We are excited and extremely pleased to announce that as well as being able to order from us direct you can now purchase our rare and native breed meat from Whirlow Hall Farm Shop & Butchery. The lovely Mrs Farmer has produced some handy little “guides to meat” and our breeds that are also available free of charge either from the shop or with every order we send out !
This week is our 14 day matured Wensleydale mutton, as you can see from the picture of this rack of mutton, the meat is very well marbled and will be full of flavour.
So please come on down and give us a visit, chat to our friendly butcher or ask to speak to someone from the HuRuCo Team, we are always around and happy to chat about rare and native breeds of animals and their place in the modern market all day!
Well what a rollercoaster that was! Usually we split both our rare breeds and our commercials over 2 lambing’s evenly, this year we decided to lamb the majority of everything in the spring as part of our move back towards a more traditional lambing and way of farming (more on that in the next couple of months)!
This year we lambed 20 commercials and 10 rare breeds in February.
All seemed to go quite smoothly with the rare breeds, the commercials on the other hand decided to take their sweet time, obviously the teasers (vasectomised males used to bring females into a closer heat cycle) hadn’t done as good a job as i had hoped, taking best part of 3 weeks to lamb 20 sheep, very drawn out but with 54 lambs out of the 30 ewes (giving us a lambing percentage of 180%) I can’t really complain as the rare breeds can bring down the lambing percentage a tad.
April 1st hit and we are into the 140 commercials and 32 rare breeds, the ewes hit the ground running lambing really well and putting on a good show lambing for visitors on our lambing open days held by Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, which i may add is the first lambing open days done since lockdown 2019! And that was strange welcoming 100s of people into our lambing shed after 2 years without anyone in our lambing shed but us!
Although I only attended the first lambing day in person as the dreaded C19 virus struck our household, after avoiding it for all this time it swept through all six of us, the baby and myself being the worse affected closely followed by Mrs farmer and the boys.
This was not our idea of lambing fun, I was lucky enough that my farm apprentice and some very capable vet placement students covered most of the day times for us (and even a couple of night shifts!) but even so it was rather rough. Myself and Mrs farmer wandering around the lambing shed until 3 am, looking like death warmed up, anyone looking in would have thought we were on some sort of illicit substance.
But as I write this we are onto the very dregs of the last couple of stubborn ewes (3 Hebridean, 1 Scottish black face, 1 Whiteface woodland and 5 commercial mules) and at last count in this batch we have about 271 lambs from 162 sheep (168%) the percentage is brought down a little by the Hebrideans and Scottish Blackfaces having mainly singles, but we are happy with it.
We have a good number of ewe lambs this year so looking forward to getting out to a few sales this year and getting our bloodlines out and about in the world!
One last thing is a shout out to Nairn Wyllie of NJW AGRI SERVICES, who scanned our sheep for the first time this year and everyone ewe performed exactly as he said! And a very friendly chatty nature to boot!!
After long consideration we have finally decided to commit to our move away from Valais blacknose sheep and change our logo! So here it is, lovingly designed and drawn by Mrs Farmer herself…. one of many changes we will keep you all updated on as they progress……stay tuned
Just a quick update guys to say we are now part of the Authentic Hebridean Hogget Scheme, head on over to the HSS website to read more about this scheme.
“Tastier. Healthier. High quality. Speciality. Seasonal. Known provenance…are all terms that accurately describe meat from Hebridean Sheep. The meat is dark, succulent and distinctly sweet with a subtle gamey flavour. Hebrideans are natural browsers and they prefer land that contains a diversity of plants which in turn adds to their meat’s distinctive flavour. Similar to other primitive breeds, Hebridean are slow to mature. This allows the flavour of the meat to develop further and they are often finished as hogget (meat from lambs over 1 year of age) or mutton (from sheep over 2 years old).
Healthier – lean meat that’s lower in cholesterol and higher in omega fatty acids“
As 2021 draws to a close we thought about writing a really long and deep post , but decided against it haha, instead we decided to share one of our favourite extracts from Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, an extract by an old shepherd, whom we name our second to youngest after…
“Corin. Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no man’s happiness; glad of other men’s good, content with my harm; and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck.”
What a good guide we try and live by!
I will sign off by saying a fond farewell to 2021 although you have been challenging and taken many friends you have also given us many new ways of thinking, coping and new friends! 2022 marks a year of change for many!
We look forward to sharing what we do with you and seeing what you are all getting up to.
Our little flock of rare and native breed sheep were founded from a desire for us to keep a small flock of sheep to give our children a leg up in to agriculture when they are old enough. Our current flock all began back in 2017 with 9 broken mouthed (old girls) Herdwicks that had been running with a Texel Tup (male sheep) bought from a cull market (sheep that are put into food chain after their commercial life has come to an end), they all went on to produce a lamb each that year and the oldest of the girls who was getting into her teens only left us last year having lambed for us every year.
Each breed with us has a little story as to why we keep them that we will explore on the individual tab for each sheep under our sheep heading but all share in similar aspects that we aim to produce good quality pedigree stock that are given time to grow and as sustainably as possible.
Our sheep have various uses, Mrs Farmer makes amazing woollen products that you can read about HERE, We sell females from our various breeds to other breeders and new breeders, some of our rare breeds go as pets or companion animals and we occasionally have meat boxes available from our sheep . Our meat is mainly sold as either Hogget (sheep over 1 year old) , or Mutton (2+ years) we are big believers that giving the sheep a year to slowly grow without filling them with concentrated feed makes for a well flavored, marbled meat that has the added benefits of the animal having a longer life making use of the natural pasture and forage and not relying on bought-in man made concentrates. For meat availability please email us and why not Subscribe for updates