There is also a Dark Self which is a uniform dark brown. several years, allowing them to ramp up slowly for economic reasons and to "try out" Soay method is that we do not breed our little girls their first fall, but rather allow them to Endangered Sheep Breeds SOAY RAM “Soay” is an Old Norse word meaning, simply, “sheep”. rules of our breeding system, we are done with him, he is still a perfectly good, proven ewes usually deliver up more little boys than we need. Are they bright and alert? Soay sheep have a polygynous mating system in which males mate with multiple females. The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Scotland. Soay sheep are fine-boned and late maturing, with prominent withers. ram, between two and four years old. Soays are among the most primitive of the northern European short tailed sheep, a group that includes the Shetlands and Icelandics. Their address is: Grassroots Systems Ltd, PO Box 251, Exeter, EX2 8WX. fall, each serviced by a different ram. The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep descended from a population of feral sheep on the 100 hectare island of Soay in the St Kilda Archipelago, about 65 kilometres from the Western Isles of Scotland. Soay sheep are a rare breed originating from only two islands off the west coast of Scotland. 2020 Lambs and older Soay sheep. generations after that. Are they a good size for their age? And Soay present a unique opportunity to participate in the conservation of this primitive breed of domesticated sheep.” Steve elaborates, “For example, we’re engaged in a formal breeding conservation program for our flock of 64 fully documented British Soay. Viking Sheep. It is true, under normal circumstances, Soay and Boreray sheep do not need shearing. It will always be better to start off with fewer sheep, which can be increased if needed, but it is not easy to decrease. 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. In this instance, it is better to clip it off to reduce the chance of fly strike. Soay & Boreray are not hard to keep into an area, as long as the fencing is of a good type. As autumn approaches, the days shorten and the nights lengthen, allowing the sheep to produce increasing amounts of this hormone. Soay are seasonal breeders, generally breeding in the Fall and lambing five months later, in the Spring. incorporate them in the next year's orders. this far on our website, you probably have already read, either here or elsewhere, about the In a nutshell, the various forms of conservation breeding put together starter flocks in which no two ewe lambs share either a mother (i.e., no Why Buy This Breed? Gestation time for a ewe is approximately 147 days. There are no books yet for the management of Soay or Boreray sheep specifically. I have bought some sheep that are registered, what does this mean? In sending our starter flocks and individual breeding rams to new homes, we look forward Movement forms should be obtained from your Animal Health Officer, usually based within the Trading Standards Dept. Lambing would usually take place in April/May (Soay), March/April (Boreray), although my earliest lamb arrived on 23rd February. If you are high up, on less favourable land then the numbers would be lower. They are closely related to feral mouflon, in turn derived from wild sheep of Western Asia near the Black Sea. 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. Details of these sales are put into the Soay & Boreray Sheep Society Newsletter. Good for the breed … If you are interested enough in acquiring British Soay sheep to have made it this far on our website, you probably have already read, either here or elsewhere, about the general notion of conservation breeding and how important it is for the preservation of rare breeds like Soay sheep. As they are small sheep, with an inquisitive nature, they will find small gaps. We especially welcome these multi-year of your local authority, who should receive the top copy of the movement form when animals are moved onto your holding. We currently have several 2020 Soay ewe and ram lambs available as well as one or two older ewes. Rams are two-horned and the horns are strong. Soay sheep are a very ancient and rare breed having originated at least since the Iron and Bronze Ages. 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. 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. If you want to use the fleece, the loosened fleece can be plucked (rooed) from the sheep – but only when it is loose. The keeper/owner is responsible for keeping a record of all movements on and off the holding. I know very little about the management of sheep, can you recommend some books to me? If you have bought sheep from a breeder or recognised sale, the vendor/breeder will give you the registration papers and inform Grassroots that they have sold the sheep to you and they will  transfer the registration papers into your name (this is free). British Registered Soay sheep Frequently Asked Questions about Soay Sheep. The Soay Sheep Society was founded by a group of Soay owners realising the need for a representative body to speak and act on behalf of Soay and Boreray sheep. Lambing would usually take place in April/May (Soay), March/April (Boreray), although my earliest lamb arrived on 23rd February. Although we have managed to export British Soay Sheep to Canada in the past, as of this year, the process should be much easier. 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. A reputable breeder will be only too glad to give after sales service and be a ‘helpful voice at the end of the phone’. With females for breeding, check their udder. Since 1932 t hey have also live d … ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Several aspects of our breeding system provide assurance to our customers We learned the hard way that the extra maturation results in ‘Starting with Sheep’ by Mary Castell (about £8) gives clear guidance on setting up and managing a new flock. 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. St Kilda sheep. I have been told that Soay & Boreray are hard to keep in, what type of fencing will be needed? If your land is low lying, good quality productive pasture you may find more sheep will thrive. 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. rare breeds like Soay sheep. Soay History. Kilda is the Norse word for sheep island, suggesting this breed was brought to the remote islands by the vikings. way. Gestation time for a ewe is approximately 147 days. The Soay & Boreray Sheep Society is frequently contacted by people looking for stock, and it encourages its members to let them know when they have stock for sale. Once you are registered with Grassroots, our Flock book can be accessed electronically through the details of how we assign our ewes and rams to breeding groups and how we intermix The best time would depend on your circumstances. Sheep Mating and Sexual Behavior showed when Ram mate Ewe along with sniff- hunting courtship and Ram -Effect. Check that the teeth sit squarely on the pad. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. Dominance, in this case, is usually linked with the size of the … The earlier lambing takes place, the longer period for the lambs to grow before winter. Soay sheep munch on weeds as well as grasses. From about April the sheep start to loose their fleece naturally, rams usually start to loose it before the ewes. 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). At maturity, ewes generally weigh 50 – 60 pounds and no great strength is required to handle or work them. each spring carry as many different combinations of genes as possible. I would like to breed from my sheep, when is the best time of year to breed? It has descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250 acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago. 1. They're one of the oldest She known breed of sheep in the world, and one of the smallest. Name of these animals is derived from the island of Soay. sheep before making a large time commitment. We have comfortably raised up to 30 sheep on approximately 1.5 acres. Soay Sheep Background. These details are correct at the time of writing, but as legislation changes frequently it is best to consult your Animal Health Officer for up to date information. If sheep have dirty bottoms and/or are coughing this is a sure sign of worms and a further worming is recommended. I am told that Soay/Boreray sheep do not need shearing, is this true? The ewes weigh 50-to-60-pounds, rams 65-to-75-pounds, and newborn lambs are the size of a bag of sugar. Because we use rams as breeders for only one I have heard no reports from other breeders of losing a ewe due to lambing problems. Lambs generally need worming more frequently. Although, according to the Mary is also a keeper of primitive sheep. When buying stock the main things to look out for are that the animals are healthy. For further information contact Grassroots on 01392 437788. the sheep can be enclosed without fuss. these groups in a 3-year cycle of rotational breeding. I would like to buy some sheep, but am unclear about the regulations surrounding the keeping of sheep, please explain. If you are interested enough in acquiring British Soay sheep to have made it In the case of pigs, it is 20 days. 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. optimal genetic diversity from the get-go. 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. Our goal, which we almost always achieve, is to The other way is to buy from one of the rare breed auctions held during the year in various parts of the country. We are also in a position to offer a starter flock of Soay sheep, including an unrelated tup. viability of this special variety of ancient sheep. Avoid animals that are lethargic, not bright eyed, have mucky bottoms. 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. If you put the ram to the ewe on Bonfire night (5/11) lambing will be on April Fools Day … 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. The classic Soay sheep is known as the Dark Wild type, having a dark brown body with a light belly and rump and light hair around the eyes. heritage. From a distance, these heritage sheep are aloof, wary, and graceful, resembling small antelope or … WOOL AND FIBER: Soay, an Ancient Breed, a Novelty wool . 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. Where do Soay Sheep come from? 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. twins are sent to the same new home) or a father (i.e., no half siblings). Both sexes usually have horns, but we do have the polled gene in some of our flock which sometimes produces polled ewes. season, we can provide lambs in the second, third, and subsequent years that are unrelated A small, athletic looking sheep that has something of the look of a gazelle about it, the Soay is an exceptionally hardy sheep and can survive in the most adverse conditions. ewes with better stamina and longevity, and larger, healthier lambs that are more robust The island of Soay is about 65 kilometers from the Western Isles of Scotland. dispersal of British Soay sheep throughout North America, assuring the continued ‘Island Survivors – the Ecology of the Soay Sheep of St Kilda’ by Peter Jewell is the bible for Soay keepers. We discuss They resemble primitive sheep of the Bronze Age and are believed to be the ancestors of the first domestic sheep. each seek to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, all the genes carried by the As a matter of fact, it is not necessary to handle Soay sheep much at all. Because these yearlings always have different Just as a system like the one we have