With the shortened days and the slowing down of pasture growth, we need to find new homes for some of our Soay sheep before winter sets in.
And so we have once again reduced the price of our RBST-registered purebred sheep to $250 per ewe and $175 per ram. If you are a new breeder looking for a small or medium-sized starter flock, an existing breeder wanting to expand your flock or simply add a ewe or two or acquire a new breeding ram, give us a call. As always, we will help buyers locate transportation if they live too far to pick up their sheep on our farm in southern Oregon. We still have for sale a few adult, yearling and lamb rams ready to breed, yearling ewes ready to breed for the first time, and irresistible ewe lambs you can raise for a year and then start breeding.
We have just enough sheep left to sell that we can provide you with genetically diverse groups of British Soay and our greatest joy continues to be in helping new breeders get started with this marvelous heritage breed.
New This Fall: Pre-Bred Ewes for Sale
What’s this about? We will sell you two or more of our yearling ewes now, then keep them here to breed until the end of December, at which time you will take them home, expecting lambs in late March or in April or early May.
Why are we doing this? Although we have sold older bred ewes a couple of times over the years, this is the first time we have several yearlings available. And because our flock is smaller after downsizing last year, we have extra room in our breeding pens.
How does it work?
We ask that you select at least two ewes and purchase them now. We will put them with genetically diverse rams for 9-10 weeks, affording the ewes either four or five estrus cycles (about every 17 days) in which to get pregnant. In late December or early January, you will pick them up and move them to your premises. Although we cannot, of course, guarantee the ewes will have conceived, our track record is excellent.
We have bred 74 yearling ewes in eleven years, and 70 of them lambed. That's 95%.
How much will it cost? There is no extra boarding charge or stud fee; our rams cheerfully work for free. But you will have to purchase the ewes at our normal price ($400 each) in advance. If you live outside Oregon, you will need interstate travel papers. Our vet will inspect your ewes and prepare the paperwork, and you will reimburse us for her charges.
Why might you be interested in this option?
You are ready to start a small flock of Soay sheep, but you do not yet have facilities to house rams(s) separate from your ewes, or
You know you want to have the fun of lambing but you are reluctant to purchase and deal with rams, or
It’s your first time owning sheep and you would like to get your “sea legs” before you start breeding on your own, or
You want to have the fun of lambing next spring without waiting a full year for newly-purchased ewe lambs to mature enough to breed, or
You already have Soay sheep and you have used your ram(s) enough, but you are not ready to trade them in for a new ram on your farm, or
[fill in the blank with your own reasons!]
What about transportation?
It is important to bring your bred ewes home in early January before they reach late gestation. Our farm is in southwest Oregon, close to Medford. If you live within a half-day’s drive, you can pick up your ewes mid-day and be home that evening. If you live within a full day’s drive, you can drive to and stay overnight in nearby Jacksonville or Medford, pick up your ewes at first light the next morning, and return home that second day. Roughly speaking, you can get here in a day if you live no farther than, for example, Seattle, Spokane, Boise, Twin Falls, Battle Mountain, Reno, or Fresno. And of course if you use a commercial livestock hauler that’s fine, too, as long as the hauler is available before mid-January.
Interested? Want to know more? Pick up the phone and call us (541-899-1672). Or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Sheep for Small Acreage
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.
Historic Ranch, Historic Sheep
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
Keeping Sheep as a Lifestyle
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
renowned Canadian food writer, editor, chef, and shepherd capture the essence of the
better than we can express it anew.
Choosing your Soay Sheep
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.