Why Rare breeds?Ancient, hardy mountain breeds such as Hebridean sheep are quickly gaining in popularity. These lean, slow maturing animals graze on natural pasture and give lean, slightly gamey dark meat that is relatively low in cholesterol and saturated fat than modern commercial breeds such as Texels or Beltex. Hebridean meat-to-bone ratio is high and the breed has specifically been raised to pedigree quality – so as to be faithful to the traditional characteristics – as prevalent in the times of our ancestors.
Hebridean Lamb – Locally Bred Prime Cuts:As one of the prime native breed meats, we are now able to offer prime cuts from our spring born Hebridean lambs. The Hebridean is a primitive sheep, attributed to descend from the Norsk lands before being introduced to the highlands and islands of Scotland.
The Hebridean sheep breed thrived along the West Coast of Scotland where they enjoyed the freedom to roam highland, lowland and seaside at leisure. Originally their high butterfat content milk and fine fleeces resulted in them being kept by Highlanders as much for their milk and wool as for their meat. They were at one time common throughout Scotland until market forces found them to be too small and they were superseded by the Blackface.
Hebrideans are small sheep with striking black soft fleece with two or four horns. Until recently they were classified by the Rare Breed Society as an endangered breed. Fortunately, through the dedication of a small band of private breeders, this threat has now been lifted. However even now there are only a limited number of flocks being farmed and so the Hebridean Sheep Society (“HSS”) has been established to assist in preserving and enhancing the breed and its qualities. The Hebridean Sheep Society also stands as the official registration authority for pedigree Hebridean Sheep. Our entire flock was originally bought from HSS national sales or direct from selected fellow HSS registered breeders. However nowadays our flock tends to be entirely “closed” with only the occasional prize-winning tup or ewe being introduced from other flocks. This enables us to maintain a high degree of bio-security on the farm and promotes the confidence of knowing that our flock or their ancestors have enjoyed good health for years. In deed with the assistance of the HSS Flock Book, we are able to identify the ancestry of our flock – going back some 30 years.
Strathmore’s Hebridean breeding sheep are all registered native pedigrees at the Hebridean Sheep Society where they are confirmed as top grade stock under the Hebridean Sheep Society criteria. A number of our sheep achieved prize winning status in the Hebridean Sheep Society judging competitions.
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