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OUR

Breeds

Sheep

Shetland

The Shetland is a small, wool-producing breed of sheep originating in the Shetland Isles, Scotland but is now

also kept in many other parts of the world. It is part of the Northern European short-tailed sheep group, and

it is closely related to the extinct Scottish Dunface. Shetlands are classified as a landrace or "unimproved"

breed.

This breed is kept for its very fine wool,  high-quality meat and for conservation grazing.

By the early twentieth century, the Shetland was perceived as threatened by cross-breeding, leading to

a decline in wool quality. To combat this, the Shetland Flock Book Society was formed in 1927, and this

remains the body responsible for the protection of the breed in Shetland.

By the time the Rare Breeds Survival Trust was set up in the 1970s, the Shetland had become rare, and it

was listed by them as Category 2 (Endangered). Since then, the breed has become popular with smallholders,

and it is now classified as Category 6 (Other native breeds), with a UK population of over 3000. On the mainland the breed is governed by the Shetland Sheep Society.

Wiltshire Horn

The Wiltshire Horn is a breed of domestic sheep originally from Wiltshire in southern England raised for

meat. The breed is unusual among native British breeds, for it has the unusual feature of moulting its

short wool and hair coat naturally in spring, alleviating the need for shearing. They are good mothers

and have high fertility. The fact that they do not require shearing or crutching and do not suffer readily

from flystrike is making them increasingly attractive to commercial producers.

The Wiltshire Horn was until the eighteenth century one of the predominant sheep breeds of southern

England.  For hundreds of years, it served a clear function on the thin chalk soils of the Wiltshire Downs,

requiring little shelter from the elements and providing dung and urine to fertilise the wheat-growing land.

At the same time, it provided an easily managed source of quality meat, but the rising price of wool and a

general move away from horned sheep had the breed suffer a dramatic decline throughout the 19th and 20th

centuries.

It was nearly extinct at the start of the 1900s. In 1923, in an attempt to save the breed, the Wiltshire Horn Breed Society was formed. In the early 1980s, 45 registered flocks were in the UK, but the 2009 edition of the flock book of the Wiltshire Horn Sheep Society recognises almost 300 flocks.

Pigs

Oxford Sandy and Black

The Oxford Sandy and Black is a breed of domestic pig originating in Oxfordshire. Named for its colour,

which isa base of sandy brown with black patches, the breed is also sometimes called the "Plum

Pudding" or "Oxford Forest pig." Related to the old Berkshire and Tamworth breeds, it is one of the

oldest pigs native to Britain.

The Oxford Sandy and Black is a hardy, docile pig suited to being reared outdoors, where its colour

protects it from sunburn (which pink pigs tend to suffer from). The breed has twice neared extinction,

but is recovering, partly thanks to the efforts of the breed association, the Oxford Sandy & Black Pig

Society.

 

 

Chickens

Lohmann Brown

The Lohmann Brown is a variety of chicken, raised specifically for egg-laying productivity. It is of cross-

breed origin, selectively bred from lines of Rhode Island breed and White Rock breeds. They start to lay

at about 19 weeks, producing up to 320 eggs to an age of 72 weeks (one year production). Eggs are

laid nearly daily, normally during the morning time.

Most Lohmann Browns have a caramel/brown shade of feathers, with white feathers in a pattern

round their necks, and white feathers at the tips of their tail feathers.

Our hens are all rescued from commercial farms and will stay with us until their last days

Cream Crested Legbar

The Legbar was the second autosexing chicken breed created by Prof. Punnett and M. Pease at the

Genetical Institute in Cambridge, after the Cambar, which was created in 1929 by crossing Barred

Plymouth Rock with Gold Campine.

The aim was to create an autosexing utility breed with a focus on egg laying, where male and female

day old chicks could easily be sexed by their colour. To achieve this, Punnet and Pease used a

crossing programme with excellent egg layers, the Leghorn and the Barred Plymouth Rock. The

Barred Plymouth Rock was used to introduce the sex-linked barring gene ('barring' (B)) into the Leghorn.

By crossing BrownLeghorn and Barred Plymouth Rock the Gold Legbar was created and standardised in

1945. The Silver Legbar followed in 1951. It had been created by crossing the Gold Legbar with White Leghorn

and Silver Cambar. The Cream Legbar were standardised in 1958 but nearly died out in the 1970s as blue eggs were

not in demand. They were created by crossing Gold Legbar with White Leghorn and cream-coloured Araucana chicken.

The Araucanas introduced the dilute cream gene ('inhibitor of gold' (ig)), as well as the crest and the blue eggs into this variety.

Sicilian Buttercup

The Sicilian Buttercup is a breed of domestic chicken originating from the island of Sicily. The breed

was imported to the United States in the nineteenth century, and to Britain and Australia early in the

twentieth century. It derives from the indigenous Siciliana breed of Sicily, but long separation from the

original stock has led to marked differences between the two.

A breeders' association, the American Buttercup Club, was formed the United States in 1912, and by

1914 had 600 members; a similar association formed in Britain in 1913. The Sicilian Buttercup was

included in the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1918. It is listed as

"threatened" by the American Livestock Conservancy and is on the "Rare and Native Breeds" list of the British

'Rare Breeds Survival Trust'.

Ducks

Sheltand

The Shetland duck is a breed of domestic duck originating in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. It is

critically endangered.

The Shetland duck is thought to have evolved from the Pomeranian or Swedish Blue, due to its similar

appearance. It is thought that the Vikings brought the Shetland to the British Isles. The Shetland is a

small, hardy breed; it is active and forages well. It is essentially a smaller version of the Swedish Blue,

but with black plumage where the Swedish has blue; the black has glossy green and blue lights in it.

The birds usually have a white bib, and may have some white on the head; they may become paler as

they age, in some cases turning almost entirely white. The bill and legs are black in the duck: in the drake,

the legs may carry some orange, and the bill may be tinged with yellow. The breed lays a good number of

medium sized white eggs. The egg size increases with the age of the duck coming into lay in Shetland in early

April and not finishing often until late September.

Runner

Indian Runners are a breed of domestic duck. They stand erect like penguins and, rather than waddling,

they run.The females usually lay about 300 to 350 eggs a year or more, depending whether they are

from exhibition or utility strains. They were found on the Indonesian islands of Lombok, Java and Bali

where they were 'walked' to market and sold as egg-layers or for meat. These ducks do not fly and

only rarely form nests and incubate their own eggs. They run or walk, often dropping their eggs

wherever they happen to be. The ducks vary in weight between 1.4 and 2.3 kg (3.1 and 5.1 lb). Their

height (from crown to tail tip) ranges from 50 cm (20 in) in small females to about 76 cm (30 in) in the

taller males. The erect carriage is a result ofa pelvic girdle that is situated more towards the tail region of

the bird compared to other breeds of domestic duck. This structural feature allows the birds to walk or

"quickstep", rather than waddle, as seen with other duck breeds. Indian Runner ducks have a long, wedge-shaped

head. The bill blends into the head smoothly being as straight as possible from bean to the back of the skull. The head is shallower than what is seen with most other breeds of duck.

They often swim in ponds and streams, but they are likely to be preoccupied foraging in grassy meadows for worms, slugs, even catching flies. They appreciate open spaces but are happy in gardens from which they cannot fly and where they make much less noise than call ducks. Only females quack and drakes are limited to a hoarse whisper.

Geese

Chinese

The Chinese goose is a breed of domesticated goose descended from the wild swan goose. Chinese geese

differ from the wild birds in much larger size (up to 5–10 kg in males, 4–9 kg in females), and in having an

often strongly developed basal knob on the upper side of the bill. The knob at the top of the beak is more

prominent on males than females. It takes several months for the knob to become pronounced enough

that it can be used for determining sex. Chinese geese are a close cousin of the African goose, a

heavier breed also descended from the swan goose.

Chinese geese appear in three varieties: a brown, a blue (grey) and white. While many domestic

Chinese geese have a similar body type to other breeds, the breed standards as defined in the American

Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection and other sources call for a slimmer, taller fowl.

Chinese geese are among the better laying breeds of goose. A female Chinese goose can lay 50–60 eggs

over the course of the breeding season (February to June), although there are reports of Chinese geese laying up

to 100 eggs during that time.

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