Breeding and Sales

Astro Sons


Blue Mountain Astro: All-time stud muffin

Astro is our logo ram and for good reason — his majestic horns. Of his 6 lambs in our inaugural crop of British Soay lambs in 2006, only Keverne remains here; the rest have either moved to new homes or expired. Had we known then how thoroughly enchanted we would become with our flock and how quickly and happily we would grow it exponentially, we would have saved Astro for a year in which we had a whole lot more ewes for him to service.

According to the “rules” of conservation breeding, we should have sold Astro in 2006 to another breeder since his work for us was complete. But we just couldn’t part with him. So we dipped back into Steve’s academic past and introduced the concept of “tenure” to Saltmarsh Ranch. Astro was our first tenured ram. Year after year he grazed contentedly out in the Bull Pen, rousing himself only infrequently to deliver a good “whack” to one of his brethren by way of reminder about who the Alpha Ram was on our farm.

Through all those years, we would occasionally look at Astro’s meager output in 2006 and muse about whether we should breed him once more. It was an itch we couldn’t seem to get out of our system. Happily, as the 2012-13 breeding season approached, we found ourselves short an "A Bloodline" linecross flocksire. Guess who’s an “A” ram, and not because of his name!

Truth to tell, our decision to breed Astro one more time was accompanied by no small amount of finger-crossing. We had no experience with breeding an 8 and ½ year old ram, and Conventional Wisdom not surprisingly recommends the younger the better in that department.

We need not have worried. Astro’s six new ewe lambs now live on five other farms scattered throughout the US. His nine linecross ram lambs were all potential flocksires for us and almost all of them have inherited at least a modest version of Astro's great horn set. But we have more Astro sons than we can use, so some of them are available for purchase either individually or as part of a starter flock. Emsworth is shown on the “Scratch and Dent Sale” page since he bred for us this year. The “virgin” Astro sons are shown here. Please contact us if you’d like to own a piece of Soay history with one of these boys in your breeding lineup.

Endnote: Apparently exhausted from his efforts, Astro lay down in the Bull Pen and breathed his last, contented, on January 4, 2013, just four days after leaving his breeding ewes. Sign us up for an exit like that!

Saltmarsh Arundel

Saltmarsh Arundel •  02-Apr-2013
Blue Mountain Astro Greener Pastures Michaelangelo
USA0001 Astoria
Saltmarsh Ossie Gaerllwyd Mustard
USA0001 Kiger

Arundel is the last of Astro’s 10 sons still on our farm, and he is ready for a new home. His mother, Ossie, is a white-faced AI ewe so Arundel carries the white spotting gene and has the benefit of the new genes brought in from the U.K. in 2008. We are not sure where Arundel picked up his jaunty white goatee, but he cuts a handsome figure and has elegant horns that occasionally need just a wee nip to keep their tips away from his head.

Saltmarsh Holmsted

Saltmarsh Holmsted •  21-Apr-2013
Blue Mountain Astro Greener Pastures Michaelangelo
USA0001 Astoria
Saltmarsh Tolcarne USA0002 Chestnut
USA0001 Astoria

Holmsted’s horns are as wide as Astro’s, but they come down straighter and with less of the “Celtic M” curve. When you add Tolcarne’s horns to the mix, it is no wonder Holmsted is so stately.

Saltmarsh Compton

Saltmarsh Compton •  16-Apr-2013
Blue Mountain Astro Greener Pastures Michaelangelo
USA0001 Astoria
Saltmarsh Cameron Gaerllwyd Mustard
Greener Pastures Carole King

Compton also has Astro’s stark white belly and fully symmetrical horns. He also is a Mustard grandson.

Saltmarsh Denton

Saltmarsh Denton •  16-Apr-2013
Blue Mountain Astro Greener Pastures Michaelangelo
USA0001 Astoria
Saltmarsh Lilly J Gaerllwyd Mustard
USA0003 Lilly of the Valley

Denton’s mother Lilly J descends from the portion of the original British flock based in South Carolina. He is somewhat “greyer” than most of Astro’s sons, but with the same graceful horn set.