0 Responses to Yarn

  1. judy maxwell says:

    Hi guys ‘n gals! Great to see the website. Can we send you photos please – a picture paints a thousand words! All the best
    Judy

  2. judy maxwell says:

    Esteban – looking forward to seeing you at Moira. We have excellent entries – at least 40 eligible for export on the night. Some cracking ram lambs just looking for work! And lots of very pretty young ladies too. Did you see the advertisement in the Farmers Journal? I think I can email the catalogue to you when it’s ready if you would like to get one email me on judy@spring2.fsbusiness.co.uk.

  3. judy maxwell says:

    Thanks for putting the sale’s report up on the site so quickly.

  4. Colette says:

    Interesting to read about the difference in flavour between the pure breed and the half Zwarbles half Suffolk. Great detail there on how to cook the lamb. Lovely pics too 🙂

  5. Robert greene says:

    where are you in ireland and how much would you pay for each fleece

    • suzanna says:

      I am based in Kilkenny and will be buying the pure breed ZSA registered Zwartbles wool from Registered breeders for 25c a kelo. I can not take half breed wool as I’m am trying to keep this as pure breed Zwartbles as possible. The wool will have to be black and as clean as is possible, no rear end tags or belly wool. Hopefully if this works out the price might improve after the first year. To keep it interesting for non sheep people who love wool I would also like to have the flock names or even sheep registered names whose wool would have been used to make the rugs or wool that is spun for knitting. This goes back to traceability which is what people are interested in. Thank you for your interest.

  6. JC&RSC says:

    Quite an adventure. Relieved all is well.

  7. Roisin says:

    My sister roasted a leg of one of your zwartbles for a new year dinner last night using the same ingredients & I can honestly say I have never had a lamb taste as succulent & so full of flavour as this one…most delicious indeed…so much so I’m sure it would convert steadfast vegetarians!

    • suzanna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the lamb. I understand you have now booked one from this years yet unborn crop.

  8. JC&RSC says:

    Definitely a moral in that story!

  9. Pleased that all ended well. What a day and there was I (a city gal) thinking that I would love to be a farmer. On reflection I think not!

  10. Christine says:

    They are handsome beasts. Look forward to hearing more about them.

  11. gwynivar says:

    Are they naturally short-tailed then? Lovely looking lambs – they look like they have some good loin length in the carcass. Any idea on the fleece? I’d love a sample come shearing time!

    • Jake says:

      Hi, Found you on the Etsy Blog Team. I, too, am a knitter and I also have Scottish roots (and Irish and German . . . ). My dethguar and I were in the Aran Islands a couple of years ago. I had planned to purchase a “real” Irish sweater there. Sweater shops abound on the main island. But there were so many shops and so many sweaters (and such high prices with the exchange rate at that time) that I was overwhelmed and left Ireland without a sweater at all! Lucky and smart you to have brought some back! My dethguar stayed on in Ireland for several months and she bought wool that she knitted some lovely scarves with.Glad to have found your blog!Lynette – SweetPosyDreams

  12. Sherry says:

    Aaaaah you’re so nonchalant about this! This post ohrbeted me so much it really brought to the forefront how much I like to play ignorant about where my food came from when I am eating meat. Which is a bit of an eye-opener for me because I thought I was okay with it, but maybe I’m not really. It’s tasty, but I could never eat an animal that I had met while it was alive, much less one that I had named do you have a hard time with that at all?On the other hand though, I think it’s wonderful to know exactly where your food is coming from, that the animals were treated well while they were alive, and that they’re not packed full of hormones, so that is definitely an upside. Reply:November 13th, 2010 at 4:56 pmIt’s different when you know the animal is destined to be food. There’s no way I could kill eat *my* dog, even though I’ve eaten dog before. And I’m sure I’d feel awful about eating someone’s pot-bellied pet, even though I love bacon. Knowing what I do about industrial food production, I actually feel a LOT better about eating a sheep I knew, whose health I could see in her shiny eyes and thick fleece, and who I know lived out her short but sheepy destiny rather than one who lived in anonymous terror and misery in a factory farm somewhere.

  13. Brennen says:

    Finnsheep will have litters bteween 3-5 pretty normally. The larger the litter your ewe comes form the higher the likelihood that they will also have large litters

  14. I’m so glad to see that she’s doing well now! She looks great in that last picture! 🙂

  15. Ginny Huber says:

    This is a wonderful story; So touching, sweet and funny. Brava to you and to little Aggee and all the folks who whose tweeting helped so much! What a beautiful tale of life and connection.

  16. sherri says:

    i see your post made it to my (re)publication. thrilled to know you had a survivor. as i read this my mind went back to the 80’s when we had a dairy in Virginia. such a helpless feeling when they’re breach. i’ve written about one such experience, but don’t have it online right now because i’m in the process of moving blogs. love how you were able to capture the progression in images.

  17. Gee, I felt I was going thro each stage with you trying to help Aga Lamb..What a Happy ending..we must chat re wool..you have my email here…keep in touch..Brenda/Waterford..

  18. Lorna says:

    Hi Suzanne, Fabulous pic, she must be so tame to let you do that. I’ve just awarded you a Liebster award, do check out this post to see all the details and I hope you pass on the blogging love 🙂

  19. hehe I love it, a very happy paddys to you too

    Ena x.x

  20. Boyd says:

    I absolutely love this. Really looking forward to future posts. Let’s see some more horses!

  21. judy maxwell says:

    Great, just like The Archers used to be – an everyday story of country folk! Keep up the good work

  22. Bambi Miller says:

    I love following your farm on facebook, and will someday travel to Ireland. When I do, I would love to visit your farm (if that is something you allow) and see your wonderful sheep and beautiful German Shepherd.

  23. Jan Spink says:

    This latest photo series really shows how incredibly arduous, every day farm life can be. Its like “Black Beauty” syndrome in reverse. I get it here all the time. Everything looks so fabulous to visitors. You can’t say “If they only knew” now because you’ve “captured” or revealed the reality of it so perfectly. Well done, again.

  24. Dee Sewell says:

    Ah bless, you’ve got your work cut out there! And your grass certainly is very green. Should have taken you up on offer of dandelions too as havent managed to collect four cups, yet thought I had loads!

  25. Magic. I love the wool hanging on the blossoming trees. What a wonderful image to take away.

  26. Lovely. Magic. What an amazing image of the wool in the blossoming trees.

  27. suzanna says:

    Thank you Sally glad you enjoyed the images. This is only the beginning next is collecting all the wool from around Ireland.

  28. Posy says:

    Lovely Images!

  29. Dawn Edwards says:

    Fantastic photos! My new favorite wool… Zwartbles. It really is gorgeous!!!! Thanks so much for sharing these lovely photos.

  30. Dawn Edwards says:

    Oh Suzanna, what a wonderful tour of Cushendale’s…Thank you so much. When Nicola, Kirsten and I went, neither Philip nor the darling ‘assistant’ were there. So nice to have the complete picture…Thanks so much for sharing. Will there also be cleaned, but uncarded Zwartbles wool that will be available to be shipped to the U.S.? I love it in its more natural state, too, for felting;-))) It is a fantastic wool…Thanks so much for introducing me to this most amazing and beautiful wool…I love it!!!!

    • suzanna says:

      Due to the Schmallenberg Virus which has hit sheep flocks across Europe Defra has banned the export of raw sheep materials to the USA. This virus has yet to make it to Ireland and we are holding our collective breath hoping it will not make an appearance. This does not prevent the shipment of cleaned fleeces which is what we will be doing with our wool at Cushedale. So you could say it will be the next best thing to raw, no chemicals will have been used in the cleaning just good clean water. It will also have gone through a bit of the carding process which makes it into easily feltable strips. When the ban has been lifted and they have figure out how the Schmallenberg Virus is transferred we will once again be able to ship a more raw fleece.

  31. Dee Sewell says:

    Delighted to hear your wool will be going there! I bought some recently from them for a jumper (am stuck, need a more patient head on before I pick it up again!). Your pictures just gave me a lovely tour of the backrooms that you dont get to see from the shop.

  32. Kirsten Lund says:

    Thanks for those wonderfull pictures. It was so lovely to visit. I love the machinery, and that they are still working after 100 years.
    We felt so velcome, and their products are amazing.

  33. Nicola says:

    Cushendale’s just one of my favourite places to visit, can’t wait until your gorgeous fleece finally gets prepared and carded!!!

  34. judy says:

    An everyday story of country folk – a bit like The Archers used to be…

  35. Sam says:

    Hello, wondering if you can help me. Which way should a zwartbles fleece be rolled? Inside out or Outside out? Thanks.

    • suzanna says:

      When you spread the fleece out onto the clean floor you want the skin side or black inside on the floor & the out side the sun bleached side up.
      Then you fold in the 2 sides so they meet in the middle leaving the tail & neck out long.
      Next you start rolling from the tail end tightly all the way up to the base of the neck part of the fleece.
      At this point you put your foot at the base of the neck part of the fleece & start to twist as tight as you can & as you twist it pulling it out long as you go.
      Once you have a nice long rope of wool you use that to wind around the sausage roll of wool & tying it off on its self.
      I will be posting a series of photographs I took showing the whole process.

      I hope that has answered your question.

    • suzanna says:

      I have just posted a shearing and fleece rolling photo post.

  36. I am so glad I have found your blog I am loving it so far – we are relocating to Ireland in Feb and would love to come see your sheep – they are beautiful:)

    • suzanna says:

      Thank you I’m sure you can visit my sheep or there might be a breeder near where ever you move to in Ireland. Safe traveling and hope the move goes well for you. Good Luck.

  37. judy says:

    An excellent blog – we’ll nominate some of these ladies for Oscars. Well done a great day’s work

  38. Kirsten Lund says:

    Lovely blog post. And so nice to see all you lovely animals again. Hugs.

  39. judy says:

    Now we can do it ourselves next year……. but I think I will leave to the experts – could take me hours to catch hold and clip just one!! Great blog

  40. tom freeman says:

    where can i get the results of the clonmel show zwartbles section

    • suzanna says:

      Call Mrs Breda Horgan 087 258 9528 she is the secretary of The Southern Ireland Zwartbles Sheep Society.

  41. Kathleen Loudoun says:

    Please can you tell me how to obtain entry forms for the Hilltown sale on 5 October.

    Many thanks

  42. judy says:

    Great to see Jimmy and his sheep featuring in the Journal today.

  43. Dee Sewell says:

    Love this post Suzanna! Would love to have had a longer tour around the woollen mills. It’s actually spurred me on to finish the jumper I started last year (but am a bit stuck on) so that I can make one from your wool 🙂

    • suzanna says:

      So glad you enjoyed this part of the tour. I will be writing up the next stages as we get to them. I hope you finish your jumper in time to start a new one with some pure wonderful rich dark Zwartbles yarn.

  44. Gloria Ross says:

    Thanks for sharing this. The size of the machines is
    amazing. The small mills that many of us use in the US
    do not have these gargantuan machines. I guess this mill
    is processing lots of fleeces. Can’t wait to see more.

  45. Andrea Kennett says:

    I was wondering if there are any Zwartbles in New England, USA?
    I live in NH and have been thinking about raising sheep.
    Thanks
    Andrea

    • suzanna says:

      I do not think there are any Zwartbles sheep in the USA yet. There might be some half breeds as someone shipped sperm over there a few years ago. I was working with some people in New York state to ship over frozen embryos but this got stopped due to a new virus called Schmallenberg virus we have here in Europe. I don’t know when the ban will be lifted. So we might have to wait till they have developed an approved and viable vaccine.

      • Karen Cross says:

        Wouldlike to know whenor if you know of anyone in the us that has Awartbles?

        • suzanna says:

          I know someone years ago imported semen to USA but used it on sheep that were of a different breed. So I don’t think there are any purebred Zwartbles sheep in the USA

  46. Great post S.
    Looking forward to seeing the results of this collaboration and sharing it. I think it is a great story of mixing your love of the land, Zwartble sheep, craft and micro- enterprise in contemporary Ireland!

  47. Ron Bon says:

    Hej Suzanna,
    we are living in Danmark and have a flock off Zwartblessheep.
    we are looking for new genetics. Can you tell me what the possibilyties are for embryo’s or semen?
    kind regards
    Ron

    • suzanna says:

      Have you tried the ZSA at http://www.zwartbles.org/ ? They would have a complete register of all flocks who might sell sperm or do frozen embryos. Sorry I do not have that kind of information.I will pass on your details to others who might know what your looking for.

    • Karen Cross says:

      Do you know of anyone who is exporting semento the USA?

      • suzanna says:

        DEFRA has banned the export of any Ruminant semen, frozen embryo’s, or living livestock due to the schmallenberg virus (sbv) infection that has hit Europe since 2011.

      • Rob says:

        For the US iquiries for semen, it is available for dale through Super Sires in the US

  48. […] Lunch over we went back outside and Suzanne talked again about photography and we took more images practising what we had just been learnt. We also got the opportunity to get up close with some friendly Zwartables sheep which Suzanne breeds on her farm. For information about this noble breed click here. […]

  49. Dee Sewell says:

    Exciting as its getting closer! The blanket looks gorgeous.

  50. Hugh Cassidy says:

    Having a break is always nice, even better to see you back writing though!

  51. Gloria Ross says:

    Glad to see that you are posting again! Really enjoy reading and can’t wait for the roving and yarn.

  52. Great post. Love happy endings :-).

  53. Neil Callan says:

    These are very interesting pictures, I have crossed the Jacob with Scottish Blackface ewes (Jacob ram) and also crossed the pure Jacob ewe with a Cheviot ram to staggering effect. The Jacob x Blackface are four horned and two horned huge lambs that have grown very fast and seem very hardy. The Cheviot ram on the Jacob ewe has produced a fantastic polled lamb. The lambs are jet black with white on the head and rump, very striking and the wool is soooo good. This is a great page with super pics, thank you 🙂 Regards, Neil.

  54. Emma says:

    hello, i’m just wondering if you still buy wool?

  55. Debby Walton-Smith says:

    Naughty naughty ram lamb……boys will be boys!

  56. Imen says:

    Beautifully crafted post….great subject to work with! See you soon! xx

  57. Margaret says:

    What beautiful photographs!

  58. Lorna says:

    I’m loving your blog Suzanna and I’m sure scores of others are too – lovely writing and yes, even though I’m not a cat lover I’m looking forward to hearing more of the adventures of Mr B. Amanda would love this :0)

  59. Margaret says:

    You were just jealous of Mr. B sprawled out in front of the Aga…. you’d think he’d at least have had your brandy ready 🙂

  60. Great cat – but I’m fascinated by the mower – can you give me any details please? Andy

    • suzanna says:

      The flail mower is made here in Northern Ireland by a company called Quad-X http://www.quad-x.com/ie/ATV_Quad-flail-mower. It runs on a Briggs and Stratton 18H engine. I got the one with 4 wheels for stability on my steep hills.The flails mulch the field toppings which gets reabsorbed by the field much quicker than what a blade mower would. Which in turn improves the soil health also improving the grass and clover cover. I hope I have answered your questions.

  61. Ena Ronayne says:

    Ooch poor babies… do you think it hurts them or is it like cutting our nails?

  62. Dee Sewell says:

    Not only is it good to see a vintage machine in use but square (rectangle) bales! I was beginning to think that the machine that churned those out instead of the big round ones was extinct! I’ve been so pleased for the farmers this summer, doesn’t bare to think how yet another wet one would have turned out.

  63. jason kestell says:

    Where can we get catalogues from, Online or post ??

  64. Alicia says:

    Hi Suzanna
    Could you clarify Is the Tullamore sale Friday the 30th or Saturday 31th of August?

    Talk to you soon

    Alicia

    • suzanna says:

      I am going to correct the date on the website as you are correct and it is the Sat 31 of Aug that the Zwartbles sale in Tullamore is

  65. Gloria Ross says:

    Thanks for taking us with you on your wool gathering
    journey. It was fun to see the sights.

  66. judy maxwell says:

    Such bold boys – naughty step for them!!

  67. Robert says:

    I counted 18.

  68. Aodhan says:

    hi there
    I am very interested in the zwartble breed and i am considering on purchasing a zwartble ram for use on half of my flock this year,

    So I was just wondering, at the dungannon sale on augest 2nd, can a local farmer like myself purchase zwartble sheep, or are they only for export sale to the south?
    also, can any flock holder purchase from these speaclist sales like a ordinary weekly sheep sale? or is there anything you need in order to purchase them?
    Many Thanks

    • suzanna says:

      Yes anyone can purchase from these sales and it would be wonderful if more commercial or (Normal) sheep breeders found out what wonderful maternal sires Zwartbles are. Please do go to one or both of the Zwartbles sales.

  69. What a treat for Iris to learn with her aunt life at the farm! Thank you Suzanna!

  70. […] Suzanna Tweets for the @ZwartblesIE account. She is (aside from an amazing photographer and writer) a sheep farmer. She blogs about that here. […]

  71. dee sewell says:

    Perfect, lovely send off x

  72. Lisa-Marie says:

    Illustrious photos to illuminated musings.

  73. Dee Sewell says:

    Wow, I would never have guessed! That’s amazing. Not only will I now be looking closely at stone walls thanks to all the moss etc that I want to photograph, now I’ll be looking for fossils! Thanks for sharing that, lovely post 🙂

  74. That is so cool! I love stone walls even more now 🙂

  75. Lorna says:

    Great photos Suzanna and I look forward to your next ones too. You have created a fabulous product and I love that social media has helped build awareness of it, to the extent you are going to London Design Week. Great achievement and story – well done!

  76. Margaret says:

    Best of luck Suzanna…. will be watching with bated breath 🙂

  77. Debby Walton-Smith says:

    Good luck….I am very excited for you 🙂

  78. Annette says:

    This is the best blog I have ever read. Such a delight. Created right from the heart. Good luck in London. Awaiting pictures !

  79. Margaret says:

    Have tremendous fun…. hope to see you there.

  80. john burke says:

    I already have some zwartbles and would like to source some more. Are there more sales planned for this year in Ireland North or South. The breed has amazed me and it is the leanest sweetest meat Ive ever eaten.

    • suzanna says:

      There are 2 sales up in Northern Ireland both at the Ballymena Livestock Mart a sale of pedigree Zwartbles in-lamb and all female sale on Monday 11th November 2013 and then another on on Monday 25th November for commercial Zwartbles. I do not think there will be any more Zwartbles sales in Southern Ireland this year. Look at the Zwartbles breeders list on this website for a breeder near you who might have some stock for sale. I will be having 5 -6 in lamb ewes for sale later this year once they have been scanned in lamb if your interested.

  81. judy maxwell says:

    great report – well done

  82. Sian Jones says:

    Good report and pictures. I agree with your comments about maps and food. We also had trouble finding the horse ploughing (didn’t help that it had already finished though!).Also more variety of food would have been nice.

    • suzanna says:

      So very glad you agree and also that I wasn’t the only one having problems finding the horse ploughing.

  83. Emma Hall says:

    Hi Suzanna
    I am coming to see you on Friday morning and looking forward to it. Plan to be with you around 10.00 / 10.30. I have mislaid your mobile number. So sorry and wondered if you could send it to me. Also I just wondered if you could send me that lovely photo of your sheep having a look at blankets in basket and one of blankets being woven. I would really like to feature images in my forthcoming newsletter. Thanks so much. Emma (I am of Ireland)

    • suzanna says:

      Great see you then I will text you so you have my number. Yes I will send you those photographs.

  84. This is lovely, Suzanna! You are so lucky to have so much history embedded in your stones. I do too have a stone wall surrounding my property but I was only able to find 1 stone with trilobites in it.

  85. judy maxwell says:

    Great piece – yes 19 flocks altogether and all sheep to be proud of! John and have have received wonderful hospitality and made some lovely new friends. The thing about Zwartbles breeders is their passion for these stylish, majestic sheep – faces light-up with smiles and pride at the mention of the Z word.

  86. Lorna says:

    Lovely post and gorgeous pics

  87. Carol Cronin says:

    I used this blog entry to teach my Leaving Cert Agricultural Science class about sponging today. It’s very easy to understand and the photos are a great step by step way of showing how it is done. They all had a very clear idea of what happens after they viewed your website!

  88. judy maxwell says:

    Another use for black wool not just pristeen enough for spinning – line hanging baskets to keep the soil in the basket and to mulch around plants, it works a treat and as it’s black it blends in with surroundings where white would not look right!!

  89. judy maxwell says:

    Wonderful colours and scenes.

  90. Really beautiful images.
    I love this time of year too!

  91. Lorna says:

    Which one is dominant? We usually put the two serving yearling bulls together at the end of the season (one cleans up the cows, the other the heifers) and they fight for a while until one gives in. Usually no damage is done but this year one was pretty miserable for a few days and we thought he might be brain damaged but he recovered with some anti-inflammatory treatment. All those hormones!

    • suzanna says:

      These guys fight like billy O when they meet after being apart, so must confine them when they come together after being on their own with the ewes. They are fine now, settled in their paddock at peace with each other.

  92. May says:

    Great photos

  93. Jan Spink says:

    You do Ireland, America and the lovely Zwartbles Sheep breed proud!

    Always look forward to your photos and prose.

    Best of the New Year to you!

  94. redcow says:

    Good to see a new determination to blog they all make good reading. Well done on getting 3rd place in the large flock section recently.

    • suzanna says:

      Thank you very much on both counts but I didn’t get third for Largest Zwartbles flock in Ireland. My stock ram the ‘Welchman’ came second 2nd in All Ireland Flock Competition. I believe the Irish Farmers Journal had a typo.

  95. Paula says:

    Just stunning Suzanne, thanks for sharing!

  96. Breda says:

    Hi Suzanna,
    Hope you have been keeping well, lovely pictures with your horses, did you know that the horse may not be just yawning? Some people believe that horses have powers of healing and this horse could actually be clearing your aura and/or chakras. New to this myself so not entirely sure of the thinking behind it, had you heard about this? Breda

    • suzanna says:

      I have no idea about that. It is also a sign that they are welcoming you and relaxed in your company like greeting an old friend. You see it in the wild so not sure about the aura/chakra thing.

  97. paul says:

    Hi Suzanna, love that blog, makes for a great tale. We also love
    the names. I had been looking toward Peru for some inspiration with names this past few years but didn’t persist.
    Looks like the boys are settling in well, glad to see that..
    Chat soon. Paul/Charlotte +co.

  98. Dawn says:

    How lovely, and what a wonderful way to begin the Year of the Horse! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  99. Annette Witte says:

    Wonderful photo story, where is Silver now ?

    • suzanna says:

      Sadly Silver is with us no more. She had to be put down as she was in loads of pain due to an old injury. It was a very very sad day.

  100. Lorna says:

    Such skill in your cat shepherd 🙂

  101. Anna says:

    Your shepherd cat looks like the (almost) identical twin of our Maine Coon cat Viggo. Viggo is a gentle giant with a heart of gold, very talkative and he treats our dogs in the same way as Mr B treats the sheep.

  102. Sara McKeefer says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Bodacious and also your two Alpaca. Thanks!

  103. Tjpixy says:

    He tried at least. Maybe a little to late but maybe he was having an off day haha. Xx

  104. Tim says:

    Hi,are you collecting zwartble
    wool this year (2014)

  105. Ellie says:

    Love your twitter feed. You put joy into so many lives and have become part of our everyday lives. Thank you.

  106. yvonne frost says:

    Thank you for this simple explanation. My daughter is doing land based science at school and has been involved in sponging – this has explained to me exactly what she was explaining!

  107. Irene Boogerman says:

    Photography workshops: if you’re doing any of these in 2015, please would you email me? I’ve long looked for an excuse to visit Ireland and could do with some advice on photography, as I’m not very good.

    • suzanna says:

      Great I will do so. Keep a look out on this web site as I will write about when the next ones will be.

  108. Louise says:

    Hi, Where in Ireland are you? Do you allow visitors? Thank you

  109. Jessica Bowers says:

    Can Americans buy your calendar with american dollars some how?

  110. Caroline says:

    Hi!
    I really love your website! Especially your twitter feeds.
    Please let me know if you are selling next year’s calendar. I would be very interested!
    Caroline

    • suzanna says:

      You’re very kind. the new 2017 calendar has not yet been printed. I am only now starting to collect up the images that we will use in it.

  111. Tuesday says:

    TYVM you’ve solved all my prebmols

  112. Cat says:

    Hi. This is volcat from Twitter. I’m a copy editor at a newspaper and where I work, you would have gotten the photo credit and you would have definitely been mentioned in the article. It’s actually the reporter’s responsibility to make sure your name is in the story (and spelled correctly), but a good copy editor would have asked who owned the farm. As for the photo credit, the photo editor or reporter may not have told anyone you took the photo. That’s not something a copy editor would question, unless there was no credit at all.

    • suzanna says:

      Thank you so much for your response. As I don’t working the that industry I really didn’t know who was at fault. Thank you very much for that instructive information and how it should have worked.

  113. Marion says:

    If they had contacted you, you could’ve given them the correct spelling of the breed (it’s ‘zwart bles’, rhymes with ‘cart mess’, not ‘zwartble’ rhymes with ‘marble’) as well. Now they not only used one of you pictures without mentioning your name, but they also made themselves look foolish by not even knowing what they are talking about. As Mark Twain said it, “if you don’t read newspapers you’re uninformed. If you do read them you’re misinformed.”

  114. Marie says:

    What a lovely interesting post. I jumped to read it when I saw it on Irish Bloggers page as I love the stone wall at the back of our house and while fixing it back up one day I found a beautiful fossil too. It’s perfectly shiny almost marble like right in the middle of a rough stone. like a giant curled up snail. It sits on our mantlepiece now and everyone’s fascinated that it came out of our back wall:-)

  115. Thanks for those wonderful picture

  116. Raquel Bagatini says:

    Any recent news on Zwartbles in the US?

  117. Marilyn Salem says:

    Thank you for the info on how to tie a fleece. Our fairs(USA) require them to be tied with paper twine, but your info on sorting out parts to discard, and how to fold and roll the fleece is getting us ready to enter. Great pictures.

  118. Maria Hartrich says:

    Oh Suzanna – I have so enjoyed your Twitter posts; they are a calm in the regular storm that is much of our world these days. This morning via one of your Tweets I found your web site, and just read “Desiderata”. Thank you for sharing this, and for the lovely photos accompanying the poem. It clearly speaks to you, and the message speaks to me loudly this morning. I will continue to draw inspiration and laughter and peace from your Tweets. Thank you so very much.

    Maria Hartrich

    • suzanna says:

      Thank you so much Maria. I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying my twitter account postings.
      Fond regards Suzanna

  119. Liz says:

    how long do you leave it before putting the weaned lambs back with their mothers? i’ve been told 6 weeks – do you agree?

    • suzanna says:

      6 to 8 weeks I keep them separate making sure the ewes have completely dried off their milk production before allowing lambs back in with them.

  120. freda says:

    What happened to ewes if sponge not removed? String can fall off with sponge still inside?

  121. Elaine Lim says:

    I had no idea the blankets would tell a story!!

  122. Patricia acuña says:

    Hi, I’m installing a foot bath in my sheep farm and I can’t find for the life of me how often I should foodbath my sheep (once a week? Daily?) They do not suffer from foot rot but I’m hoping it could help with some lameness and general health.

    • suzanna says:

      If you don’t have foot rot that is fantastic. You only need to have them go through or stand in foot bath with zinc sulphate when they are lame with scald. Make sure they have a place to stand for the zinc sulphate to dry this is what knocks scald on the head. If you flock is going through a bad bout of scald if you foot bath them have then stand 5 minutes in bath so it soaks in.

  123. Judith Laycock says:

    This is such a beautiful poem and always been my “go to” read whenever I need some sort of comfort or prop. I am 70 next year so have been going to it for a long time! Thank you for adding the beautiful pictures to it, they are just perfect.

    X for Bodacious

    Judy

  124. Sale 8th August northern ireland could you send me a catalogue

    • suzanna says:

      So sorry I only just got to your request. I am assuming you got the information you needed by some other means.

  125. I usually do not leave a bunjch of comments, but I read some of the comments on zwartblesireland.com | A photo
    of me taken by Susan. I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it only me or do some of these remarks look like they are
    written by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional online
    sites, I would like to follow anything new you have to post.
    Could you post a list of all of alll your social networking
    pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page
    or twitter feed?

    • suzanna says:

      If you look at the socail media icons on our website you can see which feeds I am on. Facebook, Twitter and instagram are the main ones

  126. Diane (TPABayDreamer) says:

    Sobbing in grief along with you. My dearest sympathies Suzanna. Such a beautiful send off for such a special kitty & great helper to you. Rest In Peace Bodacious.

  127. Gloria Ross says:

    I cannot express how sad I am. There will never be another shepherd cat. Thank you for sharing the life of Bodacious with us and for sharing his death so we can mourn with you and celebrate his life. I cannot believe how much I will miss him….a cat I never met.

  128. Kathy Harris says:

    He will live forever in our hearts; we who have followed his journey for so long. Thank you for the beautiful story and tribute. Please find some solace in shared admiration for this magnificent cat.

  129. Nigel Rogers says:

    So sad for you what a beautifully written epitaph.

  130. Richard W. Jones says:

    Suzanna,

    I am truly sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us his life, and his final passing. His personality shone through your words.

  131. Carrie says:

    Dear Suzanna and all your family – human and animal and birds and trees on your farm – I am deeply sorry Bodacious has gone. This is possibly the most beautiful tribute and memorial I’ve ever read. Bodacious would love this and be honoured. He was a rare bold yet lovely cat and a brave wee shepherd. Sending loving thoughts to him at rest. And to everyone at your farm, my thoughts and heart remain with you over these days. Love from Canada.

  132. Naomi Wikane says:

    Thank you for all this posting that I and others could share this heartbreaking news. I’ve been a dog and cat person my whole 81 years and can feel what you have been through. Cats so often are beyond help before they let us know something is wrong. Been through it more than once. Bodacious was part of my life and am so saddened with his passing. But I have his book and his memories. Hugs……Naomi

  133. Irene McCloskey says:

    I am so so Sorry for your Loss of your Darling Furbaby Fly High the Gentle Baby ❤️

  134. I am so sorry for your loss, and feel it too (both in Bodacious’s passing and in the loss of my own dear Petra, something over three years ago).

    He had a good life, and the gentlest passing you could give him.

    I’m so glad to have ‘met’ him through Twitter and your book, and he lives in the memory of all who met him this way. Thank you for sharing his life, and yours, with us.

  135. Julie says:

    I am so sorry, he was just gorgeous and so loved. I felt like I knew him and I know how hard it is to lose a beloved animal. Sending lots of love. Julie

  136. Valerie Wadman says:

    Gloria, in her comment above, has said it well, for me and many others. Can not help but smile through the tears as I think of the Bodacious story.

  137. Irene Boogerman says:

    This feels like a personal loss to me, but it’s far fsr worse for you all. A cat in a million. Wishing you strength as you process this. Irene

  138. L. says:

    I read it knowing it would leave me sobbing. Our family recently had to say goodbye to a beloved cat, too. Losing a pet is one of the saddest things. May you always remember him as he was.

  139. Marcy Habetrot says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a magnificant cat.

  140. Sonya says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and companion Boadcious, a cat of inestimable character. I am in tears not only for Bodacious but for myself as my older cat Brontë has recently been through surgery & although recovering I can imagine how much I would miss my best friend, as you must miss yours xx

  141. Elizabeth says:

    I am much sadder than I have any right to be, as I live in Chicago and never met Bodacious. I have tears rolling down my face: largely because he is gone, but also because you’ve expressed the events and your feelings so beautifully. My heart breaks for you. I just love the burial arrangements you made for him: I cried a little harder when I saw his lovely and meaningful grave gifts. Bodacious and his adventures have provided hours of distraction and stress relief from my urban life, and shown me a way of life I didn’t know existed. I have enjoyed reading and rereading his book, and am so glad to have it. I am sure Ovenmitt and Inca will prove their worth as they carry on. I do hope you and Inca will continue to share your lives with us. Sending love and hugs.

  142. Jeannie Borsch says:

    You gave Bodacious the wonderful sendoff he so richly deserved. He passed in his sleep without pain, and then that unquenchable spirit of his visited his favorite places before he came to rest in that beautiful spot with the symbols of his life around him. I never met him, yet I’ve followed his exploits with interest and pleasure, and I’ve cried at your account of the end of his life. So many condolences to you-I know you will miss him terribly. Remember, though, how much joy he brought to so many and to you. He was a one-of-a-kind cat!

  143. Kate Hall says:

    My heart aches for you. I am so glad there is family Near to support you. You will miss him everywhere for a long time but he will be remembered more than any cat I have ever heard of by so many people. Take care Susanna. XXX Kate

  144. Charlotte says:

    Oh my oh my. It’s so terribly hard when they go, as they do, before us. What a beautiful sendoff. Condolences from afar …

  145. So sorry about your loss. We loved Bodacious.

    Edouard-ze-cat and Philippe

  146. Nancy says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know Bodacious in life, but in his passing he is very vivid to me. I’m sorry that your connection with him had to end while you are apart, but I believe that you had the chance to give him a decent death and you took it, to your credit.

  147. Sophy0075 says:

    Oh, how my heart goes out to you! Bodacious was so very special, but oh how it hurts, it hurts when our furry family cross the Rainbow Bridge. I pray your memories will give you some comfort at this most sad time.

  148. Laura Ferejohn says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. There is no bond like the bond between a cat and his or her human. There is no love like the love shared between a cat and his human. These things are unique because they are pure and unconditional. As time goes by, the grief and pain will fade, but never really leave, because he took a piece of your heart when he passed and left a piece of his heart with you.

  149. Deborah says:

    I weep. Lunching with your parents tomorrow.

    Deborah MURDOCK

  150. Sending hugs to you from California. Such a hard thing when these little souls leave us. I wish you peace and solace. I’m sure B. was quite pleased with his pick of human. ~ Jacqueline H.

  151. Helen Clayfield says:

    Discovering Bodacious and his wonderful family and farm has brought me so much joy. I mourn Bodacious as if he were my very own cat. Thank you Suzannna for sharing your beautiful, meaningful and very special spot in this world.

  152. Sam Hays says:

    I am so very sorry to hear this news, and so very sorry for your loss. I am heartbroken for you and with you, though I never had the pleasure of meeting Bodacious. Thank you for sharing Bodacious with all of us – may you find comfort in the knowledge that there are many of us who mourn with you and for you. Keeping you and the rest of your feline & canine family in my thoughts and close to my heart.

  153. Sam Hays says:

    I m heartbroken for you & with you… I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Bodacious with us – may you find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your mourning. Bodacious was an amazing soul, and he was blessed to have been loved, cared for, and attended to by you. Keeping you and your family – feline & canine included – in my thoughts and close to my heart.

  154. christine blackburn says:

    I’m so sorry. I’m sitting here holding my 2 girls. Just crying.

  155. Mandy says:

    A beautiful hommage for a beautiful animal. I cried my eyes out reading this. I’ve lost my cat to exactly the same thing……….rest in peace precious Bodacious❤❤❤😿😿

  156. So sorry to mhear of the loss of your cat Bodacious. Over 20 years ago, I too had a grey tiger striped cat with the same name. He was a gift from a friend & our nickname for him was Face since he had such a cute face. I would also call him “Mi perro, since he was very doglike. He could fetch rubber bands, rolled up tea bags with a little catnip in them , came when you called him, & meowed when you said “Hi Face ” to him. He was a mighty hunter & he once even chased a German Shepherd down the street which was hilarious to watch. When I found out he was terminally ill, I cried a lot , knowing we had to put him down, but HE was the one who would sit next to me in kitty bread loaf position to comfort me. Naturally losing him was just devastating, but I believe he’s on the other side of the rainbow bridge, & I look forward to seeing him & all the other cats I have loved in the past as well as all my loved ones that have gone on to another realm. I will never forget my mighty dog, as I know you won’t forget your feline friend either.

  157. Tara says:

    So sorry for your loss. I loved following your adventures together and it’s a very sad and sudden end for a most wonderful cat. I wish you blessings and comfort at this awful time.

  158. Maura says:

    I am crying here in my kitchen with my cats by me. So sorry to hear Bodacious passed . He gave me such pleasure and laughs every day . He was so special . Mind yourself. I love all the rest if the gang so surround yourself with them and their love. Maura xx

  159. Jo VanEvery says:

    A beautiful tribute to a wonderful cat. I also sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a bit of his life with us over the past years.

  160. Linda R says:

    What a beautiful send off for one very special moggie. We animal lovers all share your grief but what wonderful memories you have. He was one very lucky boy.

  161. Allie Kenney says:

    I am so saddened by this loss, and I was very moved by your tribute to him — particularly the line about “his pain muffled by quiet enjoyment of companionship.” I’ve no doubt the richness, warmth, and peace of his life on the farm sustained him at the end and gave him energy to continue on.

  162. Kathy Grant says:

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. I never met Bodacious, but I cried my eyes out. Heaven knows how you must have cried. He will live on in your wonderful stories.

  163. Joanie says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your adventures with Bodacious with us. A truly remarkable cat! His spirit will roam hill and meadow freely forever now.

  164. Patricia says:

    So sad news Brought tears to my eyes He ll never be forgotten but it’s an incredible sad time I know on my own experience

  165. This must be heartbreaking for all of you. Bodacious was one amazing cat, who gave laughter and joy to everyone who knew him around the world. I’m so glad I got to know him online and through his book. RIP wondeful Bodacious.

    My condolences to all of you. Much love xx

  166. Anita says:

    Thank you for sharing his life and death. Bodacious always reminded me of my cat Tootsie who died several years ago. You never forget them they are with you always. You gave a beautiful tribute to him. It will never be the same bug the others will keep you going especially Inca. Look after yourself. Xxx

  167. Sue says:

    Bodacious – Beloved friend and companion. We give our hearts to our animals and our hearts break when they leave us. What happiness and companionship you had – a life of joy and pleasure for a very special cat, whose character has enriched many of your followers. ‘Tis a huge gap in your life. Be comforted by the memories. With love.

  168. Sue Meehan says:

    This the most beautiful and dignified tribute to a truly remarkable feline. Gone, but never forgotten. God bless him that he came into your life.

  169. Mari Hallen says:

    Suzanna, I send my deepest condolences to you and all your beautiful wonderful peaceable kingdom as you mourn the death of your most beloved cat shepherd Bodacious. I woke to the news this morning, for a moment not believing the words I had just read. Bodacious was so very special, unusual, bold and proud of his kingdom and his role. He will be missed beyond words. This was the most amazing tribute I have ever read, and I thank you for sharing his life and news of his passing with us. We all have lost a precious friend, and you will be in our hearts and prayers in the days ahead.
    Rest in peace, Bodacious.

  170. Kim says:

    I will miss this boy! Reading the news early this morning in bed with my own boy purring against me as I cry. You honored him well. I’ll spend some extra time outside with my Oscar today in his memory.💙

  171. Francis says:

    I’m so sad to hear about the passing of Bodacious. I loved following your slices of life on Twitter and thank you for sharing his adventures with us to the very end. You gave him the best possible life a cat could have and I could think of no better or more moving sendoff. It is never easy to lose a friend like this, two legged or four. Sunny days to you and yours.

  172. Jo Rodgers says:

    I am so sorry for your loss – in my time I have parted ways with two dogs and six cats and every single time it is a wrenching loss.

    All we can do is love them for the time they grace us with their presence.

    Bodacious obviously had a wonderful life with you and his furry companions and flock and there a a lot of us who loved hearing about his adventures.

    You gave him a wonderful send off and did the best possible thing you could have for him.

  173. Janet Bray says:

    A truly beautiful tribute to Bodacious. My heart cries for you xxx

  174. Ann McCann says:

    I couldn’t read to the end as I am heartbroken for you, I shall try again later. Love to you and all your fur family.

  175. Deirdre Cronin says:

    Your heart cat…I had a special one too…where I was he was, Mr Moodles..thought I’d die of grief, I still feel him jumping onto my bed at night & snuggling up…I hope they,re both together, no words will ease the grief, but in time this beautiful Tribute will bring you comfort….so lovely, thinking of you at this heartbreaking time xxxx

  176. M.Blake says:

    Dear Suzanna,
    My heart breaks for you. The most difficult thing we face in life is grief. Your words, your tribute to your loyal friend and the beautiful memorial only deepen my understanding of your incredible bond you share(intentional:it will always remain in the present tense) with Bodacious. May God grant you strength at this time.Thank you for sharing this special being with us. Love to you and all the members of your peaceable kingdom.

  177. Sarah says:

    My heart breaks with you. The beauty Bodacious brought me through your eyes and his, is a highlight to the day. Much love to you. Hugs

  178. Janice in GA says:

    I am so, so sorry for your lost. Rest peacefully, Bodacious, you very good cat.

  179. Janice in GA says:

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. Rest peacefully, Bodacious, you very good cat.

  180. Michele Olson says:

    So sorry for your loss

  181. Edith says:

    I never knew Bodacious before today. Just happened to be on Twitter and followed the link. I, too, am weeping, sitting here at my desk in the office. A beautiful love story, and a beautiful family of fauna.

  182. Elaine says:

    It’s hard to imagine the world without Bodacious.

  183. Gary says:

    So sad thinking of you

  184. Linda LaBar says:

    I send my deepest sympathies. Please know that your loss of Bodacious is felt across the world. We grieve with you. Much love and hugs from Virginia.

  185. Roland Bol says:

    Oh Dear Bodacious how much you will be missed. Thank you so very much for sharing your life on the farm with us all these years. I was always happy to see when you had posted a message, or one of your beautiful pictures, giving me a glimpse into your wonderful farm life; an inspiration from a life well worth living. Thank you Susanna for taking us along with his last days here, for his kind and thoughtful grave gifts, and his beautiful resting place. I can only imagine how much you feel the loss ( I cry when I see the pictures above and think of him having left this world, and I’ve never met him). Greetings and Love, Roland Bol (shepherd cat twitter follower of several years)

  186. Julie Jackson says:

    I am so, so sorry. My heart is breaking for you. Take care. Sent from California with love.

  187. Laraine GRANT says:

    A beautiful obituary for a truly special puss. He was a gift from heaven, and that makes parting with him all the more difficult. It was fate that you would both come together in Kilkenny that day. Take comfort from the fact tbat you were his his special person whose company he chose above everyone else even through the worst of the weather! He is now forever in good weather & reunited with Oscar. A big hug to you now & for the days ahead xxx

  188. Thomas Pluck says:

    Goodbye, sweet kitty. He was one of a kind.

  189. Judith Kerr says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear you have lost such a splendid and magnificent companion. I’ve loved seeing his life of work and pleasure unfold and I’ll miss his beautiful face. My deepest sympathy is with you and your extended amazing family. Your tribute to him was very moving – he was unique. I’m certain he will rest well indeed.

  190. Gail says:

    Such a loss. God speed Bodacious.

    “When our body is no longer able to perform its functions in the natural world but is separated from our spirit, which is called dying, we still continue to be ourselves and to live. We ourselves live, because we live not from the body but from the spirit, since it is the spirit which thinks and loves in us, and thought with affection makes us what we are.

    Remember, friends, that everyone is born for heaven; and that they are received into heaven who receive heaven in themselves while in this world.”

    – Emanuel Swedenborg

  191. Gail says:

    Such a loss. God speed Bodacious.

    “When our body is no longer able to perform its functions in the natural world but is separated from our spirit, which is called dying, we still continue to be ourselves and to live. We ourselves live, because we live not from the body but from the spirit, since it is the spirit which thinks and loves in us, and thought with affection makes us what we are.

    Remember, friends, that everyone is born for heaven; and that they are received into heaven who receive heaven in themselves while in this world.”

    – Emanuel Swedenborg

  192. Mike says:

    Tanks for the help

  193. Caroline Parkinson says:

    So glad to have known him; so terribly sad about his passing. Thank goodness for Ovenmitt and the rest of your menagerie who will keep you company, but there was only one Bodacious.

  194. Francesca says:

    We are strangers, but I follow you on Twitter (which I only view infrequently). I have only just seen this news of Bodacious, and just wanted to offer you my absolutely heartfelt condolences and (respectfully), on behalf of Bodacious, what I feel sure would be heartfelt gratitude for the honour of such a beautiful farewell. What a wonderful Being he was. He lives on in people’s Hearts. Namaste 🤗

  195. mcintoshsh says:

    These two combined, truly , hit my heart and my soul. I would love to be able to purchase a copy . The words and photos are Spectacular together! Thank you for sharing your, life, words and photos with us.

  196. Elizabeth Butler says:

    I’m crying from the beautiful tribute you’ve given to this amazing cat. I feel your pain, as I mourn my lost friends as well, and have lost several recently. May you get comfort knowing that this fantastic cat was so happy in his life with you, and free in a way most cats do not get to have. You inspire me with your posts. Please keep doing it!

  197. Christine says:

    Such a beautiful and unique cat, Bodacious was. Thank you for letting those of us who are so far away share in knowing him online, and seeing the beauty of your surroundings and your lovely farewell tributes for Bodacious. I will certainly remember & think of you all. <3

  198. Caroline says:

    Dear Suzanna,
    I read this some days ago but wasn’t capable of commenting as this saddened me so much. It’s such a beautiful tribute. I’m so sad this beautiful cat had to go, but happy he had such an amazing life thanks to you. If this is hard for me, a stranger, I can not imagine how heartbreaking it must be for you. I wish you strength and light. Thank you for introducing us to this extraordinary cat. Blessings from Switzerland.

  199. Harriet says:

    Have only just learnt of this. I am weeping as I read your beautiful tribute to your fine, majestic Bodacious. He must be missed by you all so much. Love and thoughts from Bere Island.

  200. Anne Hodge says:

    Only found out the sad news yesterday. Dear Bodacious, your book is by my bed. I did want to meet you but I will have to make do with your book and watching the videos. Maybe I will meet you in another life. RIP xxxxx

  201. Ry says:

    God bless all creatures great and small.

  202. Domini says:

    I am so sorry to read this news. We all loved following along with his adventures. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. He will live on through the book and in our hearts. He was some cat.

  203. zakoog717 says:

    Just finished your book. RIP Bodacious, We love you ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  204. Margaret Dowling says:

    My daughter Rebecca has finished reading ‘Bodacious’ Rebecca tells me we can visit Suzanna’s farm. I am wondering how I can arrange this.
    Thanking you in advance,

    Margaret Dowling

  205. Wendy Lorimer says:

    Good to see behind the scenes, great post , very informative … thank you

  206. Milly says:

    I have just learnt of this. I am feeling devastated of the loss of Bodacious. I always felt a kind of closeness to him. I just can’t imagine how heartbreaking it must be for you. Bodacious was truly one-of-a-kind and will sorely missed and never forgotten. Thank you so much for sharing his adventures with me. Its brought me so many smiles when I have been depressed. Sent with warm regards and love, from the East Village, NYC, USA.

  207. Joni says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Bodacious had an amazing life. He brought joy to so many people all over the world and he had a life filled with joy. So many animals live and die in the world never knowing love or comfort, and they fight to survive every day and die alone in pain. Bodacious instead had a life filled with light and love and comfort and purpose and when he died he did so without pain and with dignity and peace. He is so lucky to have been so loved, and to be so mourned. You gave him the best of everything and he blessed us all with his presence.

  208. Mary says:

    I’m so sorry Suzanna, I just read your loving tribute to Bodacious. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful stories.
    Love to you and all your lovely animals.

  209. Maddison says:

    Hi,
    I’m currently reading ‘Bodacious the Shepard Cat’ and am loving it. That’s what has brought me to this website. I would like to enquire about the postage fee to New Zealand, that’s if the 2020 calendar is out.
    P.S
    It is truly saddening to hear about the passing of Bodacious

  210. Diane Dodson says:

    I just finished reading Bodacious The Shepherd Cat and decided to go online and see what else I could find out about Bodacious and you. A lovely book/story you have written via Bodacious. I am heart broken he had passed this past February. Heartbroken for him and especially for you, Suzanna Crampton. I am so sorry for the loss. RIP Bodacious and be well Suzanna.