The fleece is fairly short – between one to one and a half inches. current generation of animals will be transmitted to the next generation and the If you put the ram to the ewe on Bonfire night (5/11) lambing will be on April Fools Day … Movement forms should be obtained from your Animal Health Officer, usually based within the Trading Standards Dept. e.g. Sometimes, and this is more usually seen in sheep that have not bred that year, it is thought to be hormonal, they do not loose their fleece. For buyers, the key element of our grow for an additional year. If not, problems with eating will occur in later life. incorporate them in the next year's orders. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. Lambing would usually take place in April/May (Soay), March/April (Boreray), although my earliest lamb arrived on 23rd February. ‘Sheep Ailments’ by Eddie Straiton (about £19) covers all aspects of health and its pictorial presentation makes it easy to understand. I would like to buy some sheep, but am unclear about the regulations surrounding the keeping of sheep, please explain. I have heard no reports from other breeders of losing a ewe due to lambing problems. Soay Sheep is a breed of primitive sheep originated on the Island of Soay, off the coast of Scotland. Stock fencing, taut at the bottom to stop them going underneath, with a strand of wire over the top of the fencing is recommended. The keeper/owner is responsible for keeping a record of all movements on and off the holding. the sheep can be enclosed without fuss. Soay sheep originate from the 250 acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda archipelago one hundred and ten miles west of Scotland. Soay & Boreray are not hard to keep into an area, as long as the fencing is of a good type. I have been told that Soay & Boreray are hard to keep in, what type of fencing will be needed? If sheep arrive on a Sunday, the next movement can take place the Sunday after. We currently have several 2020 Soay ewe and ram lambs available as well as one or two older ewes. viability of this special variety of ancient sheep. With females for breeding, check their udder. If you are unfamiliar with Soay or Boreray sheep, the best approach is to visit a number of breeders to look at their stock to get familiar with the breed and ask lots of questions. Once we have used a ram for breeding, he is usually for sale. The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250-acre (100 ha) island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the Western Isles of Scotland. From a distance, these heritage sheep are aloof, wary, and graceful, resembling small antelope or … Viking Sheep. We have comfortably raised up to 30 sheep on approximately 1.5 acres. important it can be for buyers of Soay sheep. Soay sheep are a very ancient and rare breed having originated at least since the Iron and Bronze Ages. Both sexes usually have horns, but we do have the polled gene in some of our flock which sometimes produces polled ewes. method is that we do not breed our little girls their first fall, but rather allow them to This would very much depend on the quality of your land. We especially welcome these multi-year genetically diverse crop of adult British Soay sheep in the U.S. and Canada and we breed In older animals check that the udder is soft – hardness could indicate mastitis and the loss of a teat and therefore the inability to rear lambs with ease. The Soay sheep is a primitive breed of domestic sheep descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250-acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the Western Isles of Scotland. Soay sheep are fine-boned and late maturing, with prominent withers. The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Scotland. elsewhere that they are starting, or enhancing, their flock in a healthy and genetically responsible Because these yearlings always have different If there is a low stocking density on land that has not had sheep on for a while then the sheep should not have a large worm burden. carefully to be certain we can provide buyers with lambs of equally rich genetic In the case of pigs, it is 20 days. As they are small sheep, with an inquisitive nature, they will find small gaps. The mystery of Hirta's shrinking Soay sheep has finally been solved Climate change is causing a breed of wild sheep in Scotland to shrink, according to research. ‘Starting with Sheep’ by Mary Castell (about £8) gives clear guidance on setting up and managing a new flock. They are a small breed perfect for small acreage areas. This book, printed in 1974 is now out of print, it is quite hard to find a copy, and therefore they command a high price when available. Since 1932 t hey have also live d … First, we have enough ewes and rams to set up multiple breeding groups each Soays are among the most primitive of the northern European short tailed sheep, a group that includes the Shetlands and Icelandics. Feed: Soay sheep eat grass and broad leaf weeds. The Soay sheep pedigree is a starting point for studies of the mating system and variation in breeding success, the genetic basis of trait variation and understanding microevolution in the population. The tail is short and thin. dispersal of British Soay sheep throughout North America, assuring the continued If you are high up, on less favourable land then the numbers would be lower. It may be possible to obtain one free of charge from the Trading Standards department of your local authority, if not they are readily available on the internet. There are no books yet for the management of Soay or Boreray sheep specifically. ‘Island Survivors – the Ecology of the Soay Sheep of St Kilda’ by Peter Jewell is the bible for Soay keepers. sales because they have the added benefit of ensuring that the new breeder ends up with each seek to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, all the genes carried by the Therefore, the majority of British sheep breeds become sexually active from October through to December. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. A small circle of Soay friends have just unveiled a new web site, www.friends of This new site combines a half dozen, like minded friends who are trying to promote the best of the registered (purebred) British Soay Sheep. St Kilda sheep. fathers than the current crop of ewe lambs with whom they will be teamed up, the resulting They're one of the oldest She known breed of sheep in the world, and one of the smallest. 1. twins are sent to the same new home) or a father (i.e., no half siblings). If frightened, Soay & Boreray are capable of jumping high fences, so all handling must be calm, steady and never rushed. For hundreds of years St.Kildans rowed from Hirta to Soay in the summer to collect fleece from the shedding native sheep that lived there. If you are in a cold area you may want to put off lambing until good weather can be expected, and withdraw your ram from the ewes until 147 days before the earliest lambing date you want. Sheep Mating and Sexual Behavior showed when Ram mate Ewe along with sniff- hunting courtship and Ram -Effect. Name of these animals is derived from the island of Soay. If your land is low lying, good quality productive pasture you may find more sheep will thrive. Are they a good size for their age? During the summer, the short nights mean that sheep produce very little melatonin. It details the study carried out in the ‘60s on the island flock. Ewes tend to first lamb by the age of 12-18 months, and the rule of Soay, is the only tools you should need during lambing season is a pair of binoculars. When a sheep/goat/cow arrives on your holding NO animal, unless going for direct slaughter, must be moved until 6 days for England and Wales, 13 days for Scotland after the date on the last movement onto the holding. American Blackbelly. This reflects the history and preservation of this first domesticated sheep breed, dating back 5,000 years. It is true, under normal circumstances, Soay and Boreray sheep do not need shearing. After seven years of comprehensive testing and monitoring, as of July 28, 2014 our farm finally is "Export Certified" by the USDA and therefore classified as a "Negligible Risk Premises" by the Canadian authorities. Dominant males will locate females in oestrus and accompany them, chasing off other males who approach. Where do Soay Sheep come from? season, we can provide lambs in the second, third, and subsequent years that are unrelated In this instance, it is better to clip it off to reduce the chance of fly strike. I have an unlikely Soay sheep tale to share with you about a magical three days we just experienced when three utterly delightful women — one from Cleveland, one from Cincinnati, and one from St. Louis — came all the way out to Oregon to share lambing with us for just three days — almost […] Gestation time for a ewe is approximately 147 days. The earlier lambing takes place, the longer period for the lambs to grow before winter. particular version of rotational breeding also ensures that the lambs born here They are closely related to feral mouflon, in turn derived from wild sheep of Western Asia near the Black Sea. several years, allowing them to ramp up slowly for economic reasons and to "try out" Soay The Unique History of Soay Sheep – A Relic Population Gevan Marrs - ©2006 – Note: much of the information in this article is a distillation of the information presented in Clutton-Brock, Juliet, (1987). 2020 Lambs and older Soay sheep. Rams are two-horned and the horns are strong. rare breeds like Soay sheep. Our goal, which we almost always achieve, is to put together starter flocks in which no two ewe lambs share either a mother (i.e., no This includes an inner sheep yard with shade trees, a 16x24 sheep barn, and three fresh grass pasture paddocks. Thousands of years ago, people of the time settled a four-island group we now call St. Kilda, located 41 miles off the west coast of Scotland. Gestation time for a ewe is approximately 147 days. heritage. Some new breeders want to spread out the acquisition of their starter flocks over In sending our starter flocks and individual breeding rams to new homes, we look forward Avoid animals that are lethargic, not bright eyed, have mucky bottoms. It has descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250 acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago. rules of our breeding system, we are done with him, he is still a perfectly good, proven each spring carry as many different combinations of genes as possible. The other way is to buy from one of the rare breed auctions held during the year in various parts of the country. implemented on our farm helps to conserve the overall gene pool of Soay sheep, our Why Buy This Breed? If you contact the Society it should be possible to tell you of stock for sale relatively locally. They are a small short tailed breed of sheep that naturally shed their wool coat in the spring months. At maturity, ewes generally weigh 50 – 60 pounds and no great strength is required to handle or work them. genetic mix can be even richer. This breed is closely related to the Barbados Blackbelly, a heritage variety that … A reputable breeder will be only too glad to give after sales service and be a ‘helpful voice at the end of the phone’. American RBST Foundation Flock USA0001 British Registered Soay sheep WOOL, FIBER AND MEAT. sheep before making a large time commitment. Moving on to new “opportunities,” he Soay sheep are small and easy to deal with. Lambing would usually take place in April/May (Soay), March/April (Boreray), although my earliest lamb arrived on 23rd February. general notion of conservation breeding and how important it is for the preservation of Soay sheep munch on weeds as well as grasses. ewes with better stamina and longevity, and larger, healthier lambs that are more robust of your local authority, who should receive the top copy of the movement form when animals are moved onto your holding. St Kilda is a remote archipelago, west of the Outer Hebrides.Several types of sheep have been associated with St Kilda. From about April the sheep start to loose their fleece naturally, rams usually start to loose it before the ewes. Several aspects of our breeding system provide assurance to our customers Soay and Boreray naturally lamb later than most of the commercial breeds. British Registered Soay sheep Frequently Asked Questions about Soay Sheep. When buying stock the main things to look out for are that the animals are healthy. Each farm/holding/field should have a ‘Holding Number’ issued by DEFRA and this should consist of a 9 digit no. Soay sheep are a rare breed originating from only two islands off the west coast of Scotland. 12/345/6789. This should be kept in a Movement Book. Without this number no animal can be moved, as it forms a fundamental part of the ‘movement license’ which details the identity of the sheep (from a mandatory ear tag), the details of the holding they are leaving, who transported them and where they are going to. The other way to get somewhat more meat from your Soay sheep is to keep them until they are 3 or 4 years old. WOOL AND FIBER: Soay, an Ancient Breed, a Novelty wool . The texture of their wool can vary, from soft fine wool to more coarse hairy fibres (or “kemps”), and mixtures in-between. The Soay sheep is an old breed of sheep that descended from feral sheep on the small island of Soay in the St. Kilda Achipelago. For more information, please do get in touch. Lambs generally need worming more frequently. We discuss ram, between two and four years old. The keeper/owner is also obliged to record all medicines given to individual animals, either by the vet or keeper and should include details of product used, when purchased and the withdrawal period (until they can go for slaughter). For further information contact Grassroots through their web-page (then choose RBST Combined Flock book from the left-hand menu), by e-mail , or telephone 01392 437788. from day one. 1) The Soay sheep pedigree. For ease of handling it is also a good idea to have a small area fenced off where the sheep are regularly fed so that when you need to inspect/worm etc. grass-growing season allow us to hold some of these "extra" ram lambs over the winter and The best time would depend on your circumstances. to having the new and enhanced flocks contribute to the conservation and thoughtful way. Their address is: Grassroots Systems Ltd, PO Box 251, Exeter, EX2 8WX. If sheep have dirty bottoms and/or are coughing this is a sure sign of worms and a further worming is recommended.