Tuesday, April 20, 2010


If some lambs look dishevelled this spring, it is because they are in the process of “shearing” themselves.

The Exlana breed, developed in the South West, moults naturally in spring and the wool is allowed to compost.

The project leader, Peter Baber, 54, who runs a farm in Christow, Devon, said: “The value of wool has reduced so much that it’s no longer economically viable to produce...

“It wasn’t until they were domesticated — somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago — and bred for their wool that they started needing to be shorn.

“There are breeds around the world, particularly in tropical areas, which still shed their wool naturally, so we imported the genetics to start breeding.

“Now, we have thousands of wool-shedding sheep on our farms.

“Their bodies recognise when it is spring time and they naturally begin to shed their wool.”

The new breed has proved more resistant to gut worms and need less chemical treatment.

I wonder if they've managed yet to engineer sheep that can knit Aran sweaters out of their own wool. That would really cut costs!

Frankly, this will go perfectly with my self-percolating coffee, self-watching television, self-painted paintings, and self-petting pets.

1 comment:

MT said...

"self-petting pets"

This could only be in reference to cats. Or possibly to non-serious dogs of the large and slobbery or small and whiny variety. Regular dogs practically get rented out by people wanting to pet them--e.g. by hospitals and retiree institutions. Cats of course are vampires. I'll grant you that.