Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Soays and Barbados Sheep

Grande Ronde Arne #OR3530-0006. Sound Soays Uma x Greener Pastures Finale. Arne is our young herdsire mouflon Soay ram that I purchased in late July 09' from Jeanine Rachau of LaGrande. He shows a lot of great promise, and is out of two very impressive Soay parents. He will develop full curls to his horns and a thick neck mane as he matures.

I've wanted sheep for the past 6 years, but hadn't found a breed that was low in maintenance that I actually liked. My cattle are getting very old and won't be around for too much longer, so I convinced my husband that we needed a different source of meat for the freezer that wouldn't eat very much. There's nothing like fresh lamb kabobs on the BBQ in the summertime and some nice chops in the winter....yum!

So far, these guys have really been a joy to have around. They are cute and small, don't eat much, they don't require shearing - as they are a wild "hair" sheep that sheds out, and there is no tail docking. Overall, they are a really great little sheep for a small farm.

The Soay ewes. Antares #SOA10716 the white faced one with greyish looking coat looking at the camera. Luna #SOA10540 the horned regular reddish mouflon to the left. Glitter #SOA10719 the dark mahogany horned mouflon hiding in the back. The other two polled ewes who are meshed together to the right are Brook #SOA10541 and Opal #SOA10537. (Arne is the little bitty spud in the other pen looking at the ewes towards the back of the group.)

Many thanks to Jon and Barbara Flug of Peony Creek Soays in Tonasket, Wa. for letting me add these five lovely ewes to our little flock.

There are also two bigger blackbelly Barbados hair ewes that are part of our flock as well - (the tan looking ones to the left). We purchased them locally for Arne before we knew we were getting any registered Soays for him. (I figured that I'd never find anybody who would sell me Soays immediately to go with the ram, so we settled for some Barbados ewes until we could find some Soays available in the future.) The lambs from these ewes will be bigger bodied and great for the freezer. The african Barbados are less rare in america and more gentler than the wild Soays are, as you can tell from the picture of this sweetheart heading straight for the camera.

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