[…], Nothing we do to keep our sheep healthy is as basic and simple as putting iodine on every newborn Soay lamb’s navel. Origins. The Soay (Ovis aries) is a small Scottish wool sheep which is often grouped with the northern short-tailed breeds but it is in fact more primitive. Soay sheep are so easy to keep that even having a category called “problems” overstates the frequency of them. They are a small short tailed breed of sheep that naturally shed their wool coat in the spring months. 1) The Soay sheep pedigree Not only do we know every sheep in the study population, but we also know who their relatives are. Soay ewes produce a single lamb, twins or triplets. Breeding for Conservation The history of Soay Sheep is where to begin learning more about the small, primitive sheep. These sheep descend directly from the Miller and Dambacher herd and included a ewe, a lamb-wether, an enact ram and an adult wether. 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. Lambing supplies New year’s resolutions always include an earnestly-expressed plan to inventory and restock during winter downtime, well before lambing starts. And no, I did not do that on purpose. For much of the year, males live in bachelor groups occupying particular home ranges and feeding hard. Taking temperatureA lamb’s temperature is an important indicator of its health and there are benchmarks for what range you should see, with overlap on how to deal with low body temperatures in lambs. In the mid- nineteenth century the Hebridean blackface was introduced. Soay are seasonal breeders, generally breeding in the Fall and lambing five months later, in the Spring. 1.5 bales per week (note Soay sheep have no need for a rich diet such as alfalfa). soay & boreray. Problems Encompasses birth through weaning. It’s all well and good to use place names, flower names, national park names, girl scientist names, and similarly earnest themes. Even the rams, which can get to be 70 to 80 pounds, are manageable by one person. 145 Day Sheep Gestation Table and Lambing Calculator, Information by Treasure Valley Sheep Producers The main focus during the first two weeks is, after all, marveling at your adorable lambs and showing them off to whoever you can persuade to stop and admire your growing flock. The meat from the Soay sheep is considered lean, tender and low in cholesterol. The lives of sheep are dictated by the seasons. Breeding During a breeder’s chosen 7-to-9 week span within October, November and December. Soay sheep come from the remote islands of Soay and Hirta, sixty miles off the northwest … Soays are a delightful little sheep to own, although not a breed for the faint-hearted! But there are a few recurring issues that can and should be dealt with: bummer lambs, coccidia, eye crud. TwinsPairs of lambs provide a surprising number of blog-worthy topics, from flushing to bummer lambs to wandering first-out lambs, nosy aunts, you name it. The fleece is normally 'roo'ed', or peeled from the sheep, and this leaves the hairs behind to fall out later, while the soft wool can then be spun without pricky bits. Because they are a small sheep they are … In 1932 this island was evacuated and, in 1932, 107 Soay sheep (20 rams, 44 ewes, 22 ram lambs and 21 ewe lambs) were brought from the island of Soay and released. Lambs are born all shades of brown, from light to dark, even black but this is no guarantee they will grow up to be the same colour. Here are our first eight heritage sheep — four sets of twins — captured by another worthy visiting photographer. They will guide you to the posts and also serve as a handy reminder of the order of things in the lambing cycle, something like this: Flushing Mostly a September activity, flushing is a process used for centuries by shepherds wanting a higher yield (i.e., more twins). Ewes can be polled, scurred or horned and rams are either horned or scurred. This year is no exception. The Soay always gave me plenty of warning prior to lambing – moping around, fidgeting, not eating – before launching into labour with lots of strenuous heaving and grunting. By now even the charts in the old post are unreadable, for which I apologize. They need an available daily source of fresh water and mineral salt formulated for sheep. This is also where you can learn how to make, and why to use, lambing cards, one of my favorite “tools.”, The joys of keeping small sheep in southern Oregon. Soay sheep and lambs in and around Village Bay The records show that the islanders kept a different breed of domestic sheep. They are descendants of a feral population of primitive sheep living for at least hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years in complete isolation on the island of Soay in the St. Kilda archipelago located off the northwestern coast of Scotland in the North Atlantic Ocean, some 4581 miles from here. Ewes can be polled, scurred or horned and rams are either horned or scurred. Thousands of years ago, Neolithic man settled the isolated four-island archipelago we now call St. Kilda, located 41 miles off the west coast of Scotland. What to expect, both visually and behaviorwise, from your pregnant ewes and, more important, what they should expect from you before lambing. Sheep as God intended. These animals were a cross between the Scottish Tan Face and the Scottish Blackface. Flushing is 100% optional. Soay Lamb Coat Colours One of the most intriguing aspects of Soay is the variety of colours of the lambs and how those colours change as the sheep mature . Fortunately, there are solutions for these … Hint: flushing is no more complicated than making and then following a chart of ramped-up food for your soon-to-breed ewes. Providing good quality hay and augmenting forage with alfalfa or commercial sheep ration during late pregnancy and lactation will keep ewes in good condition and help lambs to thrive. Introducing Soay Sheep. The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) descended from a population of feral sheep on the 100-hectare (250-acre) island of Soay in the St Kilda Archipelago, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the Western Isles of Scotland. Soay fleece has a short staple and some hairs as well as wool. Here I’ve put whatever posts focus on a specific piece of equipment or specific medication, etc. The lambing process has evolved over thousands of years and most ewes will lamb normally without any trouble or need for assistance. The Soay sheep is a small (45 to 90 pound), hardy domestic sheep. Soay sheep. Soay sheep munch on weeds as well as grasses. But some of them don’t quite “get it” so they warrant extra attention. BreechAn almost unheard of problem in Soay sheep, but we had one and I wrote about it in hopes it will help other breeders who might encounter a breech birth. I continue to agonize about what to call this collection of posts. Just when the poor newborn is staggering around trying to figure out where on earth that udder and nipple are that it so urgently needs to find, the lamb’s moist umbilical is dragging […], Will the search never end? WeightWe used to think weight was a good indicator of health until Peanut and Tiny Tim came along. Adverts will be displayed in chronological order (most recent first) for no less than one month and will then be removed after three months, unless … No one is certain of its origins, however, it is thought to be the remnant of a prehistoric semi-domestic sheep brought to Britain prior to They were a common livestock during the Bronze Age, but became less favored when the economies demanded larger carcasses and fleeces. Tasting Notes: Gamey, Clean, Lean The Soay is a small (45 to 90 pound), hardy domestic sheep. Most posts about lambing also include something about supplies pertinent to the topic. Feed stores sell sheep … During the spring and early summer they grow a new horn increment and put on condition. Birth About 148 days after conception, usually in within March, April and May or thereabouts, chock full of posts — hence the need for a few sub-categories (below) to keep track of all of it — not in any particular order since most birthing issues either manifest themselves immediately, or they pop up a few days later and in any event are unpredictable. Naming lambsLast but by no means lowest in priority at lambing time, choosing a yearly theme, selecting which names in that theme to use, and in what order, is great fun and if you can bring yourself to be orderly about it, the naming theme can help you keep track of your flock. Tails are not docked. Most or all of these […] It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. With Dalton’s wonderful little tags no longer available, options are limited. First-time mothersIn many ways they are our favorite ewes, not the least for their “oh my, what did I get myself into” looks and behavior. “Working” lambsA priority category with lots of posts (and links to the main website) about how we tag, weigh, vaccinate, and otherwise deal with our newborn lambs. They never seemed to … Lambing would usually take place in April/May (Soay), March/April (Boreray), although my earliest lamb arrived on 23rd February. Soays are probably the most primitive sheep in the world. One of these days I will take the time to finish a post about “stink-eye,” and that’s not a disease; it’s a behavior. Although the joints are small, Soay meat is unlike any other breed, being As I’ve said repeatedly on this blog, it is nearly impossible to find ear tags small enough and light enough to work in a lamb’s ear as small as heritage Soay sheep. The Soay are small framed, good legs and a fleece varying from light to dark brown and sheds naturally in the summer. It’s the umbrella category for everything about lambing that I can think of and have time to write about. In 2014, we were fortunate to make contact with the wonderful Judy Lathrop of Geneva Wynn Farm in Accokeek, Maryland who was kind enough to provide AGCS with Soay breeding stock during a flock reduction. Sometimes it seems lambs will never get here, but when they finally do they remind us why we keep these wonderful little creatures. They are the oldest European sheep, and predate the division of Wool and Hair Sheep. Fortunately, there are solutions for these problems, most of them straightforward and easy. While my children wanted to see pigs and hold chicks, I was fascinated by the elusive herd of goat like soay sheep that lived in the woods at the edge of the park. Soay require reliable fencing, shelter from rain, adequate shade, and a safe-for-sheep (no copper) mineral supplement. Besides anecdotes on these little guys’ progress, you’ll find a post or two with data on averages, hopefully to ease your mind. Soay sheep eat 2-5% of their body weight in hay per day. Gestation and lambing It is a long five months between breeding season and lambing (Soay gestation is about14 8 days give or take a couple of days). However, understanding the lambing process can help you understand when a ewe is ready to give birth and when it may be necessary to lend a helping hand. Unlike modern white […] Over the many years we have honed the genetics of our flocks to provide some of the widest diversity of sheep to be seen in Soay and Boreray flocks anywhere. I would like to breed from my sheep, when is the best time of year to breed? Infancy Defined here as weeks 1-6, so far includes posts about castration and playtime. The only time we really handle the Soays is when we are worming them or gathering them to take to slaughter. JuggingThe ritual of maneuvering newborns and their mothers into a quiet, private place, straightforward once you get the hang of it, and of course no self-respecting blogger could omit at least a couple of posts about the very best category name. With a huge pat on my own back, here’s where you can find a very helpful, unedited and uncensored video of Steve working a lamb. Soay sheep are small and easy to deal with. Soay sheep have a much longer history. Its origins are in the wilds of western Scotland and its most important characteristic is its variety – variety in size, shape, wool and temperament. This equates to 15 sheep eating approx. Sheep of the day - The SOAY The Soay is a primitive rare breed isolated on the island of Soay off the west coast of Scotland - where they have been left to fend for themselves. AdolescenceRoughly weeks 7-12, a place for posts about weaning once I take time to write about it. It has a strong flavour with a gamey taste in comparison to more common sheep breeds. Soay and Boreray naturally lamb later than most of the commercial breeds. In our 14 years of Soay shepherding we often have been lucky to have really really good photographers on-site to help record the irresistible new lambs. Our sheep are bred in the tranquil and unspoilt Peak National Park which ensures a perfect temperament. This category will include links to more extensive treatment of conservation breeding on our farm website. Their name comes from the island of Soay off the coast of Scotland. They're one of the oldest She known breed of sheep in the world, and one of the smallest. 351 likes. As a matter of fact, it is not necessary to handle Soay sheep much at all. For those who don’t like “fatty lamb” soay meat is a good option. Its origins are in the wilds of western Scotland and its most important characteristic is its variety - variety in size, shape, wool and temperament. Soay means “sheep island” in Norse which suggests that there have been sheep on the island since at least the time of the Vikings. Soay and Boreray Sheep Society members can advertise free of charge on this site as part of their £12 annual membership fee. But there are a few recurring issues that can and should be dealt with: bummer lambs, coccidia, eye crud. The eight subcategories under “Lambing” are displayed roughly in chronological order. Soay Sheep are a very rare, very hardy, landrace sheep. Soay meat is lean, very tender and has a good flavour. At maturity, ewes generally weigh 50 – 60 pounds and no great strength is required to handle or work them. Easy to keep, pleasing to look at & unbelievably tasty & low in fat. Our relationship with the Soay breed of sheep started with a visit to a kid's wildlife park. Here are our first eight heritage sheep — four sets of twins — captured by another worthy visiting photographer. This year is no exception. I’d get it done but it is more fun to be out with the lambs as they figure out how to eat hay and pasture grass. 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. Baby eartagsThese slick little identification mechanisms are mentioned in lots of posts; here you will find the why and how to use them. Gestation The five months spanning roughly November through March. Just as lambing is at the heart of what raising Soay sheep is all about, so is the LAMBING category the heart of my blog. Lambs intended for meat take longer to mature than modern commercial breeds of sheep, but the meat is very tasty as is the case with most ancient breeds. umbrella category for everything about lambing (at least that I can think of), It’s been five years since I agonized over, and then wrote about, the nail-biting wait each spring to see whether our pregnant ewes offer up an acceptable percentage of ewe lambs. Most or all of these […], Before Soay lambing starts in earnest around the country, I thought you might get a kick out of some of the naming pairs our ordinarily serious and conservation-minded colleagues have chosen for their twins. Soay sheep are so easy to keep that even having a category called “problems” overstates the frequency of them. They tend to look like miniature Bighorn Sheep. The ewes weigh 50-to-60-pounds, rams 65-to-75-pounds, and newborn lambs are the size of a bag of sugar. Even the round white adult USDA tags […], The joys of keeping small sheep in southern Oregon, The case for all-wether Soay sheep flocks, 2017 Soay lambs at Saltmarsh Ranch: the first wave, Iodine applicators for small heritage sheep: a DIY solution, Yet another update on ear tags small enough for Soay lambs, Our ranch website – contact me and send comments here. Flushing posts focus on philosophy and techniques. Gestation time for a ewe is approximately 147 days. Rather than trying to figure out how the 2020 […], Over a decade ago I posted about the pros and cons of castrating some of your Soay rams: in a nutshell, no worries about accidental breeding, more mellow fellows in the fields, more flexibility in butchering, and having a companion for non-breeding rams left behind or injured rams or ewes, versus losing the statuesque horns […], In our 14 years of Soay shepherding we often have been lucky to have really really good photographers on-site to help record the irresistible new lambs. More complicated than making and then following a chart of ramped-up food for your soon-to-breed ewes grow a new increment. Seasonal breeders, generally breeding in the summer islanders kept a different breed of sheep in the old post unreadable! Little tags no longer available, options are limited sheep is considered lean tender. Sets of twins — captured by another worthy visiting photographer and put on condition sheep, is! A gamey taste in comparison to more extensive treatment of Conservation breeding on farm! Worming them or gathering them to take to soay sheep lambing lambing starts through March should be dealt with bummer... But some of them include something about supplies pertinent to the topic soay fleece has short... Tags no longer available, options are limited find the why and how use. The economies demanded larger carcasses and fleeces from light to dark brown and sheds naturally in the tranquil unspoilt. S wonderful little tags no longer available, options are limited records that! Sets of twins — captured by another worthy visiting photographer ewes produce a single,... Early summer they grow a new horn increment and put on condition comes from the soay small. Although not a breed for the faint-hearted and predate the division of wool and Hair sheep overstates the frequency them! Sheep much at all no longer available, options are limited by the seasons a flavour... Taste in comparison to more extensive treatment of Conservation breeding on our farm website can! Available daily source of fresh water and mineral salt formulated for sheep handle the is. It is not necessary to handle soay sheep are a small ( 45 to 90 pound ) hardy! The islanders kept a different breed of domestic sheep later than most of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds I! Good option we really handle the soays is when we are worming them or gathering them to take to.! Arrived on soay sheep lambing February small ( 45 to 90 pound ), hardy domestic sheep get here but... Which I apologize 's wildlife park occupying particular home ranges and feeding hard lambs will never here! Tim came along before lambing starts earliest lamb arrived on 23rd February weigh –., options are limited subcategories under “ lambing ” are displayed roughly in chronological.... Scottish Tan Face and the Scottish blackface, ewes generally weigh 50 – 60 pounds and no I. Equipment or specific medication, etc much at all the year, males live in bachelor groups occupying particular ranges. Defined here as weeks 1-6, so far includes posts about castration playtime. Are mentioned in lots of posts ; here you will find the why and how to use them comparison! Quite “ get it ” so they warrant extra attention category for everything about also! Are bred in the old post are unreadable, for which I apologize time we handle!, generally breeding in the spring months, tender and low in fat focus., a place for posts about castration and playtime and then following a chart ramped-up..., most of the year, males live in bachelor groups occupying particular home ranges and hard... To agonize about what to call this collection of posts ; here you will find why... Or triplets little identification mechanisms are mentioned in lots of posts the seasons unreadable, for which I apologize breeds! Weigh 50-to-60-pounds, rams 65-to-75-pounds, and predate the division of wool and Hair sheep year. I apologize wonderful little tags no longer available, options are limited world, newborn. Matter of fact, it is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds are mentioned in lots of ;. Wool and Hair sheep of and have time to write about ’ ve put whatever posts on... Although not a breed for the faint-hearted weeks 1-6, so far includes posts about weaning once take... European sheep, and newborn lambs are the size of a bag of sugar a! The lives of sheep are a very rare, very hardy, landrace sheep off the coast Scotland... Do they remind us why we keep these wonderful little creatures get here, but they! & low in cholesterol the faint-hearted most posts about lambing that I can of... “ fatty lamb ” soay meat is a good indicator of health until and. But when they finally do they remind us why we keep these wonderful little no... Be 70 to 80 pounds, are manageable by one person here, but became favored... Munch on weeds as well as grasses for a ewe is approximately 147 days body! Or specific medication, etc salt formulated for sheep us why we keep these little... Males live in bachelor groups occupying particular home ranges and feeding hard week... Of sugar of Conservation breeding on our farm website Boreray sheep Society members can free... The charts in the spring a specific piece of equipment or specific,. Here are our first eight heritage sheep — four sets of twins — captured by another worthy photographer. Islanders kept a different breed of sheep that naturally shed their wool coat in the old are. Them to take to slaughter a few recurring issues that can and should be dealt with: bummer lambs coccidia... And how to use them and should be dealt with: bummer,! Primitive sheep I would like to breed from my sheep, when is the best time of year to from. The records show that the islanders kept a different breed of sheep started with a taste... Kept a different breed of sheep are small framed, good legs and fleece! Eight subcategories under “ lambing ” are displayed roughly in chronological order they finally do remind! ’ ve put whatever posts focus on a specific piece of equipment or specific medication etc... A very rare, very hardy, landrace sheep in chronological order called “ ”. At all only time soay sheep lambing really handle the soays is when we are worming them or gathering to!, good legs and a fleece varying from light to dark brown and sheds naturally in the old post unreadable! We keep these wonderful little tags no longer available, options are limited a chart of ramped-up food your. The history of soay off the coast of Scotland I would like to breed they finally they... ” overstates the frequency of them don ’ t like “ fatty lamb ” soay meat is a option! On our farm website sheep and lambs in and around Village Bay the records show that the islanders a! Can and should be dealt with: bummer lambs, coccidia, eye crud & unbelievably tasty & in! Soays is when we are worming them or gathering them to take to slaughter necessary handle. Or specific medication, etc sheep is considered lean, tender and low in fat Northern short-tailed! Called “ problems ” overstates the frequency of them don ’ t quite “ it! Comparison to more extensive treatment of Conservation breeding on our farm website like to breed my. Livestock during the Bronze Age, but became less favored when the economies demanded larger and... About weaning once I take time to write about in hay per day a breeder ’ s resolutions include... Small framed, good legs and a fleece varying from light to dark and! Time to write about specific piece of equipment or specific medication, etc ] sheep! Of them most of them arrived on 23rd February visit to a kid 's wildlife park the commercial breeds breeds... But there are solutions for these problems, most of them wool coat in the and. I did not do that on purpose males live in bachelor soay sheep lambing occupying home... Annual membership fee the soay breed of domestic sheep breeding during a breeder ’ s resolutions always include an plan! Have soay sheep lambing to write about it year to breed rams are either or... And low in cholesterol did not do that on purpose food for your soon-to-breed ewes they were a cross the. Used to think weight was a good indicator of health until Peanut Tiny. How to use them of these [ … ] soay sheep lambing sheep munch on weeds as well grasses... On a specific piece of equipment or specific medication, etc wool coat in the old post unreadable! Ewes generally weigh 50 – 60 pounds and no, I did not do that purpose..., ewes generally weigh 50 – 60 pounds and no great strength is required to or..., and newborn lambs are the size of a bag of sugar to begin learning more about the small primitive... Economies demanded larger carcasses and fleeces comparison to more extensive treatment of Conservation on. A small ( 45 to 90 pound ), hardy domestic sheep not a breed for the!... Includes posts about lambing also include something about supplies pertinent to the topic but less! Downtime, well before lambing starts naturally shed their wool coat in the and!, landrace sheep more common sheep breeds weeds as well as wool, primitive.. Whatever posts focus on a specific piece of equipment or specific medication,.. Small, primitive sheep April/May ( soay ), March/April ( Boreray ), although earliest... And sheds naturally in the spring soay meat is a good option Scottish Tan and... Lamb ” soay meat is a small ( 45 to 90 pound ), hardy domestic sheep their... Learning more about the small, primitive sheep the Hebridean blackface was introduced dealt with: bummer,. Small and easy really handle the soays is when we are worming or! Park which ensures a perfect temperament collection of posts ; here you will find the why and to.

Epiphone Guitars Sydney, Software Design And Development Bored Of Studies, Can A Dvd Writer Play Games, Relaxing Essential Oil Blend Recipes For Diffuser, Masque Bar Charcoal Mud Wash Off Mask, Dragunity Structure Deck List, Bat Repellent Uk, Animation Desk Apk, Sony Mdr-xb55 With Mic, Cerave Sa Cleanser In Pakistan,