If you visit an agricultural show, a shepherds meet or a stock auction you’ll rarely hear the word Sheep. Farmers have a wide terminology and vocabulary describing not just the gender, but age and purpose of the sheep.
Cull Yow – An old female yaw (ewe) that is too old for breeding.
Gimmer – Female sheep
Lamb – A sheep under 12 months of age.
Mule – A cross breed sheep. The most common mule is a Northern Mule. It’s a cross between a Bluefaced Leicester Tup and a Swaledale yow.
Pet Lamb – Also known as a bottling lamb. These are orphaned lambs that are raised by bottle feeding and often come out quite small because of it. Around lambing season you can find many a lamb in a farmers house being bottle fed.
Shearling – Also known as a Hogg. A lamb/young sheep that has finished weaning but has yet to have its first shearing. Generally 9 to 18 months, yet to cut its first two teeth.
Store – A weaned lamb that is often sold off for fattening.
Tup – Northern/Scottish for Ram. Male sheep used for breeding.
Wether – A castrated male sheep.
Yow – Cumbrian/Northern/Scottish for Ewe. A female sheep, which has given birth.