One of the cats, named Bodacious, is the lead shepherd; they call him The Cat Sherpherd. He guards over a flock of beautiful sheep in the countryside near Kilkenny. They aren’t just ordinary sheep, they’re a breed called Zwartbles originally from the Friesland area of the Netherlands. They were mainly used for diary, but they went through a period of decline and were eventually entered into the Dutch Rare Breed Survival Trust. Years later they were introduced to Britain, Northern Ireland and in 2005, the Republic of Ireland.
Today the distinctively marked sheep are used for dairy, meat and also wool. Suzanna, the human who cares for Bodacious and his flock, sells blankets and wool from the sheep at her shop in her home and on-line. Being naturally tame, the sheep are excellent mothers and sometimes even have triplets! They do produce a good amount of milk to look after all the lambs. As you’ll notice from the photos below, they live with other sheep breeds and are just fine to cross-breed.
If you want to find out more about what’s involved in looking after sheep, here’s a calendar of all the things that need to happen annually.
Other personalities on the farm include two other cats, Marley and Ovenmitt as well as three dogs: Pepper, Bear and The Big Fellow. Additional sheep guardians include two tall alpacas, Inti and Punchau. They are very calm and gentle creatures with endearing hairstyles and good eyesight. If they see or sense danger, they can deliver a painful kick to unwanted intruders and as an advantage they are more relaxed than dogs which is a good thing for the sheep.
If you’ve fallen in love with these farm life insights, be sure to follow Suzanna on vine and Twitter! Stay up to date with news (such as the arrival of a third alpaca, Oreobloom) on Instagram and Facebook.