Counting Sheep Breeds with Mr. Brendan Ferris | Part 1: Sheep
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Counting Sheep Breeds with Mr. Brendan Ferris | Part 1: Sheep

October 22, 2019


Now everybody I think we’re ready to go. Before I do anything let me say good morning to you. I have two parts to your visit with me everybody. I’ll tell you a little bit about each and every one of these and when we’re done with that we’ll go and have a look at the dogs at work. What I say about each of these will be relatively brief. If any of you want me to say more let me know. Here everybody is Friesian. They come from Friesian northern Holland bordering Germany. Milk and the making of cheese. In Ireland we have neither a history or tradition for making dairy products from sheep or goat milk but over the last 40 years we are diversifying. I bought this from a man who milked four hundred sheep to make cheese. Here everybody is a variety called Wiltshire. They put on a winter coat same as a cow same as a horse. Over the summer that coat will naturally fall. They are not for wool they’re completely lamb, Wiltshire. Here everybody is Border Leicester. The wool is soft enough to make a sweater but they’re much more valuable for their lamb. He has no problem picking up Channel 2 and TV 3 with full adjustment. Here’s some wool I found to fix your vest. And if you have any leftover you can make a sweater for a mouse. Now everybody the variety is Herdwick. Herdwick sheep originated in Sweden. The wool is ideal to make carpet. Some of you may visit the Lake District in Britain in your lifetime. And if you do we you’ll find the Herdwicks there. They were introduced to that region by Beatrix Potter the famous children’s book writer. Some of you may remember the movie Miss Potter; Renée Zellweger played the part in the movie. Here everybody is a variety called Black Welsh. Their wool will go to a sweater or pullover of natural color. Of course you already know the milk is for Guinness. Just checking to see who’s still listening. The most popular variety on the planet everybody is called Suffolk. Wherever you go of sheep kept they’ll know all about, Suffolk. And Hampshire Hampshire is for our spring lamb often referred to as Easter lamb. Now the most unusual I have to show you everybody is the variety called Jacob. Jacob sheep go back to biblical times. The two color wool is expensive with those who do hand knit sweaters. Double horns on a Jacob sheep are natural, it’s their nature to grow them. I do my best to present it to you accordingly if you bear with me. With the horns at the back everybody is Dorset; very fashion of Australia, New Zealand, the lamb. He doesn’t mind posing he get’s paid twice what the others get. Look at the brown everybody, is called Soay. They’re a variety that go back to the Vikings. At five years old, we’re fully grown here and because we have much bigger sheep they’re not commercially popular, Soay. Now in Ireland we have many varieties of sheep. We have one native called the Galway. Back in our history before the Aaron sweater was ever heard of the families who lived in the Aran Islands would come to the mainland buy the wool of the Galway sheep to make what was known as the Fisherman’s Sweater. Each family had their own pattern i.e. the boxes and the buttons. Now don’t forget everybody tourism in Ireland was practically non-existent until after the Second World War. You could take to the air and you could fly on vacation. As people visited the West of Ireland they marveled at these sweaters and they wanted them for souvenirs. Now you didn’t just walk in a shop and buy one because that didn’t yet exist. You went to the families that produce the pattern of your liking they measured you up, you paid them, and you went home. Couple of months later you’ll received your sweater in the post. Now in modern times everybody wool is graded in microns. Like length is measured in feet in inches and centimeters and meters and so on. And for example if the wool of that variety and this variety where close in micron to that then that’s what will go to make your sweater. But that’s all original… sheep called the Galway sheep and that is original Aran sweater wool. As you can see everybody its typical Irish easily led. Any questions over any of my sheep before we move? Is he older? Would be the oldest one here. Okay. I’ll impose on somebody close to the door, slide it to your left hand entirely and we can go in.

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