Further to the sheep-shagging deep background below, it would be remiss of me not to offer this:
"An Aberdeen supporter dressed as a sheep was set alight on a train on his way home from their match against Hibs on Saturday. The 24-year-old suffered serious burns to his arms and legs when his suit caught fire on a train in Fife. The victim reportedly ran through the carriage ablaze as other fans threw beer at him to try to douse the flames."
Hi - I have kept Zwartbles sheep for about 4 years now. I have mixed feelings about the breed. As a complete novice I have found them usually placid and easy to work with, but rather large if they decide to put up a fight. In fact, I have seen a professional shepherd flat on his back with a stubborn ewe on top - she didn't want her feet done. Where I live, in the hills, I find the feet of the Zwartbles a problem. I also keep Ryeland sheep and find them smaller, easier to manage and virtually foot rot free. There is also a problem breeding the Zwartbles as I do not have accreditation and it is therefore virtually impossible to borrow a ram ( I don't have room to keep one). I have had to resort to Al, but I find it a barbaric practice (although 100% successful) and will be producing Ryeland crosses for the meat market next year. However, the Zwartbles grow very quickly and the meat is delicious. Zwartbles are good mothers and cannot be faulted in that regard. I trust you find this information helpful.
Since the beginning of the last century, dairy farmers in the Freisland region of Holland have kept Zwartbles Sheep, a strikingly handsome black sheep with a distinctive white blaze and 2 to 4 white "socks." Freisland lies in the North of Holland, and these beautiful and elegant sheep serve as dual purpose animals - meat and milk. Due to changes in farming practices, numbers of Zwartbles in Holland became severely reduced until the breed was adopted by the Dutch Rare Breed Survival trust in the mid-1970s. In the last few years, a small number of Zwartbles sheep have been imported by enthusiasts to Great Britain. There are now 147 registered Zwartbles flocks (a total of about 3,500 sheep) spread throughout the UK, and they are well able to cope with the lowland and mid-altitude conditions in England, Wales, and Scotland.