Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds partner:
Hermit Thrush Hill Farm, Fonda NY

Status: Critical
Adult Weight: 50-80 lbs
Temperament: Alert and wary

Soay, pronounced so-eye, sheep are a very rare breed of sheep that originated off the west coast of Scotland.  They are thought to be the first ancestor of modern domestic sheep. Soays are a hardy breed with a shy temperament and great variety of colors.

Males (rams) develop horns with a full curl, females (ewes) can have smaller horns in varying shapes including button horns, or scurs, or they may have no horns at all.  Soay sheep shed their wool in the spring so they do not need shearing, which makes them an attractive breed for farmers. They also make very good lawn mowers! For more information on Soay sheep, visit the Saltmarsh Ranch Soay sheep. 

Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke partner Hermit Thrush Hill Farm raises these critically rare sheep in an effort to help educate the public about their many positive attributes to help save the breed.

Activity: Download and print the Soay sheep coloing pages (PDF) from the Strawbery Banke Museum Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke Coloring Book. Note, both pages are in a single pdf. 

Do Soay sheep need to be shorn in the spring? 

Do both rams and ewe Soay sheep have horns? 
Do you think baby is with mom or dad?

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