Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!  (Read 20508 times)

lowlander

  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2014, 10:10:38 am »
Thanks for the reassurances. We have mostly fences against hedges but on the lane side there is a wall and at the bottom there is a stream (planning to stock fence along it). Fences are currently keeping my lurcher in who is an escape artist so maybe they would be OK. Back to the research!

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #76 on: October 08, 2014, 10:41:08 am »
Hi Lowlander.
Have you spoken to Julie Suffolk of the Soay Sheep Society?  We really liked the look of Soay but as first time sheep keepers we were worried by the reports of 'wild' Soay and great escape artists! Speaking to Julie reassured us that they didn't deserve their reputation and she also talked to us about type of fencing needed and handling.

They are clever little sheep and great characters. We love them. They do seem to respond well to bucket training and quiet handling. Undoubtedly they could jump our hurdles during handling but we just keep things as calm as possible and try to 'outwit' them when needed.  ::) ;D

We sold some shearlings in the spring to start a new breeding flock to a couple who were relatively new to sheep. Went to visit a week or so ago and the sheep have settled really well. They are just in a field with normal stock fencing and no attempts at escape. They are coming to the bucket for their new owners and some will come to have their noses rubbed. New owners 'love' them. ;D


Just a few positives.  ;D

lowlander

  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #77 on: October 08, 2014, 12:37:53 pm »
Thanks! I do love the sound of them just don't want to be unpopular with the neighbours if our sheep end up in with their animals - or worse - lost. Will definitely talk to the society before making a decision.

lowlander

  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #78 on: October 08, 2014, 12:52:15 pm »
Oooh - just realised Julie Suffolk is the breeder 50 miles from here that we were thinking of contacting for the Soay. Will definitely do that and perhaps go and visit to meet them. Thanks.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2014, 01:00:44 pm »

Lynn, I'm so glad they're caught, and this is at least over for you. I have my fingers crossed that it's not also over for the sheep though!

Undoubtedly they could jump our hurdles during handling

One of our Zwartbles jumped clean over a hurdle yesterday when I walked past with a rattly bucket (of screws as it happens!) and didn't give her anything, so it's not just Soays!

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

gadge

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #80 on: October 08, 2014, 04:55:35 pm »
Sounds like too much of a hassle having them to me.....especially having to do this bucket training malarky. 

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #81 on: October 08, 2014, 05:08:26 pm »
Part of the problem was that two sheep - especially a single ewe and lamb - do not feel like a herd (to the ewe). She needs at least one but preferably two or three other adult companions to make up the "herd".

Your girl was just looking for company...

Same happens with goats.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #82 on: October 08, 2014, 05:47:36 pm »
Bucket training is really easy .... well seemed to be in the case of our little flock and when we bought them as ewe lambs they had experienced hardly any human contact. Just took a couple of weeks or so.


In general they come running as soon as we shout them now.  That seems a fairly straightforward method of sheep gathering if you only have a small flock .... and no dog!

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #83 on: October 08, 2014, 06:07:59 pm »
Part of the problem was that two sheep - especially a single ewe and lamb - do not feel like a herd (to the ewe). She needs at least one but preferably two or three other adult companions to make up the "herd".

Your girl was just looking for company...

Same happens with goats.


Excellent justification for extending the goat herd  :excited:
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Oh no! My Soay's have escaped!
« Reply #84 on: October 08, 2014, 06:08:22 pm »
Bucket training is really easy ....

Not always!  It's taken us several months to get so our Manx Loaghtans will come to a bucket, and even then I have to be on the other side of the fence.

At least they're close enough for a visual check now, and through a rope and pulley setup worthy of Wallace & Gromit, I can still close the gate behind them to pen them in, even if I'm not in the same field. Patience is definitely a virtue  ;D .
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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