Sunday, November 14, 2010

And so it begins!

We are real Crofters at last - we have livestock!  It is just so exciting, I can't keep this inane grin from my face when I think of it.
On Friday, all the sheep were being brought down from the common grazings for the winter.  There were two of this year's lambs unmarked, so John was asked if he wanted them.  Now we are the proud posessors of two Cheviot X Blackface sheep - and our own croft mark, which is a red dot on the side.

Of course being suddenly responsible for stock fairly concentrates the mind, and our procrastinating about the fence came to an abrupt end.  The hole next to the gate was duly repaired and made stock-proof by these two able fencers.
And then they arrived in Angus's trailer - bounded into the bottom field and wandered happily off to explore their new home.  This field has not been grazed for two or three years, so there is plenty of still lush grass for them to feed on.
James has named them both Maddie - Maddie Mor agus Maddie Beag (Big Maddie and Little Maddie).  There they go inspecting the edges of the field already, while James fruitlessly calls on them to come and play.

It's a thankless task being a shepherd boy.

                 Maddie Beag.                                            Exploring the shelter                                            Maddie Mor                                         


  1. This is fabulous! Congratulations!

  2. Wonderful, I've been looking forward to seeing your post after you left the message on my blog.

    They are lovely, no wonder you're grinning!

    Scottish Blackface is very long wool isn't it - it's good rug wool and good for tapestries - a lady at the Guild had some recently - she thick spins it on a Navajo spindle (large spindle you roll along your thigh) to make peg loom rugs - very easy and hardwearing.

    Oh I'm excited for you, livestock on your croft, have fun all - I bet James will love helping out there - makes a good shepherd already!

    Love to all xxx

  3. omgomgomg!!!

    I'm ridiculously EXCITED for you!!!

    wow. brilliant, truly brilliant.

    they're lovely....


  4. Oh how lovely! And what a lovely way to acquire them too-so island.

    Enjoy being crofters at last.

    Uma x

  5. Congratulations Jacqui, this is such thrilling news.
    They look so adorable and James one is doing a fantastic job already.... a natural.

    Have a wonderful week as you start the joys of being crofters. xxx

  6. Fabulous! My DH has long been interested in Scots Gaelic, and we had two ginger cats years ago who he called Tavish Mor and Tavish Beag :) Enjoy your lovely lambs!

  7. How exciting.
    I am grinning madly along with you.
    Blessings to you all.

  8. Wow! Interesting news :-) I know literally.. err.. let me think... oh yes, NOTHING about livestock or sheep but it looks like a great pass-time and opportunity for gazing ;-)

    Love the names, are you all fluent in Gaelic?


  9. They are gorgeous! I have ideas of the boys being in the young handler catagory of sheep dog trials lol, just reminded me with your lovely picture of James!! xx

  10. I love these sheep! The wool is great too, we have 4 sheepskins from skyeskins who use this breed, they definately won't get cold! It must be a lovely feeing for you to feel like your really getting going, I hope it all goes well. Your wee little man is such a sweetie!

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  12. Sorry - my broadband connection seems to go haywire at this time of night, so multiple comments just happen.

    Anyway - thank you - I am so pleased that you are all sharing in my journey into the unknown - Becky, you probably know more than me about sheep keeping:)
    The wool is very long - it seems to be of great value in mattress stuffing and carpets, but it is mixed in other wools for Harris Tweed.
    My husband is a fluent gaelic speaker, but james and i only have a few phrases. There isn't really much spoken in public, sadly but in the home and in schools it is the norm. We have some easy learners books if your dh is interested Lesley.
    I can just imagine j being in the young handler category too! A young lad won the cattle section outright at the local show - and a woman was 2nd in the shearing competition - watch this space!!!

  13. Congratulations on the new arrivals. They're gorgeous. Your little shepherd is very cute.

  14. Congratulations! I've been so "duh" lately, I just now noticed your url address is now thebarefootcrofter. which I totally love btw!! :))
    So are you now continuously barefoot? LOL!!!
    I love sheep. Had them when I was young. To this day I cannot eat it/the meat/however you say it. I agree with James Herriott, they are the cutest baby animal EVER!
    Refresh my memory, have you moved the chickens out there with you yet? I searched your blog but couldn't find it.
    Enough rambling. Cannot wait (!) to see what you do with the wool. I would love to try felting!
    Hope you have had a GREAT week!


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