Soay Sheep Breeders Cooperative

Open FlockBook Project

Because the universe of Soay is relatively small, pedigrees begin to tie together just a few generations back. This allows for a variety of genetic and related analyses that can be of immediate benefit to any Soay breeder. We currently have over 2500 British and North American animals in the database, the vast majority of Soay in the U.S. and Canada.

If you have not yet entered this year's lambs or other Soay, we urge you to submit information in order to help complete the "family history".

By far the most popular feature of the OFP is the on-line database, available 24/7 to anyone interested in looking up the pedigrees of their own Soay sheep or in finding the ancestry of any other Soay in the U.S and Canada. Working on-line, users can print their own pedigrees, reverse pedigrees and mating histories. Often breeders find the most powerful tool to be their ability to create hypothetical breeding pairs (test matings) and the pedigrees that would result from such pairings. These self-conducted analyses have in some cases altered and enhanced breedersí selection of breeding pairs for the upcoming lambing season.

We also can provide (as time permits!) several customized reports of the known genetic parameters of the sheep in the OFP, including a basic listing of a breeder's flock in tabular layout; a one-page summary profile of the offspring and ancestors of a particular animal; lists of half and full sibs and their parents; or a more detailed summary of an animalís genetic heritage, including inbreeding information and the genetic contribution of each ancestor. The easiest way to get these materials to you is by PDF, but the reports can be sent via mail hard copy if you prefer.

We also prepare and mail individual registration certificates to Soay sheep owners for their animals, including animals born on your farm and animals you purchase from other Soay breeders.

Please visit the Open Flockbook Project webpage ( for detailed information about the OFP, including how to submit data for animals not yet in the database. There is no charge for any of the services provided by the OFP.

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