Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Soay sheep  (Read 5184 times)

piggy

  • Joined Oct 2008
Soay sheep
« on: June 28, 2010, 07:56:24 pm »
Been offered some soay sheep which i know nothing about as we only have had commercials,are they easy to keep/look after,tame,escape artists?
What would you expect to pay for a ewe with twins at foot?
Thanks

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 09:17:02 pm »
Hi Piggy. Soay sheep are the most primitive sheep in domestication I believe, remnants of a flock from the St Kilda island group which may well have had no introduced blood ever, so they are similar to the earliest domesticated sheep whose bones have been found on early inhabited sites.
How much to pay depends of course on whether they are registered or not.  Unregistered Soay are not worth much at all  :( But a good reg ewe could be up to £60 if she's young and in good health (a bit more in England).  How much to add on for the lambs would depend on their sex - more for ewe lambs, say £10-20.
There are lots of tales of Soay being escape artists but we have never had that problem.  It will depend on where they are from and how they have been cared for up until you acquire them.  If they have run as a semi-feral flock they could be quite wild, but if they have been used to people they could be more friendly than most other breeds. Good fencing is necessary - they will go under as well as over if they are not happy.
For gathering, Soay prefer to be led than to be rounded up by dogs - they don't flock like most other breeds. They are intensely curious and have very well developed individuality, neither of those characteristics being typical of commercial type sheep.  Ours will all eat out of our hands and like a little bit of digestive biscuit now and then  ::) 
Feet are generally good, having dark hoof. They need all the usual worming, vaccinations, anti-fly-strike etc that other sheep need, and contrary to some tales floating around they do need to eat - some grass and some browsing, with ad-lib hay and a small amount of concentrates in winter. The fleece will 'roo' off on it's own or you can shear them or roo them by hand. They have 'scadder' which is a mane and hair along the spine, which stays behind to keep them a bit warm after rooing.
Soay hoggs can be a bit delicate with a tendency to die in their first winter - doesn't often happen but keep an extra eye on them. After that they are very hardy.
Last but definitely not least the meat is very special.  They take a couple of years to get up to slaughter weight then give a small but very tasty carcase, with close grained, tender meat, which is full of flavour and usually wins over those who say they don't like lamb.
If you want something different and are prepared to love them - go for it.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

piggy

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 09:24:34 pm »
thanks for that,they want £100 for the 3 the 2 lambs being female,not sure if reg.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 12:30:21 am »
Top end of price range but ok if the ewe is 2 or 3yo, has a full, good mouth etc and most especially if they are registered. You are effectively getting a starter flock of 3.   Have a good look at them before you buy though.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

piggy

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 09:09:13 pm »
After being offered the 3 have seen a flock of 16 for sale all reg,1 ram,1 ram lamb and the rest ewes all are between 1 and 3 years old throwing coloured lambs,have just have there lambs weaned ,man said they are bucket trained but wouldnt be touched which i would like to do as i just think its easier.
To start i would like to put them on my lawn as my mower has broke and its so long,do you think i would keep them in with electic netting?When they go to there perm home it is stock fenced with an electric fence inside top and bottom as the horses graze in there as well would this be ok for them as my commercials are ok with this.

Thanks

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 10:33:00 pm »
piggy where are you?  my friend has some soays and wants to reduce her flock size - we are in Fife

piggy

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2010, 10:36:12 pm »
Hi,shame we are in Suffolk.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 11:11:25 pm »
Hi Piggy.  Electric mesh fencing is illegal for horned sheep (Soay ewes and tups are both mostly horned).  This is because they can become entangled in it and will be repeatedly shocked before they either die of the stress or strangle. So I'm not sure how you will manage to graze your lawn.
 All our fencing is permanent stob and wire sheep mesh, with one or two strands of plain tensioned wire above. For the march fences, we have double fencing with hedges in between - this is for a mix of bio-security, to prevent jumping and for wildlife. If your fencing is tensioned strands you might find that they squeeze through - we had to change all of ours which was like that. 
The 16 sound perfect for a starter flock.  Give them a while to get used to you, maybe even until they have lambed on your property, but try the digestive biscuit trick - once they have a taste for them they're all yours  :)
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

welshboy

  • Joined May 2009
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2010, 08:02:27 am »
I put up an electric fence for our dexters. Two lines of wire one about 3ft one about 18 inches. The soays wandered into that field but they will not cross the electric fence voluntarily. They would probably run hrough if startled though.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Soay sheep
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 12:58:55 pm »
That might work for the garden but make sure first that if they do get through the electric strands there is nothing either very precious or poisonous to sheep that they will eat before you notice  ::) 

Not only will your lawn be grazed, it will also be fertilised  :)
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

 

soay sheep.

Started by marsha0012000

Replies: 0
Views: 2918
Last post July 11, 2008, 06:55:58 pm
by marsha0012000
Soay sheep for me !!!!

Started by rustyme

Replies: 18
Views: 21525
Last post November 14, 2008, 06:20:36 pm
by Blinkers
Soay sheep

Started by Azzdodd

Replies: 3
Views: 1908
Last post April 16, 2012, 07:39:07 pm
by in the hills
soay sheep

Started by widget

Replies: 10
Views: 5503
Last post March 01, 2013, 10:18:48 pm
by Richard Underwood
Help with Soay Sheep

Started by coombsey

Replies: 5
Views: 2092
Last post April 29, 2015, 06:20:04 pm
by coombsey

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2020. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS