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Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep

ALL SOLD

 

12 September 2015

 

We have one Ram left for sale. Colin, who won at Widecombe fair last year. As he is here on his own we have reduced his price to £200.

 

29 July 2015 - Whiteface Dartmoors For Sale

 

So after 16 years of having a lot of fun, and breeding and showing our sheep, we are now retiring, and here for sale are the last of our flock. We sold the main flock last autumn but we kept back 19 ewe hoggs in case we decided to carry on this year. These are now for sale - I know I am biased but I’d say these are as good as any sheep we have bred - they would be a great start if you are thinking of setting up a flock. They are good, big, well built sheep. It may be possible to run the ewes with one of our rams as part of the deal. £1800 for the flock.

             SOLD

 

We also have 4 rams.

 

  1. Colin - 6T ram, bought from the Pearse’s in 2013. He won the Breed Championship for us at Widecombe Fair last year. He is a big broad ram with really good wool. 8 of the ewes above are sired by him. £300
  2. Kieran - 4T ram. We have not used this ram - I bought him because I like him. He is bred from a Savery ram crossed with a Goddard ewe. He is a big framed ram with classic whiteface head and horns. £175   SOLD
  3. No.2 - A 4T ram that we bred ourselves but didn’t sell last year. A really nice stocky ram with good head and horns. Solidly built and doing very well up here on the side of the hill. (The one in the foreground in pic below) £125
  4. 2 Horn - Our old ram - sire of 11 of the above ewes. He is old now but has consistently bred us nice sheep. Bred by Patrick and Pat Coaker. He could do another year no problem if anyone wants him. FREE to good home.

If you would like more info please email tomwid909@gmail.com or phone/text 07825 136699

Latest News - 17.11.14

We have sold the breeding flock. We have 19 ewe lambs left, plus four rams. The rams are still for sale - we have the breed champion at this years Widecombe Fair (6T Pearse x Tunhill), a Goddard 4T, plus a 4T and a 6T of our own breeding.  Any that we have left next August will be entered in to the Show and Sale.

Flock dispersal sale - 28.9.14

We are selling our entire flock of 50 breeding ewes - 2 tooths, 4 tooths, 6 tooths and a few first year full mouths. £3000 for the flock or we are happy to split them.

We also have for sale the champion ram at Widecombe Fair 2014, and three homebred rams too.

These are all excellent sheep.

We are taking a year off from lambing. We are keeping our 2014 ewe lambs.

SOLD

Our pair of 2014 Ram hoggs

2014 sheep for sale

 

It's been a good year for breeding sheep - the weather has been perfect, a bit of a problem with flies, but altogether not too bad. We are pleased to be able to offer for sale the following sheep.

 

Two ram hoggs - pictured above. Both registered. A really nice pair of ram hoggs. -ONE SOLD

 

One 4T ram. Used last year on loan, and proved 100% fertile. This is a really nice ram - black nose and feet, nice horns, clean legs and all round good conformation.

 

Old ram with a starter flock of ten older ewes. Flock comes with lambing record of each ewe so you know what to expect re difficulties - shouldn't be any, but of course life isn't always like that. This ram and these ewes are what we have been breeding our recent good sheep from. He was a 6T when we bought him and we have used him for three years. He was bred by Patrick Coaker.

 

We also have a selection of ewes and ewe hoggs for sale.

 

As you know all our stock is organic so they are pretty tough sheep. Pretty much all of our sheep are worm resistant, and generally free from foot problems.

 

* * *

 

Some of our ewes on the farm in early autumn 2013. In 2010 we won the competition for best flock of under 50 ewes.

 

Sheep for sale

 

We have two very nice ram hoggs for sale. They are by the same sire as our champion ram hogg at last year's sale, and I have to say in my opinion, they are as good as him.

 

We farm organically so our sheep are tough as old boots. We never have any feet problems, and we never need to worm our sheep as over the years we have rigorously selected for worm resistance. 

 

We have been breeding Whitefaces for 15 years now. All our ewes are homebred and we are very careful with our ram selection. First and foremost, we are looking for a good sheep! On top of that, we have carefully selected stock rams with the following qualities which are important to us:

 

* Black nose and feet

* Small ears

* Clean wool-free legs and scrotum

* Broad, clean, white face

* Wool not too harsh with a nice curl

* Good, balanced, not too heavy, open horns

 

Our sheep tend to be reasonably big-framed. We do live in quite a harsh spot on the moor, so generally they do not carry excess weight. We lamb relatively late (in April) to coincide with the spring grass.

 

email Tom and Sarah at tomwid909@gmail.com

 

* * * 

 

2012 Show and Sale - Jake with our champion ram.

One of the rams that we have for sale - SOLD

 

Some thoughts about sheep breeding.

 

Many years ago I worked with my Uncle on his farm in Radnorshire - he kept flocks of Welsh mountain and Kerry hill sheep. He also used Suffolk rams to breed a useful cross.

 

My Uncle took his sheep breeding very seriously and I like to think I learnt a few things off him about the subject. But I have to say, even though I had picked up a bit of knowledge from him, when I started breeding Whitefaces 15 years ago, I still found the whole business quite complicated. So this little article is an attempt by me to maybe help any newcomers to the hobby.

 

Firstly, it is important to get a picture in your mind of what we might call, a good sheep. I'd say this picture will be common to every breed of sheep. Obviously the features of a good sheep will vary in degree depending on the commerciality and locality of the breed. The purpose of breeding sheep must be primarily for meat production (or wool I guess), so the sheep is bred to maximise that. At present, and as far back as I remember, we are looking for a good bodied sheep, round full back end, deep through the body, broad shoulders and neck. When I look at a sheep I want to see an even body, looking from the side and looking from the back. I'm looking for a good straight back, good sound four-square legs, good strong upright pasterns, healthy even feet, and a straight gait in walk and at faster paces. I'm looking for good sound teeth that meet the pad right in the middle - not over or under shot. Regards the wool, this is breed dependent, but I would be looking for a good healthy vibrant fleece.

 

So that's the sheep (in simple terms I agree). Next comes the points of the breed. This is a separate subject from the subject of being a good sheep - this is about whether the sheep is a good example of the breed. So in the case of Whitefaces this gets very interesting. The breed standard is very brief.

 

* * * 

 

The Whiteface Dartmoor breed standard

 

The breed characteristics are as follows:

White head and face. Face of ewe free of wool.

Ears short and thick with occasional black spots on the them.

Nose black, face broad and bold.

Male sheep may be horned.

Neck strong and massive by shoulder and of medium length.
Breast deep and prominent. Body of medium length, deep and broad.
Good broad tail.
Ability to withstand either very wet or hard winters, without detriment to subsequent lambing season or to wool. Wool...White of good staple with a fairly strong curl. The wool should be moderately greasy.

 

* * *

 

There are one or two areas not covered by the standard, or that have slightly developed from the standard. Black feet are generally sought after, and many people think that the horns are an important feature.

 

So it's not difficult to see why people new to the breed might find it a bit confusing for a while. As the years go by clarity does begin to come though - each point becomes more clear. In my case I know what I want my sheep to look like both in terms of being good sheep and in terms of being what I think are good examples of the breed. Now the challenge is working on improving both of these aspects. 


 

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Comments

  • Juley Howard (Monday, April 14 14 01:54 pm BST)

    How do your dartmoors fare in the summer? I noticed one, who it has to be said is feeding twin lambs seemed to be suffering badly from the heat yesterday (nice sunny day, but not hot enough to take a
    coat off).

  • Tom Widdicombe (Monday, April 14 14 08:31 pm BST)

    Hi Juley
    I would say as long as your sheep can find some shade they will surely be ok. I know what you mean though - sometimes they do look mighty uncomfortable on hot days.
    The problem is if you shear too early you risk them having to face some pretty cold wet weather. We shear in the second half of May. We do shear some rams early so that the wool looks good for the
    sale, but we always let them in the sheds if the weather turns bad. Hope that is of some help to you.
    Kind regards
    Tom

  • Jorien (Monday, May 12 14 02:55 pm BST)

    Hello do you have some wool to buy?
    I live in holland and I will felt with it.
    Thanks jorien

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Jorien

How much wool do you want, and are you ok with it 'straight from the sheep'? I sell my wool to a lady who makes garden twine, called Twool, out of it. But I am sure she won't mind if I supply you with some.

We are shearing in a couple of weeks time.

Kind regards

Tom

This beautiful dreamcatcher is made from our pure whiteface wool by
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