listed as a minority breed by the Rare Breed Survival Trust, previously having been classed as rare. No longer a commercial breed, as the lambs are not fast-growing or can produce the weights preferred by large commercial sheep farms.
In the minority
When a local friend, who is a breeder, had some of these gorgeous ‘Teddy Bear Sheep’ for sale, we snapped her hand off! The paperwork is doubled because of the rare breed flock society regulations, however, to be involved in preserving A protected sheep breed is very exciting, as well as being ethical.
Ryeland sheep are lowland sheep (they are not suited to extreme temperatures of the hills) and are dual-purpose, providing exquisite fleeces that will be spun into wool and used to produce hand made children’s blankets and cardigans. As well as producing slow grown quality meat boxes twice per year; spring and autumn.
Slow and Steady
We grow our lambs slower, and on pasture, they live a healthy, natural life. Our flock ewes numbers are growing, and we lamb later, around April when the weather warms for the sheep to lamb in the fields, as natural and low stress as possible. Our sheep are rather friendly, having been used to bucket feeding and will often follow you around the field in case you possess a snack in your pocket!
When you purchase a meat box from Bernard’s Farm, you can rest assured that you are consuming high-quality meat from animals that have received high standards of welfare, from beginning to end.
The soils feed the grass, which feeds the animals and plants, which feed us. Until humans have the complex digestive system to extract the minerals and goodness from grass, we shall consume meat. On the condition that the animals lived a full, healthy life, with the freedom to behave and live as an animal should. We take our animals to the end destination ourselves, and only to abattoirs that provide smallholder services. All of our animals are treated with respect, care, and dignity that they deserve