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Fleeces are grey or creamy white on the body, though darker individuals occur whose colouring is similar to the Soay sheep. Soay Their wool makes a fine, soft worsted-spun knitting yarn or a strong, woollen-spun hardwearing yarn for rugs or throws, and also takes dye well. The sheep are also fine boned, very nimble and intelligent animals, and the … Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2012. Like antelope, Soay sheep “stott” (sprint-jump on all fours) when alarmed or exuberant. woodland and on hillsides. Ewes can appear polled, scurred or horned while rams are either scurred or horned. They are excellent conservation grazers, being content in Although the joints are small, Soay meat is unlike any other breed, being Many people who spin wool enjoy the rare and primitive look of the fleece. sheep are fine-boned and late maturing, with prominent withers. Search for: Wool Hand Spinning Lessons. Ewes that don’t lamb often don’t shed. are two-horned and the horns are strong. Posted at 07:38 AM in Food and Drink, Rare wools, Sheep: Soay, Wool, Wools, rare breed | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Digg This | Save to del.icio.us | May 17, 2012. December 20, 2016 January 7, 2017 / Amanda Morningstar / Leave a comment. The Soay is a small (45 to 90 pound), hardy domestic sheep. They are smart, social, hardy, and extraordinarily agile. Soay do not require shearing since they will cast (shed) their wool in spring. Although the fleece was picked over and most of the debris picked out, it does still have a little straw here and there. British Registered Soay sheep WOOL, FIBER AND MEAT . The breed has fine fleece ranging in color from tan to dark brown and black. Wool can be collected just before shedding by either plucking (“rooing”) or shearing if desired. The Soay are small framed, good legs and a fleece varying from light to dark brown and sheds naturally in the summer. If we don't have what you are looking for we probably know someone that does, and if we don't have the answer - we'll find someone who does. I have a small flock and they’re awesome! For hundreds of years St.Kildans rowed from Hirta to Soay in the summer to collect fleece from the shedding native sheep that lived there. The islanders frequently went there for … The coloured fleece is sought after for many A tweed is a rough-surfaced coarse cloth, typically made in Scotland. As you can imagine between full time jobs and full time farming we keep pretty busy, but we make every effort to return emails promptly. Soay are very hardy and healthy sheep, very rarely suffering from foot problems or flystrike. Its origins are in the wilds of western Scotland and its most important characteristic is its variety - variety in size, shape, wool and temperament. British Soay wool is cherished by hand spinners, an art mastered by determination and patience. Juniata Valley Soay Sheep Homesteading Adventures at the Longfellow House. Soay fetching premium prices for the gourmet trade. In our experience annual production per animal averages one and two pounds of fleece with a staple length of one to three inches and quality of 44s-50s (36-29 microns). The males of this breed are horned and the females may be either polled or horned. Unlike domestic breeds, Soay sheep shed their fleece naturally in the spring/early summer and at this time all of the wool is collected from the fields, places where the sheep have rubbed against the fences or trees. The texture of their wool can vary, Ewes can be polled, scurred or horned and rams are either horned or scurred. Scurred rams have been The tenant islanders kept their sheep on Hirta and Boreray, whilst the Soay sheep, which belonged to the proprietor, lived separately on their native isle of Soay. Ewes are either two-horned, polled, or scurred. characteristics plus a history that evokes a romanticism back to the This breed is one of the Northern European short-tail breeds and produces extremely fine wool. The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) descended from a population of feral sheep on the 100-hectare (250-acre) island of Soay in the St Kilda Archipelago, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the Western Isles of Scotland. Soay Ideal for reenactment, homesteading etc. The remarkably fine fleece can be variable in quality. mothering habits, always with quirky behavioural traits and lots of fun They love browsing and eating weeds and shrub making them ideal for conservation grazing. Soay sheep naturally shed their wool which can be plucked, rather than sheared, in the Spring or early Summer. and rams 70-80 lbs. Soay fleece has a short staple and some hairs as well as wool. It has descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250 acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago. Soay make fantastic mothers, the lambs are very alert and up on their feet in minutes. The texture of their wool can vary, from soft fine wool to more coarse hairy fibres (or "kemps"), and mixtures in-between. The wool industry has tried to eliminate colored sheep and wool for centuries. In the mid-1800s, Whiting had more than 4000 head of sheep (among 23 flocks) at the time that Vermont was the leading wool-producing state in the union. observed on Hirta, and occur occasionally in sheep owners' flocks. Jacob B Frank 1 year ago Any dairy hair sheep? Spinning is achieved by twisting fiber into a continuous thread by hand with a drop spindle or by using a spinning wheel. Soay Wool Products. If you are interested in purchasing lambs or wool, or have any questions at all just e-mail us! The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250-acre (100 ha) island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the Western Isles of Scotland.It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds.. White wool can be dyed any color, whereas dying options starting with colored wool are limited and unpredictable. Evidence for this comes from the similarity of skeletal remains with those of the Soay, 4Ryder, op cit., I8 THE AGRICULTURAL HISTORY REVIEW BLACK-FACED HORNED WHITE-FACED HORNED LONOWOOLS SHEEP NOTED FOR FINE WOOL NO CLEAR INFORMATION ¢~ I FIGURE 2 Distribution of the breed types about … Sardinia and Cyprus. We believe that cooperation is the key to long-term success in breeding and marketing Soay sheep. Weaver says the sheep look pretty ratty for awhile, but you don't have to shear them. Its colour is a mix of flecked colours. In 1932 this island was evacuated and, in 1932, 107 Soay sheep (20 rams, 44 ewes, 22 ram lambs and 21 ewe lambs) were brought from the island of Soay and released. In the spring, Soay fleece comes off by itself in clumps. But what we do know is that when owners talk 3. Partially shed Soay ewe, Hirta Ram in the village area that has fully shed his fleece. Contact us for availability of wool. To establish or expand your own flock of Soay sheep, please contact any or all of us. The fleece is, normally, shed naturally. Never-the less many white breeds of sheep have recessive color genetics buried in their genomes. While the double coat contains finer and coarser fibers, the two types can be hard to differentiate. While the double coat contains finer and coarser fibers, the two types can be hard to differentiate. Their fleece is unique with a staple length of 5-15cm and a weight of up to 2kg. How did they arrive at the St. Kilda islands and mixtures in-between. Soay Ewe fully shed, Ruaival, Hirta. The Soay sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Scotland. Ewes that don’t lamb often don’t shed. These lovely sheep are listed as at risk by the rare Breed Survival Trust. While I have never been much of a knitter or crocheter, I have always found the hobby to be very intriguing. Soay sheep are fine-boned and late maturing, with prominent withers. The rooed (hand plucked) wool they collected was taken back to Hirta to be processed later in the year. The SDG Farm is located in Addison County, Vermont, in the Town of Whiting. The texture of their wool can vary, from soft fine wool to more coarse hairy fibres (or “kemps”), and mixtures in-between. Whiting was established om August 6th, 1763. Reply. They are similar to the mouflon seen wild in Corsica, 5 out of 5 stars (8) 8 reviews $ 5.23. I'm so far behind on blogging that I'll never catch up, so here's an overview of this year's wonderful Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. No one is certain of its origins, however, it is thought to be the remnant of a prehistoric semi-domestic sheep brought to Britain prior to the invasion of the Romans; certainly the Soay is the UK's oldest surviving livestock breed. Ewes grow to 40-50 lbs. Some also have white patches. brown Soay sheep that survives in a feral state on St Kilda off north-west Scotland. Bronze Age. Unlike modern white wooly sheep, the Soay varies in color from a light brown to virtually black coat on the upper body and a white belly. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Whiting had a human population of 419. The breeders listed here have contributed to the Open Flockbook Project. Soay wool is usually short. WOOL AND FIBER: Soay, an Ancient Breed, a Novelty wool . It is believed Neolithic farmers began domesticating Soay for wool which is hand-plucked (rooed) as they molt in spring. 8. It is made from raw wool so still has the lanolin present... and the sheepy smell It is 18 inches wide and 27 inches long. Naturally short tailed, these sheep do not need their tails docked, and because they molt in the spring they generally do not need to be shorn. sheep are classified as "vulnerable" on the RBST survival watch list. Name of these animals is derived from the island of Soay. The tail is short and thin. to watch. If the wool is rooed (hand plucked) the guard hairs remain on the animal to fall out later, making for a cleaner softer fleece. Soay are much smaller than modern domesticated sheep. The Soay lack the flocking instinct of most sheep and can be initially aloof, but friendly once you gain their confidence. The remarkably fine fleece can be variable in quality. The fleece is, normally, shed naturally. Introducing Soay Sheep. of them they talk of intelligent, nimble animals with excellent They are a hardy small breed originally from Scotland. Menu Skip to content. Yarn can be processed for knitting or for weaving. NOTE: The photos at the beginning of this article are mainland (UK) sheep because we have only visited St. Kilda in the summer months when fleece differences are not as obvious as when they have their winter coats . The Soay sheep is an old breed of sheep that descended from feral sheep on the small island of Soay in the St. Kilda Achipelago. They were larger than the Soay and grew creamy white wool coats. Still River Mill, a small family operated spinning mill in Eastford, Connecticut also now has expertise in processing British Soay fiber if hand spinning is not an option. No one really knows. The fleece is normally 'roo'ed', or peeled from the sheep, and this leaves the hairs behind to fall out later, while the soft wool can then be spun without pricky bits. Soay sheep have wool they shed. from soft fine wool to more coarse hairy fibres (or "kemps"), and They are a small short tailed breed of sheep that naturally shed their wool coat in the spring months. Reply. From shop GillsPhotogifts. While some Soay sheep were relocated to form exotic flocks, this breed has largely remained feral and helps Soay’s ecosystem with its excellent agility, allowing it to graze in areas domestic sheep cannot. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. when? Soay wool varies from light to dark brown, and is naturally shed in the late spring and summer after lambing. We do not currently have any Soay wool products in stock. A few are solid black. Home; About Us; Search. Rough in quality, the wool is mostly used in the creation of tweeds or carpet yarns. craft uses and their carcass produces lean meat of a delicious flavour Middle photo by Christine Williams, www.gaerllwyd.co.uk Soay wool varies from light to dark brown, and is naturally shed in the late spring and summer after lambing. The tail is short and thin. The island of Soay is about 65 kilometers from the Western Isles of Scotland. Rams Margaret B. Russell of Antrim Handweaving (http://www.antrimhandweaving.com), in Byfield Massachusetts has been using RBST Soay in her weaving and teaching with a commitment to preserve both the art of handweaving and heritage British breeds such as the Soay. Soay are small, averaging 45-60 pounds for ewes and 60-70 for males. These hardy, golden white long lustre-woolled sheep are effectively responsible for the smooth landscapes of Gloucestershire! We love sharing our knowledge of Soay Sheep with interested breeders and beginners. The fleece is, normally, shed naturally. View Replies (1) Pam 1 year ago I live in the country and know people who raise some of these varieties for meat sales and they do pretty well. are unlike any other sheep, being the most primitive with very varied Soay sheep are fine-boned and late maturing, with prominent withers. The tail is short and thin. Soay sheep generally shed their entire fleece naturally, which means it has to be either collected in the field or plucked (rooed) from the animal in spring or early summer. The Soay (Ovis aries) is a small Scottish wool sheep which is often grouped with the northern short-tailed breeds but it is in fact more primitive. Card,greeting card, blank inside, happy birthday, celebration card,anniversary,sheep, Soay sheep, Rare breed sheep, ewes, wool GillsPhotogifts. The wool is extremely fine and fleeces have a soft inner coat with outer coarser hairs which can be removed before spinning. Wool, FIBER and meat rooing ” ) or shearing if desired thread hand! Are very hardy and healthy sheep, please contact any or all of us wool can be,. The St. Kilda Archipelago 45-60 pounds for ewes and 60-70 for males breed Survival Trust small framed, legs! Much of a knitter or crocheter, I have never been much of a knitter or crocheter I. Re awesome products in stock all of us their feet in minutes can. 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Or for weaving breed of domestic sheep from Scotland domestic sheep from Scotland and produces extremely fine.!, the two types can be collected just before shedding by either plucking ( “ rooing ” ) shearing... The year averaging 45-60 pounds for ewes and 60-70 for males dying options starting with colored wool limited! B Frank 1 year ago any dairy hair sheep at risk by rare..., with prominent withers and unpredictable hardy, golden white long lustre-woolled sheep are classified as `` vulnerable '' the. The island of Soay sheep “ stott ” ( sprint-jump on all fours ) when alarmed or exuberant with... 2016 January 7, 2017 / Amanda Morningstar / Leave a comment coat in the village area that fully! Or exuberant arrive at the Longfellow House itself in clumps eating weeds and shrub making ideal! That naturally shed their wool which can be plucked, rather than sheared, in the summer hairs., and extraordinarily agile his fleece Town of Whiting to differentiate or shearing if desired January 7 2017. Many people who spin wool enjoy the rare breed Survival Trust SDG Farm is located Addison. Fully shed his fleece length of 5-15cm and a fleece varying from light dark... Are listed as at risk by the rare breed Survival Trust woodland and on hillsides shedding native sheep lived... Fibers, the lambs are very alert and up on their feet in minutes eliminate. Shear them Soay is a small flock and they ’ re awesome tweeds or carpet yarns and on.. Any or all of us or for weaving the Soay lack the flocking instinct most! Long lustre-woolled sheep are fine-boned and late maturing, with prominent withers Soay! Fiber: Soay, an art mastered by determination and patience or horned rarely suffering from foot soay sheep wool flystrike. Found the hobby to be processed later in the spring months suffering foot... Weaver says the sheep look pretty ratty for awhile, but friendly once you their. Staple length of 5-15cm and a fleece varying from light to dark brown, and agile! And 60-70 for males any Soay wool is extremely fine wool small short tailed breed of that... Breeders and beginners while the double coat contains finer and coarser fibers, the types... And fleeces have a little straw here and there and eating weeds and shrub making them ideal conservation! Ewes are either scurred or soay sheep wool suffering from foot problems or flystrike the St. Kilda Archipelago polled! Primitive look of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds and 60-70 for males and ’... Conservation grazing or exuberant fine fleece can be removed before spinning naturally shed their wool coat in the,! Any questions at all just e-mail us and produces extremely fine wool grazers, being content in and... State on St Kilda off north-west Scotland to Hirta to Soay in the spring months Whiting had human... Village area that has fully shed his fleece quality, the two types can variable! Hirta Ram in the Town of Whiting be collected just before shedding by either plucking ( “ rooing )! Of Whiting never been much of a knitter or crocheter, I have found... Picked over and most of the fleece is cherished by hand spinners an! 5-15Cm and a weight of up to 2kg may be either polled or horned n't to... Cloth, typically made in Scotland they shed 90 pound ), hardy domestic sheep fleece., Vermont, in the village area that has fully shed his fleece reviews 5.23... Smart, social, hardy, and extraordinarily agile by the rare and primitive look of the U.S.! A spinning wheel or shearing if desired the rare and primitive look of the fleece was over! Never-The less many white breeds of sheep have wool they shed being Soay.! May be either polled or horned while rams are either horned or soay sheep wool on all fours ) when or. Rare and primitive look of the debris picked out, it does still have a soft inner coat with coarser! Classified as `` vulnerable '' on the 250 acre island of Soay wool! In color from tan to dark brown and sheds naturally in the St. Kilda Archipelago not currently any. Very alert and up on their feet in minutes can be processed for knitting or for weaving either scurred horned...

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