The AGM will be asked to approve an amendment to the Breed Standard, and to note changes to the Registration regulations that have been approved by the Board of Trustees.
The Spring edition of the Ouessant Times is now available in the members area of the website.
The Northern Ouessant Workshop, due to be held on Sunday 3 October, has been postponed. All attendees have been emailed and we will also telephone to make sure that you have received this information. Val will offer a one to one video call to deal with any questions that you were hoping to raise at […]
The formal Notice for the 2021 AGM, which is to be held on Sunday 17 October on Zoom Meetings, was sent to all members on 30 September. If you haven’t received it, please contact email@example.com.
The Charity Commission has approved the Society’s application to register as a Charity. We are now registered charity number 1195176. Full details to follow.
With the easing of Covid restrictions, the Society will be holding 3 Ouessant Workshops from August. Full details here
We hope to repeat the Society’s highly successful photographic competition later in the year but, in the meantime, why not send us your pictures of this year’s lambs in time for the next edition of the Ouessant Times in June. After the last 12 months we all need something to cheer us up, and there […]
With new software on the website, and running the flock book, we have an opportunity to further improve the presentation and content of the Ouessant Times and its links with other information already on the website. We’ll be working on this in the coming months and it would be great if more members wanted to […]
Thanks to all members who have renewed their subscriptions for 2021. If you have not yet done so then please act quickly as your membership will be cancelled with effect from 31st March. To renew, visit www.ouessantsheep.org.uk/renew and log in to LoveAdmin. Any problems (or if you’d prefer not to renew) just email firstname.lastname@example.org Author: OSS
As it’s spring and lambs are now making an appearance in the fields, I thought I would share this wonderful painting by Luigi Chialiva. Feeding The Sheep’ – Luigi Chialiva This Italian-speaking artist was born in Caslano, Switzerland in 1842. The Mylins Foundation awarded him first prize for his paintings of animals in 1868. Chialiva’s […]
With lambing upon us, we look at how best to advertise and sell your sheep. The Society can help members sell sheep in three ways: through the Society Marketplace, using the online Flock Book and by providing links and contact details to members of the public (with members’ consent, of course). The Marketplace Adverts on the […]
There will be a time when every old sheep has come to the end of their life, this is inevitable unless you keep the flock young. But some of us have pets which have endeared themselves to us and if, like me you have such a bond – when the end comes you really have […]
What is Maedi Visna? It is a nasty viral disease rife in many commercial sheep flocks. So, what is this to do with my Ouessants you may wonder? Well, any sheep can get it and you may not even know your sheep have it until symptoms start to appear. Symptoms include: It’s very similar to CAE […]
Sharing ideas and creatives who make sheep related art and crafts. In this edition, Sharon Smith of Wild Welsh Wool shares her story about how she creates beautiful rugs and seat pads using sheep wool and a peg loom. MM: Can you tell us a little about yourself Sharon? SS: I moved to mid Wales, near […]
The online flock book will move to a new platform – the Grassroots Online Registry – on 1st April. Your log in details stay the same, but you will see some differences in the appearance of the flock book and in the way that you enter transactions. Launch of the new Grassroots Online Registry We have […]
The Ouessant Sheep Society on Facebook
I was inspired recently when OSS member Anna Louise Kelly, shared a painting of Ouessant sheep on Facebook. I thought it would be nice to share a painting with readers in each newsletter, which involves the presence of our woolly friends! Of course, I think there may be a shortage of Ouessant specific paintings, so […]
Welcome to our new series of Meet The Maker. Over the coming months, I’ll be chatting to people who not only keep Ouessants or other sheep, but are makers, creating things that are sheep related in some way. In our first article, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rosie Anderson who makes ‘Felted Sheepskins’. Felted […]
It looks like we are going to be wearing facemasks for some time yet, so why not choose one that makes you stand out from the crowd? Morah Etchells, and friends, are offering a selection of colourful masks in return for a donation to the Society. The masks are available in a choice of sheep […]
Following on from the article in the June Newsletter, Part Two was originally going to cover how colour genetics affects breeding decisions before looking in more detail at the variations to the basic colours. But Part One has led to some debate on social media, and there are new proposals to update the Breed Standard, […]
Here’s an opportunity to win OSS branded clothing, by sending us your favourite pics of your photogenic Ouessant Sheep. Details of the prizes and the competition rules can be found by clicking below. Entries must be received by 15 November and will be judged by a panel comprised of committee members Susan Hughes and Jenny Kolot, and […]
A lot is made of the French Ouessant rams and it seems to me mainly because they have no wattles or at least the majority don’t. Personally I don’t see a problem with wattles except when it’s shearing time, most of the year they are hidden in wool But before deciding on French rams (and […]
OSS members have responded to Morah Etchell’s call, in the last newsletter, for donations of fleece to the Jin Talog distillery in Wales so that bottles of their award winning gin are now available to order, wrapped in Ouessant fleece. When Anthony and David launched Jin Talog on their Camarthenshire farm in 2018, they knew […]
The Society was formed in 2005 and, with a couple of hiccoughs along the way, has now grown to over 200 members. We are a charity, but until now we have fallen below the threshold of registration with the Charity Commission. Our growth means that we must now register, and this gives us the opportunity […]
Members are reminded to follow the Society Code of Conduct, which may be found under Society, Society Information, when buying or selling sheep, or when posting on social media.
We try to answer members queries about the Breed, the law and Society regulations. This month it’s timely questions about registrations and lambs: How do I register my lambs? Should I register ram lambs? What’s the best way to sell my lambs? How do I register my lambs? The easiest way is through the online […]
Neil and Cara Bookless of Felsted Fleece offer a professional fleece processing service to small flock owners, with a minimum quantity of just one fleece – and a discount for members of the OSS! For the past 8-years, Felsted Fleece have been processing the fleece generated by their own small flock of Gotland sheep mainly […]
Speaking earlier in the Editor’s chat, of peacefully chewing the cud, I have had a ‘cud’ mystery. I knew it was to do with having a problem with the molars, you see these wads of cud laying around where the sheep in question lays down to chew the cud Sometimes I find there are maybe 15 […]
So they are sheared, then what do you do with the wool? No one seems to want it, but there are other uses for it, I actually process mine if they are any good by washing and combing until they are heavenly soft and sell to spinners All profits I give to my charity, if […]
Hopefully, everyone has painlessly sheared their flocks by now. Lovely, pillowy bags of fleece sit in sheds while dainty looking sheep enjoy the summer fields. Shearing is a necessary process but often people can’t imagine what to do with this valuable resource, fleece. Many Ouessant owners are wary of washing fleeces themselves as it can […]
The fleece of Ouessant sheep is black, white or brown. Except when the wool has bleached or faded, is greying with age, or when a white lamb is red or a black lamb has a white spot on its head! We try to unravel the mystery of Ouessant colour in a two part article. You […]
Many of us associate wool with sheep, but other mammals — including alpacas, camels and goats — also produce fibres that can be twisted into yarn and then textiles. It’s possible humans started making wool after noticing that, as the fibrous hairs were scraped from the hide of an animal, they twisted together easily into lengths. […]
The Society was planning to hold a number of workshops and events in 2020, but these have been put on hold until life becomes more normal again. A Fleece and Crafts workshop was to have been held in Wales, and two Breed Workshops were to be held, one in the South and one in the […]
Our thanks to all those members who have renewed their subscriptions for 2020 using the online payment system. A final reminder email has been sent to those members who have not yet renewed or resigned and whose memberships will otherwise end on 31st March. The subscription rate for full membership is £25 if paying online […]
We try to answer members queries about the Breed, the law and Society regulations. This month: Can sheep be imported from Europe into the UK Flock Book? What does the Society registration certificate really mean? Can sheep be imported from Europe into the UK Flock Book? The short answer is ‘yes’! Leaving aside the current restrictions […]
I would love to hear from anyone who knows how we are to keep Ouessants below the breed standard height. The trouble is that like humans which years ago were much shorter than we are today. Access for all modern people to ample food has meant that on average today we are much more robust and taller […]
I was asked a while ago to write an article on how I use the sheep for therapy and how I train them. That is quite a hard question to answer as each sheep and child are different so I match the animal to the child’s needs Animals ask nothing from you and do not […]
Anna discusses how to prepare for lambing. Committee members share their top tips. Plus – what’s in your lambing kit? Well if ever there was a need for a distraction from the unprecedented developments around the world, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it is now. Hope everyone is keeping themselves and their loved ones […]
The AGM did bring some like-minded members together to show what can be made from wool, be it needle felted, wet felted or the new method of Nuno felting. On show were some examples of these crafts. One of our members brought along a huge array of animals (including 3 of which she had purchased […]
Members Marie Clarke and Morah Etchells displayed a number of woolly items at the AGM. It is hoped to run a craft workshop in 2020 and to put a fleece and crafts page on the website.
The Society’s new Codes of Conduct were unanimously approved by the AGM. Chair Antonia Clements said that we need to back up the improvements to the breed standard and registration rules with clarity in advertising and a consistent code of practice for those buying and selling sheep. The Codes, which cover all members, the buying […]
Four committee posts were up for election at the AGM. There were no nominations (in keeping, as Antonia pointed out, with the finest OSS traditions!). Antonia was persuaded to serve for another year as our ‘temporary’ chair Carolyn and David, whose posts were not due for re-election, will continue as Secretary and Registrar, and the […]
The AGM noted that OSS subscriptions are significantly cheaper than most breed societies and represent great value for money. Most rates are unchanged for 2020, but Associate Membership subscriptions will rise. Secretary Carolyn Southern explained that the subs have not increased since the Associate Membership category was introduced and, unfortunately, no longer cover costs. As […]
The contact details of members who are willing to share them with other members are now on the website. If you consented to share your email address or telephone number in your membership application form, or via the LoveAdmin online membership application, then these are shown in an interactive map in the members area. Postal addresses […]
Your Christmas present dilemmas have been solved – the Society online shop is now open! The shop has a range of practical and good-quality clothing, all embroidered with the Society logo. The online shop is provided by our commerical partner, Sional. Based in North Wales, Sional provide embroidered clothing and promotional material to organizations ranging from […]
It’s a legal requirement for all sheep keepers to update their holding registers as at 1 December and to complete an inventory form with the numbers of sheep owned on that date. Failure to complete the inventory will increase the risk of inspection. You should have received a letter or email from DEFRA or its […]
The AGM approved most of the recommendations of the Breed Development Working Group. These included a clearer breed standard, new registration regulations and new guidance on inbreeding and line-breeding. Breed Standard The AGM considered the 3-column draft of the breed standard that was published with the last newsletter, and felt that this was perhaps a […]
The 2019 AGM was held on Sunday 27th October, at the Puckrup Hall hotel, Tewkesbury. Twelve members and partners attended in person, and three more joined via the conference call. It was great to hear the voices of two members from Scotland, who would otherwise not have been able to take part in the meeting. […]
Following on from the story by Charles Le Maistre, Alan and I went for a short holiday on Jersey where we were invited to Charles’ farm, where my 2 Ouessants were exported to. We saw all the sheep, including 3 other Ouessant ewe and another ram from one of our members in Devon. My […]
One third of committee posts usually come up for re-election at each AGM. But there have been a number of changes to the committee since the last AGM, and the normal pattern of elections has changed. I was asked to stand as chair 2 years ago, as there were no nominations for the post, and […]
Orders are now closed for the Society Christmas Card for 2019. The picture, ‘Herefordshire Ouessants in the Snow’, was taken last year during ‘the beast from the East’. ORDERS ARE NOW CLOSED The card will be A6 sized, with the Society logo on the back and the greeting ‘Best Wishes for Christmas and the New […]
Since the last newsletter, Tony Sweeney has stood down as the Society’s regional rep for Scotland and has been replaced by Anna Kelly. Thanks Tony, and welcome, Anna. Anna joins Ade Lloyd (North of England), Coral Handley (Wales and Central England), and Kris Jury (South of England) on the Society’s committee. Full details, including how to […]
We considered two possible headlines for this article “New Breed Standard” and “No Change to Breed Standard” – both are accurate reflections of the proposals that the Breed Development Working Group will be putting to the AGM. The Breed Standard itself is unchanged, and remains firmly based on the original French breed standard. But the […]
There’s no point in having a register of pedigree Ouessants, if buyers don’t have confidence that the registration means something. Confidence in the Ouessant ‘brand’ makes the selection of stock easier – and should lead to improved quality overall. The measures set out by the Breed Development Working Group, to improve the availability of information […]
The Breed Development Working Group will ask the AGM to bring our registration rules into line with those of other rare breed societies. There will be no change for most registrations, but new safeguards for sheep without pedigree data are proposed. The Society Flock Book is now in a much healthier condition. Members will remember the problems […]
The Breed Development Working Group has been looking at ways to improve the quality of our sheep. It quickly became clear that we need to focus on our rams: A ewe may have a handful of lambs in her productive life; the average ram may sire dozens. It follows that rams have the biggest impact […]
A still from a video from Jersey by Charles Le Maistre….A real woolly jumper. just see those feet tucked up to put shame on any showjumping horse !!
The 2019 Society Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday 27 October at the Puckrup Hall Hotel, Tewkesbury at 1.30 pm. Lunch will be provided for all members attending. Puckrup Hall is reasonably central and has good access from the M5 motorway. But we also hope to stream the meeting, or provide it as […]