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Author Topic: North Ronaldsay's  (Read 2922 times)

hafod

  • Joined Jan 2013
North Ronaldsay's
« on: May 18, 2014, 09:50:29 pm »
Hi,
We have just bought 3 North Ronaldsay's (last years castrated lambs) as lawn mowers. We have been given the option of buying the entire breeding flock. They are registered and we are extremely tempted as we have been playing with the idea of having a small flock of rare breed sheep for a while. I just wondered if any of you had any advice or experience of the breed that would help us make a decision?
Thanks :sheep:
Voss Electric Fence

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 10:04:07 pm »
lucky you, i would love some.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2014, 10:32:52 pm »
Ronnies are one of the rarest of the rare breeds.  You've been offered a registered flock - go for it  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:   And the fleece is lovely  :spin:


It might be helpful if the owners were happy to stay in contact in case you need a bit of advice about the special needs of Ronnies, and the differences in their care compared to 'big' sheep.  They might also have some tips about how they have handled their flock.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 10:35:18 pm by Fleecewife »
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 08:57:33 am »
Personally I'd bite their arms off, but then I spin  :spin:, and I love Ronnies and haven't felt I could have them as we have cattle.  (Ronnies can be particularly intolerant of copper, and we have licks out for the cattle.)

Taking over a local, established flock sounds like the perfect way to get into this lovely, rare and special breed.  :)

Why are the owners selling?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

hafod

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 09:29:57 pm »
We've gone and done it!
Picking them up this weekend - very excited!
We've had lambs for fattening for the last few years but this is our first flock.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 10:38:41 pm »
Oh, well done!  I shall await impatiently the pictures :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 10:33:28 pm »
so how are you getting on with the ronnies?
does anyone know if you can herd them with a dog?

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2014, 07:58:50 pm »
Hi I have kept NRs now for a few years and bred successfully from them.  They are very confident and don't mind people at all. 

I got lots of info from the NR Society which particularly goes on about feeding and the copper thing and to be positively paranoid about what you are giving them.  On the other hand I also bought some other NRs from a different breeder who was more 'relaxed' and just gave them normal sheep crunch - the 'background' copper level is below the danger level - I had it tested by a lab just to make sure and it is totally fine to give them.  Since then my ewes have survived well on crunch and grass and hay and are all in good health. 

All in all though, they are 'flimsy' sheep compared to others.  They have very little meat on their bones compared to other rare breed sheep and you may lose a few over time, they are not the most hardy, so expect you may have losses and then don't cut yourself up about it. 

They are real scrubland sheep and I find them quite goat like (we also keep goats) in that they like an unusual amount of vegetation and indeed prefer it to grass.  Just be careful if you are giving them tree branches and the like, know your plants.  They particularly like Ash trees and Oak and they like the occasional oatcake biscuit treat.  Their lack of meat is offset by their friendliness and handleability for the smallholder and it seems their fleeces are popular.  They are prettier with their fleeces on than off  - proportionally they are not as 'neat' as other sheep like Castlemilk Moorits which look like Rhoe Deer when shorn.

Good luck with your girls - make sure you don't give them a normal sheep lick or have one nearby they could get to (eg if you have ponies nearby).  It could kill them pronto.  They need a special lick from Dennis Brinicombe (spelling?) which doesn't have copper, you can order from their website but it costs around £45 - I bought 2 a long time ago and the second one has been sitting in the field unlicked pretty much, in fact it's probably out of date I should check.  I'd just put lumps of rock salt around the place - you can get them from your local farm supply shop for cheap as chips.

All the best and photos please!
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

hafod

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2014, 09:14:48 pm »
We love the Ronnies! Bags of personality and very friendly. We are yet to taste any meat but have 3 castrated ram lambs to send off around November time. We took our ram and 2 lambs to our local county show and got champion and reserve champion in the primitive classes. We were very pleased although the classes weren't huge (our 1st show experience). What was really amazing was the number of people who stopped to look at the sheep and talk to us about them - we were kept very busy! We have had great help support and advice from members of the society and other owners and breeders and people on here of course. Hopefully I've uploaded a picture but there are many more on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HafodLasShepherdsHut.
Thank you for asking how we were getting on  :)

hafod

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2014, 09:15:34 pm »
Pic

kelly58

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Highlands, Scotland
  • Home is were my animals are.
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2014, 09:27:40 pm »
Beautiful sheep  :thumbsup:

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2014, 10:41:33 pm »
thats really fab. well done. keep us posted  :thumbsup:

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2014, 10:10:29 am »
Well done!  What a great start!

I keep saying I'll show mine and never get around to it - a couple of them usually take up residency at the RBST stands at the Royal Highland Show or Border Union Show though, most people think they're goats  :D

Let's hear it for the rare breeds.  Good luck to you all!  :thumbsup:
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

 

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