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 wooly companions can enrich your life and improve your land.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our pregnant ewes had lots of clean straw to keep them comfy as they waited for the ancient rituals of lambing to begin. Clockwise beginning with Emily (the white-faced ewe): Louise, Funzi, not sure, Arzie (tan) in the middle.
Freckle-faced Wheatley sported yellow tape to indicate she would be a first-time mother.
Coda, easily recognizable by her symmetrical wide horns, resting the day before she inaugurated our 2013 lambing season with a pair of ewe lambs. Click HERE to see more pictures of Coda at work.
Stately Galice usually twins and always lambs effortlessly, or so it seems to us.
Tolcarne, our first home-grown RBST ewe, produces noisy lambs, including the legendary Otley.
Cameron is an AI ewe who twinned last year, her first lambing.
Lilly J, another AI ewe, is behind Colney. Colney has cute white spots on the back of her right ear; too bad they don't show in this photo.
Pasquill is the namesake of Priscilla's mother's best friend Betty's family. Six degrees of separation?
How could we leave out our scrappy bottle baby, Patterdale, our most attentive and tenacious mother ewe these days.