Monday, 10 October 2011

The arrival of a teaser.

The field opposite is full of pedigree Swaledale ewes. Now that they have nicely settled in a smart young chap has arrived - he is a Swaledale ram - or tup as they are called up here in the Dales.

Sadly he will not get to do the job is expecting to do, because he is just a 'teaser' tup. In other words he is put in amongst the ewes to get them all excited and skittish and bring them into season.

Once this begins to happen he will be taken away and the 'real' tup will be brought in. He will be a pedigree Blue Faced Leicester tup because these sheep are for meat breeding and the farmer wants mules. Mules are a cross between a Swaledale and a Blue Faced Leicester and the progeny will be sold for meat, probably for the Easter lamb market next year (it will be a short life but a merry one for those lambs I am afraid.)

The BFL tup will arrive with his raddle harness on and we shall begin to see the ewes with a coloured splodge on their bottoms as one by one they mate with the ram. The raddle colour will be changed each week so that the farmer will know the order in which the lambs will be born. Anyone who has read 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles has some idea about what is going on!

If I manage to get near enough to take a photograph of the ram I will do so but today is again miserably wet and dismal, so I shall wait until it improves. Have a nice day!

##I stand corrected. Bovey Belle tells me that the reddleman is in The Return of the Native and not Tess. Sorry about that - and thanks BB for putting me right.

17 comments:

Dave King said...

More than a bit hard on the 'teaser' is that, I'd say! I have read Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but I'd no idea it was still going on! Thanks again for a fascinating insight into country life. Your posts are one of the highlights of my day.

mrsnesbitt said...

I say how discreet! lol! Our first collie was named Tess from thie book by Thomas Hardy! I visited Skinningrove just for you and the farmer and took some photos - I put them on my blog a couple of posts ago - do check it. Dxxx

Heather said...

It has only just occurred to me what a manipulative lot farmers are! Horticulturalists too, cross pollinating this and that with their little brushes. Nature still rules, but it is good to give her a helping hand.

Reader Wil said...

Poor teaser! Any chance that he will enjoy real sexual life?Lol.
Thanks for your visit. I 've just put a slide of the tour under the city on my blog and a link to one of my posts about the city. If you click on the green words "the boat tour", you'll see another slide.I hope you'll like it.

Gerry Snape said...

Is that a bit like the pig in "Alice"...who sneezes and only does it to annoy because he knows it "teases"?!

acornmoon said...

So the Swaledale tup is the George Clooney of the sheep world? We live and learn!

Pondside said...

Who knew? The complicated business of getting the lamb for next Easter!
Poor Teaser Tup - always the understudy, never the star!

H said...

Poor teaser. What a frustrating life he must lead!

ArtPropelled said...

I've also read Tess of the D'Urbervilles and can imagine your post fitting right in.

Jinksy said...

And how much teasing can that Swaledale tup take? LOL

Elizabeth said...

Gosh! well! This is exciting news!
The image of Othello 'tupping' your white ewe was pretty strong stuff for delicate me in high school.
Nothing so thrilling going on around here, I can tell you

angryparsnip said...

Not to be indiscreet but how do we know the "teaser" doesn't get to share a bottle of wine and a moon light stroll with the ladies fair ???
Is he fixed ?
Love acornmoon's George Clooney comment.

cheers, parsnip

steven said...

what a life! steven

Pomona said...

We call them tups down here too. I loved Hardy's reddleman - he darned his own socks!

Pomona x

Bovey Belle said...

They have teaser stallions at the big Thoroughbred studs too. Never knew it happened in the sheep world as well.

Tess is my favourite of Hardy's novels, but Diggory Venn the reddleman was in The Return of the Native. He dug up red clay for the reddle to sell to farmers for their rams.

I hope that the Swaledale ram is allowed one legal ladyfriend for his pains!

MorningAJ said...

It's a complicated job breeding lamb. I still enjoy eating it though.

Mary said...

Another "Farming 101" lesson - and all so interesting, thanks Pat. Of course I'm picturing last Spring's lambs again - covering the Lake District meadows - and knowing now how they arrived only to have short lives perhaps! Nature hurts at times..............

Hugs - Mary