This rather colourful batch of Wicklow Cheviot ewes and lambs near the Giant’s Causeway belong to local Moyle councillor Sandra Hunter - who is looking rather colourful herself at the moment!
Sandra is a suckler, beef and sheep farmer, who is well known throughout the farming circles for producing good stock.
Sandra, who is no stranger in preparing sheep with dye when it comes to the ‘ewe lamb’ sales in the summer months, has facilitated this deviation from her normal colour, the reason being the promotion of the Giro d’Italia along the Causeway Coastal Route.
Sandra commented: “The reason behind the pink dye is the race leader after each stage of the race is the wearer of the pink jersey, with the wearer of the pink jersey at the final stage considered the winner of the pink jersey, thereby the winner of the Giro d’Italia.
“Pink dyeing sheep is just not the norm in these parts and I’m not sure if the buyers of my lambs would appreciate purchasing them dyed pink, one things for sure it would definitely make them stand out in the market saleyards!
“On another note it maybe could be something that will catch on here, because you can spot them a fair distance away and makes keeping an eye on what they are doing a lot easier it also saves the ‘ole legs’ having to walk the full distance to see them. This may well be an initiative that is time saving!
“I think it could also work well as a deterrent for thefts of sheep. In recent months there has been a lot of stealing of sheep, it could be an aid in areas which are prone to thefts and act as an extra security, it would not be easy to sell on a very brightly wool coloured sheep.
“Fleeces do come off, but freshly sheared sheep are not often sold straight away, for they do not look the part until they gain a number of month’s regrowth. Have to also say there could be a wee job for a drug rep out there to make dye for colouring different colours as it one of the hardest things to do in this process was find dye to suit the job.”
Sandra finished by saying, “It’s a bit of harmless fun for the Giro, it does brighten things up, the dye is totally animal friendly and will wash out with the rain, all traces of it will be cleaned off when their fleeces are removed at shearing time in the next month.”