Black Ouessant sheep

Vive la France: Ouessant sheep come calling

Written by Beth Bright

We’ve been feeling very Francophile all week. It started with an order for some hay racks and foot shears for a flock of Ouessant (Ushant) sheep in south west France. Named after the island of Ouessant off the coast of Brittany, they are one of the smallest sheep breeds in the world and while popular in Europe, are now spreading as far as California.

The rams are generally around 49 centimetres (19 inches) tall and the ewes an inch shorter. Usually brown or black, the rams have rather magnificent horns, the handlebar moustache of the sheep world. In fact, the ram here looks like he’s working a hipster moustache look with a piece of straw.

Ouessant ram

We were delighted to get the call and couriered the racks and shears right away. We’d love to have hopped the ferry ourselves but maybe next time…

The owners were really pleased and sent us a few pics to show how happy the Ouessant flock are with their new delivery.

Ouessant sheep eating hay                   Hay rack and Ouessant sheep in field in France

Ouessant sheep facts (and a sea shanty)

With thanks to the Ouessant Sheep Society 

  • The small size dates back to the island’s poor grazing
  • The island is made of the same rock as Cornwall’s Land’s End and Lizard peninsulas

Fair Spanish Ladies 

We’ll rant and we’ll roar like true British sailors,
We’ll rant and we’ll roar across the salt seas
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is 35 leagues.

If you have a flock of Ouessant sheep, we’d love to hear more… 

 

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