OUR FLOCKS

PASTURES OLD & NEW

Our breeding and expansion programme means new flocks on farms and crofts across Orkney

WELFARE OVER PRODUCTIVITY

Through a carefully managed breeding and expansion programme that has been in place since our original flock arrived here in 2013, Orkney Boreray numbers have grown steadily. We have laid plans for new flocks to be spread across the Orkney Isles in the months and years to come, all under the nurturing care of trusted crofters and farmers whose methods align with our own.

Our approach to flock management places welfare firmly over productivity, and breeding is designed to maximise genetic and phenotypic diversity among flocks — i.e. directly related sheep are not bred together. In 2017, a small breeding group from the original Settisgarth flock on the west mainland of Orkney was transferred to Lochend Farm on Shapinsay — the first major proliferation of this expansion project.

Burnside, Settisgarth

Burnside, Settisgarth

The original flock of Orkney Boreray — raised at Settisgarth on the west mainland. A breeding and expansion programme has been operating since 2013 to steadily grow numbers.

Lochend, Shapinsay

Lochend, Shapinsay

The first major expansion of the Orkney Boreray flock — a small breeding group transferred to Lochend Farm on Shapinsay, ready to grow and flourish.

Airy, Stronsay

Airy, Stronsay

The largest of the new flocks started in 2021. Airy has ten ewes and gimmers to be tupped by ram Grimbister for lambing in 2022, store wethers for mutton and a flock of ewe lambs for future expansion.

Dousquoy, Stronsay

Dousquoy, Stronsay

The smallest of the new flocks started in 2021, where young ram Settisgarth Atlas has produced some lovely lambs from his three ewes, with a good percentage of twins. The owner of this flock, Nathan, is the craftsman who turns Boreray horns into beautiful and practical products. The red colour – raddle – on the ram shows when he has mated with a ewe.

Balaclava, Westray

Balaclava, Westray

In 2022 a flock of Orkney Boreray sheep from Lochend, Shapinsay, including ram Columba, joined the flock of Hebridean sheep at Balaclava. The Hebrideans are kept for training sheepdogs and the Borerays are learning to mix with the Hebrideans and respond appropriately to the sheepdogs.

Wester House, Birsay

Wester House, Birsay

In autumn 2022 a second flock was started on Orkney’s mainland, initially with ewe lambs, a ‘nanny’ ewe and a wether lamb as companion for their future ram. In July 2023 ram Lochend Carl-Henrick joined the flock, settling with his wether companion. They hope to have their first lambs in spring 2024.

Marianna’s flock at Burnside, a Flock within a Flock

Marianna’s flock at Burnside, a Flock within a Flock

Wanting to make sheep farming accessible to an urban dweller, in 2022 one of Burnside’s regular helpers started her own flock with her chosen ewe lamb Kornelie. This year she produced a beautiful fleece for Marianna to spin and weave. She and her future offspring will live with the Burnside flock, being managed with them as Marianna’s flock grows.

GOT SOME QUESTIONS?

BE PART OF THE STORY

We welcome interest from like-minded crofters and farmers — particularly those looking to start their own farms on Orkney — and anyone who feels they can make produce of the utmost quality with Orkney Boreray sheep.

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