Ever Wondered what the farmer has just said?
The following glossary provides some ins and outs of the strange words you can hear out and about on the Elan Valley Estate:
Let's begin with the birds and the bees; or rather more specifically the tups and the ewes.
- Tups / Rams - male sheep
- Ewes - pronunciation highly depending on the county and region - are mature females.
- Draft Ewe - ewes which are selected due to their age/condition and are now unsuitable for upland farming, thus sold to lowlands, better grazing areas as breeding ewes.
- Breeding Ewe - any ewe capable of giving birth and rearing a lamb
- Cull Ewe - a ewe at the end of its productivity and sold for slaughter.
- Sucky/Tiddling Lambs - Lambs reared by hand
- Theaves - female lambs
- Wethers - castrated males
- Mutton - meat from an older ewe or wether (older than 1 year)
- Hoggs - sheep which are roughly 9-18 months old. Can be either sex although most commonly used for females as they are retained longest through this period.
- Mule - a cross bred animal
- Raddle/Pitch - coloured pigment used to mark sheep commonly to identify individual flocks or used at mating
- Drench - sheep oral medicine either as treatment/preventative or mineral/vitamin supplement
- Lambing - either used for the time of year when ewes have their babies, or literally the act of giving birth
- Hefting - traditional method of managing flocks of sheep on large areas of common land and communal grazing so that one shepherds flock remains in (roughly) their area.
- Gather - collecting and bring the flock down (from the hill)
- Hill gather - when the shepherd brings down his hefted flock of sheep from the hill, usually with a lot of help from his neighbours.
- Shearing - taking the sheep woolly coats off
- In-bye (land) - the fields usually surrounding the farmsteads which are fenced in (as opposed to open hill).
- CAP - Common Agricultural Policy - European policy with standards and finances towards agriculture