A sheep is a sheep is a sheep I suppose, if one is not really into sheep-breeding. And of course, the prime reason for breeding sheep has really got to be to sell their meat, and once they are on the butcher's slab they all look the same.
But today, visiting a farmer friend, we had a real taste of perfect pedigree specimens. The friend is a Swaledale fanatic and really lives and breathes Swaledales. Next week there is a tup sale and today he was getting his tups ready for the sale. Grooming them, trimming their fleeces and their hooves, generally smartening them up.
They are quite nasty individuals and no light weights, so that they have to be separated. Each pen (which holds two or three at the most) is surrounded by carpet-covered fencing and electric fencing to stop them getting to each other and creating mayhem. The carpet, of course, is to stop them actually seeing one another.
I must say it was fascinating to see them all. I will report back when the sale is over, so that you can see the sort of prices they fetch.