Eorsa Sheep specialise in breeding the two breeds of sheep found on St Kilda, the small archipelago off the Western Isles of Scotland. These are the SOAY – the nearest thing to the wild sheep of Britain, and the BORERAY- which were the domestic sheep of the St Kildans before they were evacuated in 1930. Both of these breeds are listed with the RBST (Rare Breeds Survival Trust) with the Boreray being only until very recently categorised as “critically endangered” and the rarest breed of sheep in Britain! They are both termed “primitive” sheep and are “short-tailed”.
We breed these sheep “as they are”. We select good healthy sheep and don’t select for particular colours or pretty patterns although sometimes some of these are produced. Both breeds are very hardy and generally lamb with very few problems.
They are very intelligent and inquisitive sheep and great fun to keep. Both breeds are quite small with the Soay being the smallest breed of British sheep. The Boreray are slightly bigger with a longer fleece which along with the Soay fleece doesn’t need to be sheared. The sheep lose the fleece themselves although sometime need a “helping hand” to tidy them up (the process of hand plucking the fleece is called rooing).