Our Marriner flock is well and truly at home in their lush, green sloping field. They are more than happy spending their days roaming the small hills and munching their way through a considerable amount of grass.
Their fleece is getting thicker by the day and we can already tell that it’s going to be quite soft. They are due their very first haircut around this time, and we can’t wait to take you through the whole process from shearing, to scouring, roving, spinning and, finally, winding. With only a small flock we won’t see a huge amount of wool from this first shearing, but we are excited to start the process and be able to offer our very own Marriner wool.
Romneys are slightly unusual as they are usually sheared twice a year, compared with just once for a lot of other breeds. Romney’s fleece grows very quickly and is very thick and heavy, growing more abundantly and over more of the sheep’s body than most other breeds. This is uncomfortable for the sheep if left fora full year, but it is even more important when the ewes come in to lamb in early winter. To have the ewes carry around their yet-to-be-born lambs, as well as up to 5kg of fleece is not good for them. Shearing in the autumn, before lambing, leaves the ewes in much better condition, as well as increasing chances of conception and the possibility of more lambs born. Romneys are also a hardy breed and are well able to stand up to British winters with a slightly thinner coat.
Next year we hope to increase our wool production further with the addition of even more lovely ladies to our flock. We have just welcomed a new gang of young ewes that will mix and mingle with our original ladies when they are old enough. At the moment they are still quite small, but very sweet and already settling in well to their new home.
Someone else who has settled in well and truly become part of the Marriner family, is our ram, Baaarney. He has the run of his own private field, accompanied by two ladies that he follows everywhere, but is more than happy to give us a cuddle when we pay him a visit. He will be getting his first haircut at the same time as our ladies very shortly and then he will be introduced to them all in November so we can have some cute and cuddly lambs to look forward to in the spring.
We will soon be immersed in everything wool-based and we are looking forward to designing our ball bands and getting everything ready to launch our new wool for you in the next few months.
We’ll be posting as many updates as we can here on the blog, as well as on social media and in our email newsletters, so don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and sign-up to receive our emails at the bottom of our homepage (you’ll get a free pattern when you do!) to keep up with our Marriner flock story.