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Sneak preview of 2015 lambing

We are excited about the prospects for lambing next spring. Our four flocksires, shown here, represent the full color range and the diversity of horn sizes and shapes that characterize the British Soay sheep in North America and in the U.K. There is not room on this page to show all the comely ewes being bred even as this goes to press, but the selection shown also is representative of the genetic diversity in our flock. Be sure to check back in April to see what our heritage sheep have produced!

Flocksires 2014-15

For the current cycle, we are breeding one ram (Lewes) from our C bloodline to several of our B bloodline ewes. Both ewe and ram lambs from this outcross breeding will be available for sale. Similarly, one of our B bloodline rams (Emsworth) is breeding a group of C bloodline ewes, and all of the resulting outcross lambs will be available for sale.

We also have two linecross breeding groups, each consisting of an A ram and several A ewes. One group is serviced by Whitestone and the other by Plympton, both of whom were themselves linecross ram lambs (and thus eligible as flocksires) three years ago. Under our standard conservation breeding program, ram lambs from these linecross breedings will be retained as potential future flocksires and the ewe lambs will be available for sale.

Lewes, the black son of black Glen and lavender-grey Darby

Plympton’s horns are even wider than his sire Hambleton’s rack

Whitestone’s parents, Preston & Forra Ness, are both plain brown sheep

Emsworth’s parents, AI Lilly J and the legendary Astro, are both plain brown sheep

Breeding Ewes

The ewes we are breeding this year span a ten-year age range. They include Sutton and Winfield, “gimmers” breeding for the first time at the age of one and a half years.

After careful thought, we also decided to breed Galice one more time. At age 11, she is of our most senior ewes but also a very sturdy and prolific breeder. Galice produced her first lamb in 2004 on Southern Oregon Soay Farm, then moved north to Port Angeles and produced three future flocksires (Ballistic and twins Galileo and Galahad) for Kate Montgomery. After we persuaded Kate to part with Galice, she (Galice) began a long successful run for us: four sets of twins, AI triplets, and the rest singles. Her sons Edward and Rushford have both bred for us here and her daughter Standish also is a steady producer for us. The rest of Galice’s offspring are scattered around the US and Canada.

Our remaining breeders range in age between Galice and the gimmers and include tan ewes, brown ewes, black ewes, white-spotted ewes, ewes with long sweeping horns, ewes with Mickey Mouse-shaped horns, and the Soay “kitchen sink.” We look forward to showing off their lambs next spring.

Bentley

Bentley age 3

Buttermere age 6

Buttermere age 6

Cameron age 5

Cameron age 5

Coda age 8

Coda age 8

Colney age 4

Colney age 4

Darby age 3

Darby age 3

Galice age 11

Galice age 11

Ossie age 6

Ossie age 6

Pendlebury age 5

Pendlebury age 5

Satterleigh age 2

Satterleigh age 2

Sutton age 1

Sutton age 1

Winfield age 1

Winfield age 1

Historic Ranch, Historic Sheep

Old Saltmarsh Barn The old Saltmarsh Ranch is nestled at two thousand feet among the northern foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains in southwestern Oregon, astride the Little Applegate River. Arthur B. Saltmarsh, the original homesteader who settled in the 1880's, built the barn and several other outbuildings still in use. He and his heirs lived here for almost a century.

Weavers feeding sheep Soay sheep have a much longer history. They are descendants of a feral population of primitive sheep living for at least hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years in complete isolation on the island of Soay in the St. Kilda archipelago located off the northwestern coast of Scotland in the North Atlantic Ocean, some 4581 miles from here.

Today's Soay sheep at Saltmarsh Ranch provide us with many satisfactions, foremost among them the rare opportunity to help preserve an endangered variety of attractive small sheep.

Soay Sheep

Small Sheep for Small Acreage

Rural lifestyle amidst amenable creatures Many of us who have chosen to live in a rural setting with a few acres of green pastures, some trees, clean air, perhaps an outbuilding or two, tranquility and so on made our choice in part because we wanted to be able to keep animals of one sort or another, or will come around to the notion sooner or later. Odds are you already have thought about Soay sheep, or you would not be here reading these words. You are on Read more … ► the right track. These small, gentle, easily kept heritage sheep can enrich your life and improve your land.

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally it has dawned on us to add a FAQ list to this site. Check it out via the nearby link. We hope to add new entries as FAQ …► they come up in phone calls and emails.

Choosing your Soay Sheep

Blue Mountain Astro

read more ►Thinking about getting a flock of Soay, but feeling a bit bewildered? Here is a guide to the common types of Soay sheep flocks we and other breeders have put together to meet our varying goals.

Soay Sheep Husbandry

Husbandry Pages ► We continue to add pages on how we keep our Soay sheep. We write them as we go forward on the Soay Calendar, scrambling to get our thoughts together enough in advance so that you may may find them useful as the seasons progress.

Keeping Sheep as a Lifestyle

Paulina in tall grass Our city friends ask us all the time, “Why on earth do you live way out in the country and burden yourselves with a big flock of Soay sheep?” The answers could fill a book, but we think the following thoughts put to paper thirty years ago by a In the words of Mme Benoit …► renowned Canadian food writer, editor, chef, and shepherd capture the essence of the matter better than we can express it anew.

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