Meet the Animals!

 

At Rhyant Rock Farms we raise American Soay and Katahdin sheep and Icelandic chickens. We have selected breeds and individual animals that are good foragers, good mothers, and are able to be managed with little human intervention. This means low maintenace! We ship sheep and eggs all across Canada, so don't worry if you are not located close to the farm!

 

Rhyant Rock Farms is a closed farm. The chickens were hatched here and no other chickens or eggs are brought in. Rams are brought in for the purpose of breeding, but are quarantined for a minimum of three weeks before being integrated into the flock. All of the Soay rams have come from farms that were certified through the USDA scrapie program to meet required exportation standards.

American Soay

 

Soay sheep are a primitive breed of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250-acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago, about 65 kilometres from the Western Isles of Scotland. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds.


It is believed to be a survivor of the earliest domesticated sheep kept in northern Europe, and it remains physically similar to the wild ancestors of domestic sheep, the Mediterranean mouflon and the horned urial sheep of Central Asia. It is much smaller than modern domesticated sheep but hardier, and is extraordinarily agile.

 

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Katahdin Sheep

 

The Katahdin is a breed of domestic sheep developed in Maine, USA and named after Mount Katahdin. The breed was developed during in the second half of the 20th century by Michael Piel who, after reading an article in the February 1956 National Geographic, imported selected St. Croix sheep and crossed them with various other breeds including the Suffolk-selecting lambs based on hair coat, meat-type, conformation, high fertility, and flocking instinct.

 

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Icelandic Chickens

 

Icelandic Chickens are a breed of chicken from Iceland. Called íslenska hænan, Haughænsni or landnámshænan in the Icelandic language,  or “Icelandic chicken of the settlers.” They are a landrace fowl which are rare outside its native country. They are an old breed of chicken, having been present on the island since introduction by Norse settlers in the 9th century. However, despite this isolation, the breed has barely survived in a pure form in the 21st century, largely due to the importation of commercial strains of chickens in the 1950s. The few thousand Icelandic Chickens in existence today are the result of conservation efforts in the 1970s; a handful of flocks have been exported abroad.

 

Icelandic Chickens are not firmly standardized in appearance, and possess a wide range of plumage colours and patterns, skin colouration and comb types. Some have feather crests.

 

Despite this variance in appearance, Icelandic Chickens are uniformly hardy in winter, have white earlobes, and lay white to light cream coloured eggs. They are also said to be docile in temperament and hens will readily go broody.

 

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