Agriculture

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simonineaston
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Re: Agriculture

Postby simonineaston » 24 Jun 2020, 12:50pm

a shop on Benbecula that has Harris Tweed jackets in,
Here in Briz'l, I have a chum who specialises in Tweed jackets, bought from charity shops. He's doing well - he's got at least half a dozen! And he's only 47...
ttfn, Simon in Easton
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jgurney
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Re: Agriculture

Postby jgurney » 24 Jun 2020, 12:54pm

jimlews wrote:Simon, Mick.
Yes I do mean never, though I admit that conclusive evidence might be a bit problematic, prior to say, the late bronze age (circa 700-800 bce). But I think it can be inferred, simply because there is evidence of trade with the continent even back to the Neolithic.

Probably depends on whether they really meant 'was just about capable of self-sufficiency without widespread malnutrition if the islanders had needed to, even if they didn't actually do it' rather than actually was not importing any foods or goods needed for food production at all. As you say, there is evidence of trade going a very long way back.

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Paulatic
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Paulatic » 24 Jun 2020, 1:16pm

mikeymo wrote:
I went with dad back to Scotland a couple of times when he went to help old friends with the gather. That will have been in the 70s. Certainly he, and I assume the others, were using hand shears, which looked deadly, to be honest. Oh, they still sell them:

https://www.burgonandball.com/collections/british-and-european-patterns

I don't know how much a fleece weighs, but I was wrapping them (hands thick with lanolin) and it won't have been much more than a couple of pounds. At £1 a kilo there can't have been any money it.


Can you remember were they big affairs with lots of crofters present or just a few people?
I noticed, on my Heb tour last year, a number of very large sheep fanks fallen into disrepair. I think they were mostly on Harris and Lewis. The style and construction of them I guessed to be built in the 80’s The size of them suggested there must have been a lot of sheep there at that time. Probably headage payment time.
On the ground now spotting sheep was rare apart from a few Crofts and the fanks appeared to have no use at all.
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mikeymo
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Re: Agriculture

Postby mikeymo » 24 Jun 2020, 4:43pm

Paulatic wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
I went with dad back to Scotland a couple of times when he went to help old friends with the gather. That will have been in the 70s. Certainly he, and I assume the others, were using hand shears, which looked deadly, to be honest. Oh, they still sell them:

https://www.burgonandball.com/collections/british-and-european-patterns

I don't know how much a fleece weighs, but I was wrapping them (hands thick with lanolin) and it won't have been much more than a couple of pounds. At £1 a kilo there can't have been any money it.


Can you remember were they big affairs with lots of crofters present or just a few people?
I noticed, on my Heb tour last year, a number of very large sheep fanks fallen into disrepair. I think they were mostly on Harris and Lewis. The style and construction of them I guessed to be built in the 80’s The size of them suggested there must have been a lot of sheep there at that time. Probably headage payment time.
On the ground now spotting sheep was rare apart from a few Crofts and the fanks appeared to have no use at all.


This will have been in the highlands (maybe Loch Lomond, or Glenelg), rather than the Hebrides. Maybe half a dozen shearers at most. As I say, I think the purpose of our visit was mainly social. But I suppose being there at the gather you can be sure that lots of folk you remember will be present, so why not take the shears and do a bit?
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colin54
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Re: Agriculture

Postby colin54 » 24 Jun 2020, 6:41pm

I went to take a picture of this flock on Saturday as the all black lambs were an unusual sight to me , luckily they were just being moved to fresh pasture. The farmer told me the black lambs were from breeding with Belgian Brown Spots (?). Looks like the sheep had just been in the yard being sheared.
Our Grandad (who I never met) was a shepherd up in Hawick early in the 20th century.
P1130855 (800x489).jpg

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 Jun 2020, 6:49pm

Lot of black sheep near me, what is their wool good for? I think all sheep smell the same despite different sizes and colours :wink:
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Paulatic
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Paulatic » 24 Jun 2020, 6:53pm

colin54 wrote:I went to take a picture of this flock on Saturday as the all black lambs were an unusual sight to me , luckily they were just being moved to fresh pasture. The farmer told me the black lambs were from breeding with Belgian Brown Spots (?). Looks like the sheep had just been in the yard being sheared.
Our Grandad (who I never met) was a shepherd up in Hawick early in the 20th century.
P1130855 (800x489).jpg

The ewes are GreyFace Mules but I can’t identify the father of the lambs at all I’ve never heard of Belgian Brown Spots it’s a new one for me. A case for Hercule Poirot :)
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Paulatic
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Paulatic » 24 Jun 2020, 7:15pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Lot of black sheep near me, what is their wool good for? I think all sheep smell the same despite different sizes and colours :wink:

Black wool was always downgraded because you can’t dye it. The fashion for natural colours it’s not so important.
All sheep do not smell the same. Different sexes and different ages all have their own characteristics. When you’ve been in close proximity on the shearing boards with as many as I have you get to differentiate by nose.
Just before lockdown I treated myself to a wool jumper from an expensive specialist wool shop in town. Tried it on in the shop and taking it off I said to the owner if that’s not knitted from Leicester tup wool then I’m a Dutchman. After all the processing it will have had the smell is still there.
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mikeymo
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Re: Agriculture

Postby mikeymo » 24 Jun 2020, 7:59pm

Paulatic wrote:The ewes are GreyFace Mules but I can’t identify the father of the lambs at all I’ve never heard of Belgian Brown Spots it’s a new one for me. A case for Hercule Poirot :)


One of my father's nerve-wracking habits was studying livestock in the fields as he drove the car - "oh look, Charolais Hereford cross, not seen a lot those round here" or somesuch. While nearly ploughing into the back of a tractor.
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Paulatic
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Paulatic » 24 Jun 2020, 8:44pm

mikeymo wrote:
Paulatic wrote:The ewes are GreyFace Mules but I can’t identify the father of the lambs at all I’ve never heard of Belgian Brown Spots it’s a new one for me. A case for Hercule Poirot :)


One of my father's nerve-wracking habits was studying livestock in the fields as he drove the car - "oh look, Charolais Hereford cross, not seen a lot those round here" or somesuch. While nearly ploughing into the back of a tractor.


:lol: :lol: It’s an art form
My family have constantly told me to watch the road not the fields. :lol:
I think that’s one of the beauties of cycling I can see everything happening and the bonus of off roading takes me through farm yards and past sheds. Certainly not being nosey just interested :lol:
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colin54
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Re: Agriculture

Postby colin54 » 24 Jun 2020, 9:30pm

Some recent sheep from West Lanc's fields.
P1130879.JPG

P1130868.JPG

P1130870.JPG

jimlews
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Re: Agriculture

Postby jimlews » 25 Jun 2020, 8:49am

This thread is in danger of re-bleating itself :oops:

ambodach
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Re: Agriculture

Postby ambodach » 25 Jun 2020, 10:40am

In Shetland I was told that they always had a couple of black fleece sheep in a field so that in the winter it was easier to see where the flock was.
In Sutherland as a child on holiday I remember the gatherings where all the crofters gathered for the communal dipping and later the shearing. This was in the 1940's when the large fanks were in use.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Cyril Haearn » 25 Jun 2020, 1:16pm

Perhaps Paulatic could answer a question that has occupied me for many years
How does it feel to be savaged by a dead sheep? :?
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Paulatic
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Paulatic » 25 Jun 2020, 1:19pm

ambodach wrote:In Shetland I was told that they always had a couple of black fleece sheep in a field so that in the winter it was easier to see where the flock was.
In Sutherland as a child on holiday I remember the gatherings where all the crofters gathered for the communal dipping and later the shearing. This was in the 1940's when the large fanks were in use.


Were they not of drystone wall construction then sometimes with a turf top?
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