Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Soay Sheep  (Read 3471 times)


  • Joined Aug 2014
Soay Sheep
« on: June 14, 2016, 02:54:00 am »
I've been offered some Soays;

They are natural shedders so I wouldnt mind having a few to play with producing cross's that shed for breeding - I have seen a few Ryeland x Soays about which shed, but grew a good winter coat..... That cross put to a tex should be a great lamb.

Asside from bringing them in with a bucket as they are aparently evil - what else do i need to know?

Can they be crossed to larger breeds safely (I have no desire to kill them!) - Im thinking Hampshire down, Charmoise and Easycare ? Possibly even a Texel - Aiming to produce a ewe that carries the shedding genes, thriftyness and tolerance for poor grazing, and smaller size.


  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Soay Sheep
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 06:42:37 am »
Primitives have wide pelvises, so often carry a larger lamb easily enough, though it's usually recommended to use a primitive or similar for their first lambing.
Unfortunately it is not as straightforward as you suggest to breed the shedding through, we had some soay x Hebridean, which as primitive sheep as well, one might expect it to be easier to retain the shedding coat, but only a few could be rooed, with some difficulty (compared to my rather odd mule x texel who shed the last two years and the fleece rooed very easily away from the undercoat) and the rest resorted to the default of needing shorn.
By all means experiment, but don't expect all your crosses to retain the ability to shed.


  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: Soay Sheep
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 11:21:31 am »
...I have a number of Castlemilks that shed well...including a really good looking shearling ram who *completely* shed in the space of a few weeks- so the gene is there in others apart from the smallerSoays and would be possible to fix in a flock.


  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Soay Sheep
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 02:30:51 pm »
I'm aware that typically only 1/4 of f1 cross will shed and about 1/2 of shedding f1 x f1 will cross but f2 shedder x f2 shedder is consistent.
I have been selecting my hebrideans for shedding and half now shed yo some extent and some are shedding fully now. Also been selecting for a better leg and faster growth.
Attached is the back end of some f3 shedder.


Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2024. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS