15th May, 2012: I have posted pictures before but this is more about personalities! Here are Emily (officially Mathilda) and Freya the Gotlands and Juno with Maia and Flora, the BFLs.
The BFL sheep are large, pretty docile, reasonably intelligent, pushy and greedy. Their lambs tend to lie around and not come when called by their mums.
The Gotlands are small, active, can be feisty or very shy or very tame and are also pushy and greedy. Their lambs walk to heel like good little children and come when called generally, though less as they get a little older …. like everyone!
The BFLs have MUCH better feet but their greed can sometimes give them more grass scour than Gotlands, who browse more. I have to confess that the BFL feet are a real benefit and would almost seduce me from Gotlands! But the size and character of Gotlands is rather more fun.
With the BFLs, I was rather expecting some white lambs, as all 3 ewes and the ram have white parents (pedigree – they are all a disappointment to a family prize-winning tradition!). But in fact they are all dark, which is encouraging – I have been reading up on black genes and it appears I could have expected 10-20% white, so there is still a possibility of white lambs later from the same ram and ewes, but less likely from the lambs. So my original plan was that any white ones could go for lamb chops, but now the decision will be harder!
Anyway, I shall have 2 nice BFL rams which will be either for sale as rams or (sadly) as lamb chops in the autumn. Unfortunately I do not have sufficient grazing to enable me to just grow the flock so I shall also have to do some selection on the Gotland ewes, and, saddest of all, on some of my dear wether friends (but they will make excellent first sheep if anyone is interested and have been specially kept because they have wonderful fleeces).