Züllighoven A Züllighoven farmer is happy about a total of 18 lambs that were born over Easter. There is even a true rarity among them.
Fittingly for Easter, lamb offspring have arrived on the farm of Züllighoven organic farmer Dorothee Hochgürtel, and plenty of them: more precisely, 18 lambs of the gray-horned Heidschnucke. What's unusual about this is not only that there were many twin births: among the newborns is also a white animal, which Hochgürtel says is rare: "Normally, only black lambs are ever born in this breed." As part of a breeding conservation program, Dorothee Hochgürtel has kept Heidschnucken for about 30 years, currently a total of 29 dams.
The Heidschnucken is an old landscape breed that is described as highly frugal, and is considered the heraldic animal of the Lüneburg Heath, for example. In 1998, the Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Breeds of Domestic Animals (GEH) declared the white horned Heidschnucke to be the "Endangered Livestock Breed of the Year" along with the Old German Shepherd Dog.
Farmer Hochgürtel also appreciates this breed of sheep because of its frugality and comparatively simple husbandry. In addition, there is another aspect that is important to her: Since Dorothee Hochgürtel relies on fruit cultivation, and especially on old varieties of scattered fruit, a lot of fallen fruit accumulates regularly. "The Heidschnucken love to eat it," she explains. In this way, the animals also help to maintain the meadows. Hochgürtel's grassland farm has been working according to the Bioland guidelines since 2001, and a total of over a hundred old apple varieties grow in her meadows, which are pressed into fruit juices after harvesting in her own production, for example. On Thursday, 29 April, at 16 o'clock Hochgürtel offers an information visit to their yard for those interested, on the occasion of the VHS program "agriculture and nutrition", participation fee eight Euro. Written registration for the visit is requested, written cancellation is possible until April 22.
(Original text: Axel Vogel / Translation: Mareike Graepel)