Ever Wondered what the farmer has just said?

Date: 
1 year 11 months ago

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