Breeding

philosophy & mechanics

Can a Soay shepherd “schedule” when lambs will arrive?  A case study

Can a Soay shepherd “schedule” when lambs will arrive? A case study

This post serves two purposes: to provide an example of trying to time the start of breeding in order to enhance the odds of having at least a couple, and hopefully several, lambings in a very narrow window of time the next spring, and as a fitting ending to the saga of Lamb Camp 2015 […]

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Telltale signs of Soay rams in rut

Telltale signs of Soay rams in rut

There’s no need to mark your calendar to remind yourself that it’s breeding season for your Soay sheep – the rams will let you know by their appearance and their behavior.  As usual, a few pictures tell the story best. Eight days ago we taped the horns of rams going to new homes this fall, including […]

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Flushing Soay ewes: A correction

Well I’m embarrassed.  When I put together the chart of grain amounts we feed our ewes to enhance twinning, I included amounts in both ounces and cups, most likely because I am wasting a brain cell remembering an old ditty from home ec class about measuring the dense ingredients (butter, for example) in baking:  “a pint’s […]

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Want more Soay twins?  Try flushing your ewes

Want more Soay twins? Try flushing your ewes

No, I am not referring to your trusty Kohler or Toto.  Flushing is shepherd lingo for increasing a ewe’s nutrition in the weeks leading up to breeding in order to trick the ewe into releasing a larger number of eggs.  Most of the sheep literature we have read, and a number of Soay breeders we know, […]

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Saltmarsh Ranch calling Red Sox dugout, “Our bullpen is ready, is yours?”

Saltmarsh Ranch calling Red Sox dugout, “Our bullpen is ready, is yours?”

It’s post-season in major league baseball and breeding is about to begin on our Soay sheep farm. While the world awaits the (inevitable?) demise of the Cubs, we are pacing (mentally) in the dugout, wondering how our selection of rams to call up from the bull pen will turn out. Will our three British “starters” for our conservation breeding program […]

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View Blocks:  Saving your fence from Soay-bashing in breeding season

View Blocks: Saving your fence from Soay-bashing in breeding season

Perhaps the greatest initial investment a Soay keeper needs make is decent fencing to keep the little darlings home and safe.  Alas, the aesthetics of a run of taught, newly-installed wire fence fastened neatly to precisely aligned, precisely vertical fence posts is of no concern to the rams, especially during rut.  They bash away without […]

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