LambWatch HQ is now the new home of these four lovely Soay sheep. Welcome to LambWatch girls!
LambWatch HQ is now home to Grisette, Chapeau, Cochonette & Gauloise: four lovely examples of Soay sheep! We have two adult ewes (Chapeau and Cochonette) and each has a single ewe lamb (Grisette and Gauloise). They are currently making themselves at home in one of our meadows which has just been cut and cleared of hay, so they are enjoying a fresh nibble as well as the long vegetation from around the edges.
The Soay has the most primitive appearance of any British sheep breed and takes its name from the island of Soay in the St. Kilda group. St. Kilda is a group of 3 islands and the other two are Boreray and Hirta. LambWatch is now home to all the breeds of sheep that originate from this tiny archipelago in the outer outer outer most Hebrides.
They are beautiful animals and they are getting used to their new home. They get a little treat every day in these early days to help them relax and to help them get used to us as well. Whilst still very wary, they do seem to be getting a little more tame - they do now come over to us when they see us, which will hopefully prove very useful in the long run!
They were named by their breeder after brands of Belgian beers. It took us a while to get used to their names but we seem to have managed it now. Chapeau is the adult ewe with a lighter area on her head and her lamb is Grisette, with the lighter face. The darker adult ewe is Cochonette and she has a darker lamb, Gauloise.
They are not yet in the LambWatch field as we need to be careful about how we introduce them to the rest of our flock, but hopefully, in time, you will be able to see them on our webcam
P.S. Sorry it's been very slow on the news front lately. It's been sooo busy since lambing that we just haven't had a chance to provide a proper update! As a quick update, we had a succesful lambing: we had 29 lambs from 20 ewes, including 6 North Ronaldsay ewe lambs, 5 Boreray ewe lambs and 4 Shetland ewe lambs. We have also kept one Boreray ram lamb in tact. These will all be registered and hopefully sold for breeding. Quickly after lambing completed, we then got on with shearing / harvesting the fleece. Their fleeces were ready earlier this year thanks to the very hot Easter. This process took quite a while as not all fleeces become ready at the same time. We then spent quite a lot of time preparing the fleece for sale, cleaning what we could and listing them on our Marlfield Yarn website. They sold out quite quickly! After that, we have eben working in our hay meadows. We have taken hay from one meadow and we have one more to take - we are waiting for the curlews to fledge before we take it. We also spent a couple of days promoting Soay and Boreray sheep at this year's Woolfest in Cockermouth. It was sooo very hot and both Heather and I had a fever which really didn't help! Now we welcome these four lovely Soays to LambWatch HQ and we are excited about having them with us!
What lovely new additions to the family Dan, I am sure they will fit in perfectly
They are quite lovely. I wonder if Cochonette knows that her name translates as "piglet'? They will love the farm, and we will love watching them.
They are good looking sheep. An interesting addition to the farm. Are their fleeces different from the others in texture and softness?
Hi everyone - I made some errors in my original post on their names! I've updated the post with the correct names. The two adults are Chapeau and Cochonette and the lambs are Grisette and Gauloise
Hi Margaret -sorry I just saw your question - their fleeces are quite different- they naturally shed them in spring so it will be a case of collecting what we can from the field or plucking it out if we have the opportunity to get hold of them. They have quite a short staple and it's quite soft. When we went to Woolfest, there was quite a lot of demand for their fleece from spinners and craft folks.
I think the new sheep look lovely ! a nice addition to the farm ðŸ˜Š