Jill has become our shepherding guru
Having tried our hand at looking after some generic “farm sheep” that we adopted from a local farmer, we decided to try a rare breed. After some investigation decided that the Dorset Downs were the ladies for us. With their striking good looks, placid and friendly temperament, and great parenting skills, they were our perfect choice. So we set about looking for a breeder to help us.
At the Berkshire Country Show in Newbury we met up with John and Jill Swain who were mid getting a few rosette’s at the time. What a lovely couple! From the very first moment we met they couldn’t have been any more helpful. Since our first meeting Jill has held our hand and led us gently into the world of the Dorset Down and through our first lambing season. Always there with helpful hints, advice and tips. She has become our Shepherding guru. With the help of Jill and John we came through unscathed and more importantly so did our sheep.
So if you’re wondering about which sheep, I wholeheartedly recommend the Dorset Downs, and should you decide to go that route, I can definitely say that there’s nobody better than Jill and John to support you!
Good luck and happy shepherding!
Friendly, encouraging and knowledgeable
We bought our first ever sheep from Jill in April 2010. We found Jill approachable, friendly, encouraging and knowledgeable. The sheep are of excellent quality and have enabled us to successfully show them and win top prizes in a variety of agricultural shows. The sheep are also well handled and friendly, an important aspect for us as we have young children. When it came to adding further stock to our flock, we did not hesitate to return to Jill.
Fine young man!
Just thought I would share this picture of Harry’s son [bred from stock purchased from my flock]. Fine young man!
[Harry was the model for this beautiful original Dorset Down sheep brooch designed by Gail Beverley Rosethorne. Available from Folksy only.]
Could not have been more helpful and accommodating
We already have a very small flock of Dorset Down sheep and wanted to add to it so we contacted Jill when we learnt she had a ram for sale. Jill could not have been more helpful and accommodating. We went to see the ram lambs on offer and fell in love with the quality and welfare aspect of Jills flock and ended up buying 5 sheep which on their own would have been a fabulous starter flock. The ones we purchased will add substantially to our own flock but more importantly, will raise the quality of our flock going forward. We can’t thank Jill (and John) enough for their hospitality as well as Jill being forthright, honest and giving us guidance on sheep handling. All the sheep have settled in extremely well and all are friendly and enjoy being made a fuss of which is what we require with small grandchildren and also for showing.
Her sheep are healthy and very friendly
I met Jill at Newbury show where she was showing her Dorset Downs. Jill has great success with her sheep and she has bred some champions. Her sheep are healthy and very friendly. We have sheep and I enquired if she had some for sale. She sold me a ewe and lamb ewe and brought them to us in Oxfordshire. It turned out that the ewe was in lamb and she had twins.
This was my first lambing and Jill was very helpful and supportive and gave lots of advice and told me what to expect, I also read up as much as I could on the subject. I was able to deliver both lambs successfully and it was an amazing experience.
She loves her sheep and her sheep love her
When I chanced upon Jill I knew very little about Dorset Downs but her enthusiasm and passion for the breed won me over. Her stock were beautifully turned out and clearly well cared for. She loves her sheep and her sheep love her. I came away with a ewe and twin lambs but I’ll be back for more! She’s also been happy to give advice since.
I am very pleased
I just wanted to share with you the results of the scanning of the ewes tupped with your boys: 70 ewes, 44 twins, 9 triplets, 15 single, 2 barren. This is about a 10% on last year. I am very pleased. The boys are still doing well and eating well. They don’t mind the wet weather we are having.
I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else
My 4-year-old daughter was looking for a lamb she could show after visiting the North Somerset Show and becoming interested. We came across Jill and the love for her sheep was clearly visible. We were very excited to give 2 ewe lambs a home last year and they settled in very well with our other orphan lambs. The sheep are perfect for children, docile and friendly, although my daughters desire to show them has dwindled I hope we will get to a show this year.
Jill is always on hand with help and advice and I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else.
Their sheep come highly recommended
We have just a few sheep now and we needed a ram for our sheep, and a companion for my 26-year-old horse Mr Softy, so we thought we would get a Dorset Down as they are good looking rare breeds with a good temperament that lamb easily, we decided to look on the computer and found Horace, one of John and Jill Swain young rams when we visited the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show. The next day Horace was there with John and Jill, such a lovely knowledgeable couple. We fell in love with Horace at first sight!
Horace arrived home that evening and settled in quickly, He had been well handled by John and Jill and was quiet and easy to lead, and on meeting Mr Softy they have become the best of friends. We have found John and Jill very helpful and have now acquired another sheep, Emily from them, she is beautiful and again well handled and very friendly. Young Horace is now running with the ewes and has marked nearly all of them within a week.
If you are looking for Dorset Down Sheep we recommend John and Jill Swain, their Dorset Down flock are a credit to them they are very successful in the show ring. We would not hesitate to buy more sheep from John and Jill Swain: their sheep come highly recommended from us.
Best of luck and keep on sheep farming please!