Why are sheep color coded on Fan Brycheiniog?

If interested in why then read on/view on at Why are sheep color coded on Fan Brycheiniog? – Paul Gacek



i may be some sort of Fly Strike repellent as sheep do get fly blown and the reason the colour is spread a bit may be from rubbing against one and other in the sheep yard or flock while the applied substance is still wet.
Just a guess tho.
Ian CZ e e

There are several possible reasons. These mountain pastures are often free range and the sheep belonging to several farmers are mixed together so the colours can distinguish which sheep belongs to who. Then again it could be that it is “tupping time”, the rams have a dye block fixed to their chest so that they mark the ewes that they cover and the ewes are then marked with a code to indicate when lambing is expected.


Because Welsh farmers gather their sheep with a helicopter they can then see the flock they need to focus on :wink: Thanks for the report Paul. 73 Allan GW4VPX

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I had read that there was some sort of link to the SAS.


If it helps, the dye that the rams leave on the ewes is called raddle. I suspect there may be other regional variations.


Is this still done or just confined to the pages of Thomas Hardy novels?

If you see a number (1, 2 maybe 3?) it refers to the number of lambs expected. As the rams don’t know the result of their work, I believe this is done with the aid of a mobile ultrasound machine.

Sheep theft is a big issue, with meat going into the black market bypassing all the consumer protection apparatus and posing a threat to public health as well as the farmers’ banks balances. These day-glow colours seem to me a recent phenomenon. And I would have thought that a rustler operating at twilight or with a torch would welcome the extra contrast. Presumably this stuff doesn’t wash off so the wool will be worth even less than it is anyway, and just good for insulation material.

(Occasional viewer of BBC Countryfile for the WX forecast)

Anyway, another great report Paul - thanks.

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Identifying individual sheep is important for health and welfare of the mob (flock to you) and this is aided by compiling lots of data on a computer system. Stockmen now carry tablets and upload their data nightly. In Australia the sun fades colors quickly so an alternate method is used - just black dye applied in careful stripes. We call it a Baa Code.




That Ram must be a learner leaving a Raddle mark that way across the back.
Ian CZ e e