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Hardy soays in snowSoay sheep originate from the Isle of Soay in the Outer Hebridies, they have evolved with little human contact for this time but are now beginning to decline, due to this they are now classed as a Rare Breed. They vary in colour from a light tan to a very dark brown, some of ours are born black but this tends to go to a dark brown within six to twelve months. There faces are usually dark, occasionally with a white blaze. The rams tend to have long curled horns whilst the females tend to have straight horns which are usually shorter than the males. An adult female Soay weighs on average 25kg with the rams weighing around 35kg. Soay sheep tend to be shy (although very intelligent) due to the primitive nature of them. They can be very difficult to get penned up, often they can be seen with one or two animals being posted as lookout's when they are feeling wary, soay's can be trained with the use of food to overcome this shyness and get used to humans around them.

We have found that the soay produces a very lean carcass of high 1 year old soays in fieldquality, and this lends itself to being used in gourmet foods. Due to the small size of the carcass you do not get large amounts of meat, but you do get quality. Indeed it takes on average 12 months to 'finish' a soay, and once butchered there is enough meet to feed a good gathering without becoming bored with it. If slow cooked, soay is very tender and has an excellent almost game like taste.

Soay RamsThe soay is a very hardy animal but still likes a bit of shelter if provided for any wet weather. They are excellent animals for keeping your pastures mowed and your hedges trimmed ! With there natural ability to shed their wool there is no need for shearing and the wool is ideal for spinning. Foot problems associated with most commercial sheep breeds are non existent in soay's making them a low upkeep sheep with very little maintenance, they lamb by themselves usually during daylight and are excellent mothers. The lambs although small are usually up on there feet very quickly after birth, indeed they can be very difficult to catch.

Besides the meat the skins can also be processed and many are used forsoay flock in spring close medieval battle clothing. The horns can be made into carved tops for walking sticks.