Rams bashing your fences? Try view blocks

Rams bashing your fences? Try view blocks

Among the telltale sounds of Soay sheep breeding season, none is as distinctive and frankly distressing as the “crash” “boom” of a breeding ram trying to get through a fence to the ewes on the other side. No matter that the basher has his own ewes to service. Even if there is no “greener” grass […]

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The 2016 Soay Shepherd’s Christmas Wish List

The 2016 Soay Shepherd’s Christmas Wish List

With both the World Series and the election almost over, it’s time to start thinking about that special Soay shepherd on your Christmas list. The last time I made gift suggestions here was several years ago, so I guess an update is overdue. Disclaimer: everything on this list is a personal favorite of mine. I […]

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Ah, those glorious Soay ram horns — there’s nothing quite like them!

Ah, those glorious Soay ram horns — there’s nothing quite like them!

As I have said before on these pages (I think), when it comes to deciding which rams to breed, Soay owners engaged in conservation breeding face a dilemma: whether to breed rams with tight horns, including horns that have been cut. If we do not breed these rams, either because we do not like their […]

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Starter flocks: what they are and how to choose one that is right for you

Starter flocks: what they are and how to choose one that is right for you

So you’ve decided you want to start a small flock of Soay sheep and you have, or can put together, the infrastructure to support your new flock: pastures or a barnful of hay, secure fencing, water and shelter, and predator control appropriate to your location. But what about the starter flock itself? How many sheep […]

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Iodine applicators for small heritage sheep: a DIY solution

Iodine applicators for small heritage sheep: a DIY solution

Nothing we do to keep our sheep healthy is as basic and simple as putting iodine on every newborn Soay lamb’s navel. Just when the poor newborn is staggering around trying to figure out where on earth that udder and nipple are that it so urgently needs to find, the lamb’s moist umbilical is dragging […]

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Ram management briefly revisited: Scrum 2015 is history

Ram management briefly revisited: Scrum 2015 is history

No sooner had we managed to jam all seven of our adult rams into the five-foot square Shaul panel enclosure intended to allow Sidley and Upton (our two breeders this fall) to safely rejoin their brethren than it was time to spring the rams from isolation and let them fend for themselves. The Soay scrum, […]

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