From now on, we will have a Breeder Focus of the Month. For the first month, I thought it best to start with two of the founders of the Society, Jenni Mcallister and Raymond Irvine
1. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELVES
We are Jenni McAllister and Raymond Irvine.
We live on a farm in the Scottish highlands near Tomintoul. Raymond is a farmer and specialises in pedigree charolais cattle. Jenni grew up on a farm in Loch Lomond and works in IT.
2. DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE/FACEBOOK?
You can find us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ValaisBlacknoseSheepScotland
3. FLOCK PREFIX
4. WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST BLACKNOSE SHEEP?
We imported 13 blacknose from Valais in May 2014 then another 26 in September 2014.
5. HOW BIG IS YOUR FLOCK?
We currently have a total of about 85 blacknose.
6. WHO HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE SHEEP AND WHY?
We have many favourites. We love them all, but sometimes there are ones which stick out from the flock… a few to mention are:
Mimi, one of our original imports from the Schnydrig family, a maximum point ewe, a super mother and nature to match.
Ursi for her special fairy horns (as Jenni calls them J) and sweet character – always the first to welcome you in the field. Another one of our original girls from the Schnydrig family.
Elfie, our bottle-fed pet lamb. Cheeky as chips. She would rather spend time with us than the other sheep.
Breagh, our pretty spitti. She stands out from the rest with her back to front black and white.
King Kong, a big ram with a big heart. We bought him on our first trip to Valais and he was the beginning of our blacknose adventure.
7. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?
Make sure to clip twice a year for health purposes and for best results in the fleece.
When getting ready for show always let the fleece dry naturally after washing to maximise the natural crimp of the fleece.
Go to Switzerland and see the sheep in their native home J
8. WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR YOUR SHEEP?
We just want to have happy, healthy sheep and breed the best that we can.
9. WHAT OTHER ANIMALS DO YOU HAVE?
Charolais cattle, a mixed herd of cattle, Scottish blackface sheep, highland cattle, zwartbles, texels, border Leicesters, collie dogs, chihuahuas, cats and chickens.
10. WHAT IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU BECAUSE OF OWNING BLACKNOSE SHEEP?
The best thing to happen to us because of the blacknose is the people we have met. We have been very lucky to meet the loveliest people near and far, from all over the world. We have made many new friends.
Oh, and we met the Queen! J
We give a special thank you to the Scnhydrig family for everything they have done for us and helping us to source the blacknose sheep we have brought home to Scotland. They are our second family and we are grateful the sheep brought us together.
FINALLY, YOUR BEST PHOTO OF YOUR SHEEP?