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Author Topic: Soay sheep questions  (Read 7893 times)

Connor

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Northern Ireland
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Soay sheep questions
« on: November 14, 2013, 01:00:40 pm »
I was at the mart last night and there was 7 soay lambs in the ring and they went for 4 pound per lamb would there be much profit to be made on this lambs? and what is the breed like?
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Yeoman

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • South Northamptonshire
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 01:14:24 pm »

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 02:01:45 pm »
If slaughtering for meat, they are not ready until about 16 months, so you need to overwinter. Feeding through winter would mean less "profits". Our butcher said that our Soay butchered were about half the weight of his this year lambs. Meat is in our opinion quite different from usual lamb in that there is far less fat. OH loves it but is not keen on normal lamb as he finds it too fatty. Went to look at the carcass compared to the butchers Lleyn carcasses. Outside of the Soay were dark with little fat. Lleyn had thickish white fat layer all over. Don't think you could take to market ..... be laughed at I guess ..... so would need to sell privately. We have filled our freezer and sold to family. Not commercial sheep. Not sure if you could ever make a profit by selling to restaurants etc.  :-\


As a breed we have found them easy enough to keep. Still need care as you would give to any breed but ours seem to have done well. Kept for nearly 4 years and no strike .... we do use Crovect routinely and check as you would any other sheep. We worm at lambing and fluke during the year but so far no scouring or problems with worms.


Ours have all self shed or we roo ..... if we want the wool. If for some reason they don't shed then you would have to shear as norm.


No foot problems yet  :fc: .


They haven't proved to be escape artists which we worried about. We have normal stock fence with a top bar. Most boundaries also have mature hedges, though. They haven't jumped hurdles when penned but would do so with ease.


All are bucket trained and come running across 3 paddocks if they hear you. We just keep handling quiet and calm but guess that works best with all sheep anyway.


All lambed outside without help and no problems with mothering.


Light sheep so easy in a way to handle/turn but local shepherd found them tricky in the sense that they twist and wriggle more than his commercials or Jacobs. My 12 year old daughter can handle them .... inject, drench etc.


Only kept Soay so can't compare with much else. Helped load some commercials for local farmer the other day and the haulier said he'd just had a merry job loading commercials at another farm ..... jumping stock fence with barbed wire tops and clearing hurdles. Think a lot of it maybe knowing your sheep, thinking of best ways to pen and handling to suit.


I like Soay.  ;D






Garmoran

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Lochaber, Highland
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 02:28:19 pm »
I was at the mart last night and there was 7 soay lambs in the ring and they went for 4 pound per lamb would there be much profit to be made on this lambs? and what is the breed like?
I had a neighbour that had soay and shetlands mainly for their wool and she gave up trying to sell them at Fort William mart because they always sold for about 4 pounds tops.

After a couple of years she either sold them privately or had them slaughtered. You might be able to make something from them if you fatten them and have them slaughtered and then sell the meat.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 06:38:04 pm »
We have sometimes kept Soay to 28 months before slaughter to get a worthwhile carcase.
 
Finding a market for the meat depends on how much work you are prepared to put in.  Some chefs can't get enough of them, as they have smallish joints (though bigger than you'd think) and are totally delicious.   You would need to be producing far more than a handful of lambs though to make it worth a restaurant's while to try them.  You can sell over the internet - try looking up how much others sell Soay meat for.
 
If you're hoping to make your fortune, then don't look to Soay to help  :innocent:   They are wonderful little sheep but people keep them for love not money.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 07:11:27 pm »
What are they like to cross breed? A few folk keep Shetlands on a commercial basis because they are so easy to lamb etc etc but to a Texel tup, they produce quite a desirable lamb.

zarzar

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • kent
  • Z.Glenfield :)
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 07:51:01 pm »
 :wave: we have 2 they are slightlt flightier than our portlands but have settled now they are used to me, and looks like we might get cross bred lambs from them this time as some T**T went through our field and left gates open so now the portland ram lambs got in with them and both havent showed being in heat since  :rant: but could be an interesting cross im just hoping lambs wont be to big.
1 cat,2 thoroughbred horses,1 dog, handfull of bird various types and hoping to get sheep again

Connor

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Northern Ireland
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Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 08:10:28 pm »
Are they worthwhile keeping or should i stick to the normal sheep also would there be a market for selling them as pets/ grazers??
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mojocafa

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Angus
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 08:41:44 pm »
I have 2 pets/ grasers
pygmy goats, gsd, border collie, scots dumpys, cochins, araucanas, shetland ducks and geese,  marrans, and pea fowl in a pear tree.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2013, 08:53:34 pm »
What are they like to cross breed? A few folk keep Shetlands on a commercial basis because they are so easy to lamb etc etc but to a Texel tup, they produce quite a desirable lamb.

Soay are fine with crossbred lambs, which although born small rapidly grow bigger than the dam.  I knew someone who ran them with a Suffolk tup, but I think that is excessive, especially in a first time breeder.  One of the smaller commercial breeds would be fine.
Connor, how about trying a handful of the Soay ewes in with your flock just to see how they do?  You can always eat them yourself if it doesn't work out.
 
We used to sell Soay wethers as pets (very difficult to get a ring on within the legal 7 days as their bits are tiny at first).  They're popular as they are small and easy to handle, but you must let purchasers know that these are sheep and they need certain husbandry tasks done, and a certain amount of food, such as hay through the winter.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

zarzar

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • kent
  • Z.Glenfield :)
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 12:22:31 am »
Fleecewife you have put my mind at rest now as a suffolk tup is bigger than a portland, been worrying ever since someone let them in, still think is gunna be a weird combination though
1 cat,2 thoroughbred horses,1 dog, handfull of bird various types and hoping to get sheep again

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 09:21:40 am »
My farming neighbour watched an episode of Countryfile and said that Adam showed a primitive, a Moorit my neighbour thought, that had been served by a commercial. Lambed and mothered without difficulty he said and lamb finished that year. Was on a while ago and I missed it.


What would be a good commercial tup to use? ..... not a texel I guess with that huge head.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 10:44:02 am »
Fleecewife you have put my mind at rest now as a suffolk tup is bigger than a portland, been worrying ever since someone let them in, still think is gunna be a weird combination though

 
Well don't forget we'll be expecting photos in the spring  ;D  and a report on how they do  :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

zarzar

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • kent
  • Z.Glenfield :)
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 08:12:46 pm »
You will do dont worry we where given the 2 as pets but they really dont like that sort of attention im just glad that they had bred before we got them as got enough maidens as it is this year, we will have a mixture of portlandX soay, Xshetland, 1Xkerryhill, and 4-5 pure portland and a pure GFD who we are buying from Bramblecot, plus some shetland xs from her to.
1 cat,2 thoroughbred horses,1 dog, handfull of bird various types and hoping to get sheep again

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Soay sheep questions
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 08:38:16 pm »
I also know of someone who ran a suffolk tup on soay ewes, lambs grew like stink but I dont like suffolks anyway so woulndt use a suffolk.

I have had shetlands lamb to ryeland rams (bought in lamb, woulndt do it again) and to charrolais rams, charrolais didnt have any problems at all with the shetlands, were born small and slippery, they weighed approx 40-45 kilo last month from being born in april, so if you wanted to cross would reccomend a charrolais ram  :thumbsup:

This year half have gone to a hampshire down cross charolais ram lamb as I lamb outside so thought it might be best to have a lamb with more wool at birth

 

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