Boreray Sheep: Farming Learn the Basics

Are you interested in starting your own Boreray Sheep farm? The Boreray breed of sheep is an excellent choice for farmers looking for a hardy and resilient animal. Originally hailing from the isolated islands of St Kilda, off the West coast of Scotland, these animals have adapted well to their environment over centuries – giving them strong survival instincts and making them well-suited to existing on minimal resources. With some care and attention, however, you can ensure that your flock prospers even further with several traditional farming methods! In this blog post, we will explore the basics of tending to your herd so that you can ensure they remain healthy and productive for years to come.

History & Origin

The Boreray sheep, native to the St. Kilda archipelago off the coast of Scotland, is an intriguing breed. These small, hardy sheep with distinctive curved horns and black and white faces have a rich history dating back hundreds of years. For centuries, the islanders of St. Kilda relied heavily on the Boreray sheep for survival, using their meat, wool, and milk. However, due to the isolated location of the islands, the Boreray sheep was nearly extinct by the early 20th century. Thanks to conservation efforts, the breed has since made a gradual comeback and continues to fascinate animal enthusiasts around the world.


Boreray sheep are a remarkable breed of Scottish sheep. These sheep have a unique and striking appearance, with long woolly coats that come in varying shades of brown, black, and grey. They are a small breed, with rams weighing up to 70 kg, and ewes weighing up to 45 kg. Boreray sheep are highly adaptable and hardy, able to thrive in harsh environments such as rocky, windswept islands. They have a reputation for being intelligent and independent, making them fascinating animals to observe. These characteristics, combined with their charming appearance, make Boreray sheep a favorite of many farmers and animal enthusiasts alike.


Boreray sheep are one of the most striking-looking sheep breeds. They have a unique look with their attractive fleece and lop ears, making them a popular choice for hobbyists and farmers alike. If you’re looking to keep boreray sheep, it’s important to make sure they have the proper feed to keep them happy and healthy. These sheep graze on salt marshes and pastureland, so they require high-quality grass hay, and fresh water. To provide them with optimal nutrition, it’s recommended to add a small amount of pelleted food supplemented with vitamin and mineral supplements. Feeding your boreray sheep a well-balanced diet is key to maintaining their wellbeing and promoting their longevity.


Boreray sheep, a rare breed native to Scotland’s St. Kilda archipelago, offers a unique and sustainable approach to raising livestock. These hardy, medium-sized sheep are known for their wool, which is soft and prized by spinners and weavers. Borerays also have a gentle temperament and are easy to handle, making them an excellent choice for both hobby farmers and larger-scale operations. Furthermore, their ability to graze on rough and rocky terrain reduces the need for supplemental feed, ultimately resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. By incorporating boreray sheep into their farming practices, farmers can effectively balance environmental responsibility with economic viability.

Special Feature of Boreray sheep

The boreray sheep may not be the most well-known breed, but it certainly has some special features that make it a unique animal. Originally from Scotland’s St. Kilda archipelago, the boreray sheep is adept at surviving in harsh environments and is known for its hardiness. With its distinctive appearance, featuring a black and white face, legs, and tail, the boreray sheep is also prized for its flavorful meat and luxurious wool. While its small size makes it less ideal for commercial farming, the boreray sheep is a beloved breed among small-scale farmers who appreciate its resilience and beauty.


Boreray sheep, a rare breed originating from the Scottish island of Boreray, pose unique challenges for breeding and management. To ensure the survival of this ancient breed, it is crucial to follow best practices when it comes to breeding and caring for these hardy animals. Breeding Boreray sheep requires careful consideration of the animal’s genetic makeup and breeding history, as well as diligent record-keeping. Effective management strategies involve providing proper nutrition, shelter, and healthcare, while also respecting the Boreray sheep’s instincts and behaviors. By learning about the best practices for breeding and managing Boreray sheep, you can play an important role in preserving this important piece of Scotland’s agricultural heritage.

Breeding Strategies

Breeding Boreray sheep can present several challenges for farmers and breeders. One of the primary difficulties lies in the fact that Borerays are a rare breed, which can make it difficult to find good genetics to use in breeding programs. Additionally, Borerays are prone to certain health issues, such as foot rot and fly strikes, which can impact their ability to reproduce successfully. To overcome these challenges, breeders may opt to work with other breeders to share genetics and improve the overall health of the breed. They may also implement preventative measures to ensure the health and wellness of their flock, such as providing proper nutrition and veterinary care. With these strategies in place, breeders of Boreray sheep can help to ensure the future of this unique and valuable breed.

Health Issues

As with any living creature, Boreray sheep are subject to a variety of health issues that can arise. These conditions can range from common concerns such as parasites, lameness, and respiratory infections, to more serious illnesses including Johne’s disease and pasteurellosis. However, as responsible caretakers, there are numerous steps that can be taken to prevent and treat these health concerns. Proper sanitation practices, routine check-ups, and vaccination schedules are all critical in maintaining the overall health of your Boreray flock. Additionally, good nutrition and access to clean water can go a long way in preventing and treating many common ailments. Remember, by being proactive and informed, you can help ensure that your Boreray sheep remain happy and healthy for years to come.


What are Boreray sheep used for?

Boreray sheep are a breed of sheep that are not commonly found in commercial farming but are still very useful. They were once on the brink of extinction, but thanks to a group of dedicated breeders, the population has grown. The wool produced by these sheep is fine and of good quality. Some breeders also use Boreray sheep for meat, as they have a distinct flavor that many people enjoy. Additionally, Boreray sheep can be used for conservation grazing. They love to graze on tough vegetation, and their grazing habits can help to manage natural areas and keep them healthy. Overall, Boreray sheep may not be as popular as some other breeds, but they still serve a valuable role in the farming and conservation communities.

Where did the Boreray sheep come from?

The Boreray sheep is a unique and fascinating breed that has an interesting history. Native to the remote island of Boreray in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, these sheep have thrived in the challenging environment of the island for centuries. Despite their isolated location, the Boreray sheep have survived thanks to their hardy nature and the dedication of the people who lived on the island. The breed almost went extinct in the 20th century, but a group of enthusiasts managed to save the remaining animals and revive the breed. Today, the Boreray sheep is considered a rare breed, but their resilience and beauty make them a beloved and important part of Scotland’s agricultural heritage.

What is the oldest sheep breed?

When it comes to sheep breeds, there is one that stands out as the oldest known breed – the Boreray sheep. Originating from Scotland’s St. Kilda archipelago, these hardy sheep have been around for centuries and have a rich history. In the past, they were highly valued for their wool, meat, and milk, and were even considered a form of currency. They were nearly extinct in the 20th century, but thanks to conservation efforts, their population has increased in recent years. The Boreray sheep are known for their distinct appearance with their short, upright ears and multi-horned heads, and for their ability to survive in tough environments. They are truly a fascinating breed that has stood the test of time.


The Boreray sheep is a unique and notable breed with a fascinating history. Originating from the Isle of St Kilda off the coast of Scotland and lasting to today, it is difficult for us to fully imagine the original environment in which this hardy breed was born. Characterized by black faces, thick wool coats, and rugged terrains, Boreray sheep have developed considerable adaptations to survive harsh climates and environments. With careful management and breeding practices, we can continue to pass on this wonderful breed that holds so much importance in our agricultural heritage. As with any animal species, knowledge and preventive care are essential for good health outcomes in these animals. Taking time to understand more about the Boreray’s unique needs regarding its diet, behavior, and environment will ultimately lead to healthier sheep that can live up to their potential as producers of high quality fleeces. By continuing to learn about this incredible breed’s past and present roles in farming communities around the world, we can strive toward future successes for both the people who care for them as well as the Boreray sheep themselves.

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