Meet the sheep that look nothing like their mums because of the very unusual way they were created.
Cannon Hall Farm between Huddersfield and Barnsley is hoping to start its very own flock of rare breed sheep ... and they sure are odd-looking.
The farm has acquired four Valais Blacknose Lambs (and their mums) and hope to eventually have their own flock of the distinctive sheep which have long fleece and black faces.
The Valais Blacknose sheep have been in jeopardy several times in the last 50 years and the farm is keen to ensure they are preserved.
Director Robert Nicholson said: “It’s a fascinating story because the lambs don’t look anything like their mums. We’ve explained to all our visitors this is because the lambs have been embryo transplanted into the recipient ewes, which become their mother.
“We have got another pregnant ewe who has been embryo transplanted with triplets and she’s due in March. This is to attempt to ensure the survival of this magnificent breed so we’re keeping everything crossed for a good outcome.
“These sheep are incredibly rare - their stocks were pretty much decimated during the war years and farmers have been working ever since to try to replenish the stocks. We’re really proud to have something so unusual at Cannon Hall Farm and we really hope our visitors enjoy seeing them and hearing all about them.”
The farm has been run by the Nicholson family as a tourist attraction since 1989 and it is continually reinvesting in the site to make it more appealing to visitors.
After installing a £1.5m soft play area in 2015 and completing a £1m restaurant refurbishment in 2016 the farm has just opened a brand new reptile house which has everything from hissing cockroaches to Asian Water Monitors and is awaiting approval of a zoo license to get some more exotic animals in the reptile house.
Robert added: “I think as a family we’ve always appreciated the fact that people come to visit us and so we always try our very best to make sure people have a wonderful time and learn something while they are here. As a farmer, the most rewarding crop that I can cultivate is all about farming family memories.”
The farm has a very popular Facebook page and broadcasts live regularly to audiences of up to half a million people – and is now preparing for its popular lambing festival which runs between February 10 and 25.
Robert added: “The Valais Blacknose lambs will be on view in our roundhouse for visitors to see and we will be doing live broadcasts every morning to keep everyone up to date with all the new arrivals. We’ve got hundreds of sheep due to give birth in the space of a few weeks so there will be plenty to see.”
Cannon Hall Farm is on Bark House Lane in Cawthorne, Barnsley. The lambing festival runs between February 10 and 25. Entrance to the lambing festival will be £7.95 per person, and tickets are available on the gate.