12 March 2018

Thirty-Two Mules

Over the past month or so, as we've tried to keep our lambing ewes out of trouble, my dad and I have been talking about changing the flock and taking it in a new direction. Too many of our ewes have little to no mothering instinct. We needed some Mules, we decided. As luck would have it some Mules practically fell onto our laps and on Saturday we brought them to their new home.

We ended up with thirty-two hoggets - three that already lambed, the rest all scanned and due from this week.

A Mule is a crossbred sheep, with a Scottish Blackface mother and a Blue-Faced Leicester father. Considered by many to be the ultimate breeding ewe.

They're very quiet compared to our own ewes, and very curious. They also have great, long, expressive faces.

I think they're just lovely. I feel in love with them after about an hour of having them home. They arrived on the same day that Mabel died, so Dad said I could have one. So of course I picked the black one - everyone, meet Shirley!

They are a joy to photograph.

(This one had a lamb just this afternoon.)

This is one of the Mules who had already lambed before she arrived.

And this is her little ewe lamb.

On Sunday morning, Mother's Day, this one was in trouble. Her lamb was huge, and it took the both of us about twenty agonising minutes to get it out.

But we did! And he's very handsome. A little cracker.

Even though this is only her first lamb, this Mule is very protective.

The other Mother's Day mother was one of our "regular" ewes. She's two and this is her first baby. She was very good and looked after it well.

We've gone from just twenty-five ewes left to lamb to over twice that, but it's great working with the lovely Mules and at the end of it all hopefully we'll have a better flock.


  1. I've just discovered your blog and I'm so excited! I really don't know much about sheep, but I love looking at your photos. I think I'll be learning a lot.

  2. What a fun new adventure!
    Shirley is just lovely, by the way - looking forward to more pictures in the future.

  3. Lovely sheep! How do the fleeces work out? They don't look "hairy". Does the Scotty hair show back up in a future generation?

    1. They are puffs of wool, some as wide as they are long! We can't tell if they have lambed from just looking at them because there's so much wool in the way!

      Their fleeces are a bit course, about 3-4 inches long. I wouldn't say they're as course as the Blackface. But one of them must have had flystrike last year as a lamb because she was clipped and it's just grown back into a carpet, as I call it. Wool so dense you can't grab it of put your finger through. It's amazing!

  4. Aha! I now have a sheep named after me! At least that's my story. I too have black hair! Going grey now though :(
    I love the large expressive eyes on the mules.

    1. Oh yes! Your name must have been in my head from all the nice comments you've left me. ♡

  5. Oh my goodness! They are gorgeous--I love their spotted faces, especially the baby with the one spot on his nose! I can't wait to see more of these lovely ladies!