I SEE that the world’s ‘cutest sheep’ are in the mainstream news again – Valais Blacknose lambs are, apparently, worth £10k apiece, according to the Daily Mail.

Now, far be it for The Raider to burst anybody’s bubble, but £10k seems to be stretching it a bit far. The story said they were worth up to £10,000, or 40 times the value of a ‘normal’ sheep – so I guess most sheep farmers would be happy to get £250 for commercial sheep.

However, they are supposed to be in demand as a pet for many new fans, but just how many of them will survive in a high-rise flat setting, is anybody’s guess!

Pet bonkers

Couldn’t help notice this week that the world is going increasingly bonkers. The animal rights group, PETA, said that is is derogatory to call your pet a ‘pet’ – Valais Blacknose or otherwise.

It makes them sound like a commodity or a decoration, said its chief – you are supposed to call them a ‘companion’.

I suppose calling my collie a ‘daft dug’ is akin to some kind of mental cruelty then? However, most of the dogs I know are perfectly happy if they are fed and watered properly, with a warm bed of some kind at night. That certainly reduces the need for ‘counselling’.

Polka dot foal

KEEPING THE animal theme going along, I noticed this week that a zebra foal has been born spotted, instead of being striped.

The rare polka dot foal – we desist from calling it a ‘baby’ – was seen in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya. Experts said it probably has melanism, which is basically the opposite of albinism and that this will mean that it may not survive because it will absorb too much heat from the sun.

Can’t help wondering, though, if there’s an appaloosa somewhere in the region? What do you call a horse crossed with a zebra anyway?

Apparently, a zorse is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a horse mare, but it can also be called a zebrula, zebrule, or zebra mule. They are sterile just like the cross with a donkey – a zonkey!

Beef on the menu

THE BURNS’ supper circuit rattles on and The Raider has taken it upon himself to avail many different kinds of fare in many different parts of the country.

However, I have to say that members of the Scottish Guild of Agricultural Journalists were treated to absolutely superb fare at its recent ‘supper’ at Ballathie House Hotel, on the banks of the Tay.

QMS supplied the haggis and ABP produced the beef – and both were amongst the best fare tasted this year.

Allied to that, a pretty gargantuan and terrifically tasty roast of certified Galloway beef enjoyed last week in The Raider’s abode and we can definitely say that Veganuary did not play much of a role – though the tatties and neeps were good!