The easy care Black & Coloured
By Terri Barrell
As a breeder of these very regal sheep, my opinions may be a little biased.
Because of their straight body shape, ( no wrinkles like the merino) they have very little fly strike problems, they have nice width between back legs so very little soiling from faecies and urine, as long as they have no dietary or internal parasite upsets.
Wool free faces and lower legs, means no grass seed problems in those areas, and no wool blindness like other breeds.
My experience with the Border has been to note the calmness of the breed, not a flighty animal, more likely to stand their ground like a goat then go headlong into fence at the first sign of trouble, I have also found the rams to be calm and easy to work in the yards, and to show less rambunctiousness than other breeds.
As they are a British bred sheep they only come into oestrous in our Autumn, if you fail to mate them in this shortening of day light season, you will have to wait till next year to join them again.
Being such a large breed of sheep they often have twins, and the mothers on good pasture, will have no trouble raising two large lambs, Borders are excellent milk producers.
Borders produce a strong wool, It should have good style, nice even waves down each staple and fibre of wool, good length, border wool is usually 7 – 8 inches of 17 – 20 cm. A nice clean fleece should weigh between 4 to 6 kilos.
Border wool has a beautiful luster or sheen, as the thickness of wool fibre increases, the cuticular scales become larger and lay flat against the shaft of the fibre, therefore become more light reflective.