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Author Topic: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE  (Read 3189 times)

dave338

  • Joined Mar 2015
WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« on: June 07, 2017, 10:24:37 am »
Hello
As the title says , am looking for a couple of soay sheep, , first venture in to sheep ! , we have two fields and a block of woodland , just been fenced , we are near newcastle upon tyne so really looking for some one local to buy from , and hopefully get advice. any thoughts and recomendations welcome.
Dave
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 04:19:50 pm by dave338 »

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2017, 01:30:33 pm »
Hi :wave:

We have Soay sheep.

Have you tried the Soay Sheep Society? They should be able to help.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2017, 01:32:34 pm »
Have you read Tim Tyne's book on sheep keeping for smallholders?  How good are your fences?

dave338

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2017, 03:24:12 pm »
Hi
fences all brand new net with two strands of barbed , been reading as much as possible , mainly had horses and cattle in the past , but land has been rested now for over a year , just want a small easy animal , that we can use for ourselves, just wanted to get a couple to start with , then may be eight to ten max,

dave338

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 03:26:14 pm »
not read that book, just ordered it lol!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2017, 07:00:12 pm »
Make sure you buy soay where the females have been well handled, or you won't see them close-up again.  Soay are funny - they can either be wild as deer, or they can be hyper friendly, unzipping pockets to find treats. It all depends on how they have been reared.
You haven't mentioned a tup, but be aware that Soay tups, because of their background living a feral life with dominant tups having to fight to breed, tend to be quite aggressive, and love smashing their heads on anything and everyone.  Make sure you don't have a handled, petted Soay tup - makes them even more aggressive.


I love Soay and wish we could still keep them.  We used to breed for the rare all black variant, and sometimes black-and-white ones would pop up.  Really though the mouflon coloured soay are just delightful.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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

dave338

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2017, 07:45:53 pm »
Hi , the more I read it seems that breeders are 50/50 split on behaviour, some say very flighty nervous, others almost a pet breed,
Its the wild looks of the mouflon thats attracted me, small size , hardy , easy to look after day today, also that they are suited to woodland , which we have,
Any  meat produced is for the family , not commercial, so small size not a problem, ,
As for a tup , I was just going to see what stock is available, then take as much advice as possible, ,

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2017, 08:58:05 pm »
Ours vary a lot in temperament. Some are very friendly and will jump up you like dogs and eat out of your hand. Others are more timid and prefer to keep their distance.

dave338

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2017, 08:25:49 am »
What is your feed regime with them , are they on grass all year , extra supplements etc , , we have 10 acres and we only want  3/4 animals , so thinking that they wont need much from us ?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2017, 10:59:41 am »
While you're not breeding them, they don't need anything except water, grass and access to a salt lick or mineral bucket (if they use it, they need it, if they don't use it then they don't need it).  When you breed them, offer a little coarse mix designed for tups, such as Carr's Champion Tup (less protein than ewe pencils etc, as they don't need much), starting with a sprinkle at 6 weeks before lambing, increasing to a small handful each by lambing time.  Continue for a week or two after lambing, gradually decreasing the amount.
Other than that, they do love some browse, such as willow branches, or fruit tree prunings.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2017, 11:05:24 am »
As FW says.

But .... We feed a tiny amount of coarse mix several times each week, all year round.

This is to keep them tame. They get used to you calling them and giving feed. Bucket training. This is how we get them close up to check them over by eye and method that we use if we need to catch them up for preventative treatment.

Really important with just a few Soay on that much land or you may never see them!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2017, 12:49:23 pm »
I agree with that in the hills - feeding them in an open pen of some kind helps with eventually being able to catch them, if your initial stock has not been reared to be human friendly.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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

dave338

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2017, 04:08:05 pm »
thanks for all the advice , it looks like my land will suit them , as the woodland offeres plenty of shelter and loads of scrub trees to browse
, totally agree with the food bucket and never actually thought about a small pen to get them used to one , has any one  ever shared a field with horses, i have more land else where with 2 horses , could they share ?
Like ive said just want to start as small as possible to get the feel of them and if all goes well then expand ive got enough land to take 100 or so sheep

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2017, 05:11:21 pm »
I don't know anything about horses but have a feeling there could be issues especially with horned sheep.

Someone with more experience of this will probably be along soon.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: WANTED , SOAY SHEEP, NEWCASTLE
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2017, 05:15:03 pm »
Just checking.... You have read that they wouldn't be ready for slaughter until their second year.
If you were thinking of keeping a large number,in smallholding terms , that might influence your choice of breed I guess. Also aren't usually sold at market as worth very little commercially.

 

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