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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Soay “Scrum” 2015: safely re-introducing breeding rams to the bull pen

Soay “Scrum” 2015: safely re-introducing breeding rams to the bull pen

One of the few genuine dangers in raising sheep, heritage or commercial, is the non-breeding rams’ aggression towards the (lucky) breeding rams when breeding is over and the breeders return to the full ram group. It’s a pretty simple phenomenon: the breeders smell like ewes and the non-breeders are overwhelmed by hormonal jealousy. The solution […]

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Water water everywhere: a 10-year look-back

Water water everywhere: a 10-year look-back

As we approach the end of 2015, we are encouraged by the report of over 60 inches of snow on Big Red Mountain, the only source of water for our Little Applegate River once the rains diminish in April and stop altogether in May. Last year there was no snow on Big Red – zero […]

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