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MAGGIE EWELAMB2016 (2)
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ARDOCH EXCALIBUR2016
4 horn 2 horn tup lambs

The Hebridean is a very hardy, versatile primative breed of sheep and comes in a diverse range of types, the most common is the two horned sheep but others can range from polled or little scurrs, to the 4 horned sheep right up to 8 horned and anything in between. 91% of the national flock is two horned with the rest being mainly 4 horned. Some sheep also have a topknot ( a raised piece of wool on top of the head).  The fleece can range from jet black through to brown. The fleece often gains the addition of grey or silver as the animal gets older. The sheep is fine boned with slim legs and feet. The ewe's weigh 35-40 kg with the males proportionally more. As the Hebridean comes from the Northern Short - tailed group of sheep the tail should be short to medium in length tapered and not below the hocks.

In 1973 the Rare Breed Survival Trust identified that the Hebridean (then known as the St Kilda sheep) was a distinct breed in danger of extinction with only approximately 300 animals spread over 40 flocks mainly in parklands of large estates with the 4 horned tups looking resplendent to vistors as they passed. Jack spent his formative years with his family farming Scatwell and Strathconon estate in Ross-shire where one of these original flocks were maintained. The above photo is of the original Scatwell Flock in about 1981.

 

In 1994 the breed had managed to get it's self to the stage where the Hebridean Sheep Society was formed and took over the responsibilty for the breed from the RBST. In the intervening years the qualities of the breed have managed to get the registered numbers to the stage where Hebridean or St Kilda sheep are no longer a rare breed.

In our flock we vary between 30 - 40% of the breeding stock being multi-horned. They are harder to get right but fantastic animals when you do. We have had or bred up to 6 horned with a couple of 5 and 6 horned lambs in the 2016 lambing.

A Scatwell flock hebridean tup from the 1980's

1980's Scatwell 4 Horned Tup

Slipperfield Erskine

Mountainblaw Eden

Mountainblaw Garnet

Ardoch Bessie

Eden and Garnet both showing the rare Hebridean top knot

For more information about Hebridean sheep see the Hebridean sheep society website at 

http://www.hebrideansheep.org.uk/

Scatwell Flock in the early 1980's