A SHEEP farmer from Nuffield is to feature in a new daily TV series about rehoming pets.
Auf Wiedersehen, My Pet follows the fortunes of animals whose owners have to give them up for genuine reasons and have to choose one of three potential new owners, all desperate to offer them a home.
Tracy Betteridge, 42, will appear in Monday’s episode on ITV1, which tells the story of twin pygmy goats Billy and Tilly.
She became involved after a friend spotted a notice on Twitter saying the goats needed a new home.
Miss Betteridge, of Bradley Road, said: “I already have six pygmy goats, which I use to help train sheepdog puppies, so they thought I might offer a good home.
“I thought that as I already had six, two more wouldn’t make a difference.
“Pygmy goats are more amenable than sheep so they are perfect for building a young dog’s confidence.”
She rang the telephone number in the notice and was welcomed by Shine TV, who make the programme.
In November, a camera crew came to film her with her goats and border collies Skye and Dusk as well as the area where she keeps her animals.
She then went to Woolwich in east London to meet Billy and Tilly’s owner.
Miss Betteridge said she couldn’t reveal whether she was chosen to be goats’ new owner as it would spoil the programme but in next Friday’s show viewers will be able to see the animals in their new abode.
Miss Betteridge said: “It was definitely one of the strangest things I have done in my life. It was a little bit surreal but also quite interesting.
“It was a positive experience and I’m hoping that there may be something more to come from it.”
She admitted to being apprehensive at the prospect of seeing herself on screen, adding: “I have never been on telly before.” Miss Betteridge’s father Ivor, who died last week at the age of 77, was a sheep farmer and the family had 500 sheep and around 500 acres of arable land in the Cotswolds.
She said: “If it wasn’t for my dad I wouldn’t know how to do half the things that I do. My family are the reason that I do what I do. They got me into it as a very small child and I’ve never grown out of it.”
Miss Betteridge said she was always surrounded by animals as a child and was given a piglet by her uncle on her eighth birthday.
“I was always inspired to have pretty much any animal I wanted as long as I could look after it,” she said.
On the show she was able to promote her eight rare breeds of sheep, whose meat she sells through her company, Chiltern Lamb.
“The sheep have a basic grass diet,” she said. “They mature slowly and I use my dogs to work them.”
She also has 120 breeding ewes, five rams and 80 lambs. Her main breeding flock is kept in Danesfield, in the Hambleden Valley and at Fawley.
She sells her produce at farmers’ markets in the area and Ladds Garden Village at Hare Hatch.
She will be selling her produce as part of a Love Henley display at the Henley and Wargrave Boat Show on April 12 and 13 at Val Wyatt Marine in Wargrave.
• Auf Wiedersehen My Pet is shown daily on ITV1 at 2pm.