Wanting to be as self sufficient as possible, we decided to find a breed of sheep that would be suitable for
handspinning and small meat production suitable for a homestead. Having raised Hampshires and Suffolks in the
past, we knew we didn't want to get back into the large commerical breeds. We wanted a breed that was small,
hardy, easy to handle and gentle. We needed a breed that was known for easy lambing, came in many colors, and
could hustle for a good portion of its feed on brushy pastures. With research, we found Shetland Sheep.
The Shetland is one of the smallest sheep breeds. The ewes are usually polled (hornless) and the rams usually
horned. The breed is noted for its very fine, soft wool and the high quality of its meat, though its smaller size limits its
use in commercial meat markets. They are small-bodied animals with no wool on the face, nose or legs, and small,
erect ears. The legs are of medium length and finely boned. A distinguishing feature of northern short-tailed sheep is
the short, fluke-shaped tail, broad at the base, tapering to a point, and covered towards the tip in hair, not wool.
This is excellent because they do not require tail docking like most commercial breeds.
The wool produced by the Shetland has historically been a valued commodity. Shetlands produce numerous shades
of wool colours, and this variety was commercially important to the wool industry of the Shetland Isles, where natural
wools are often used undyed. Tweed is also produced from the coarser Shetland wool but the Isles are best for their
multi-coloured knitwear and for the traditional knitted lace shawls which are so fine they will pass through a wedding
ring. Fleeces usually weigh between 2 and 4 lb, however we are breeding ewes that give a 6 pound clip. We shear
Eleven main colours are recognised (most including many different shades): Light Grey, Grey, White, Emsket (dusky
bluish-grey), Musket (light greyish-brown), Shaela (dark steely-grey), Black, Fawn, Moorit (reddish), Mioget
(honey-toned, yellowish-brown), Dark Brown.
Over thirty different coat patterns are recognised, incorporating various combinations of the colours.
We were very blessed to find a fellow homesteader that was willing to sell us a beautiful flock of 5 ewes and 1 ram
lamb. We are thrilled to be able to keep these gorgeous little gems, and were so excited to start lambing in April
2010. We will be keeping all our ewe lambs for a few years, but will offer rams and wethers for sale.
We have since added REGISTERED Shetland sheep and will be dividing our flock into two groups, interbreeding as
necessary to preserve genetics and improve our flock.
Some of Our Beautiful Grade Flock
2009 Moorit Ram Lamb
Susan, one of our first ewes. She is a
grade 2008 Moorit.
Georgie in the fall of 2011, what a
George has beautiful spread of horn,
and has passed this trait to his ram
lambs. He is incredibly gentle and one
of our favorites. This picture was
taken in June 2011.
Isla, George and Susan's 2011 Ewe
Willow and her lamb Barbie. Willow
is a true black, her lamb hasn't figured
out what color she'll be! She has a
soft silver near the skin and black
"frosting" on her wool. We'll see what
Barbie looks like after her first
shearing in March of 2012.
Susan, summer of 2012.
S'more's Courante. Thank you
Sabrina Erickson of Boston Lake Farm
for allowing us to bring "Smores"
home. He is our first polled Shetland.
He is a katmoget. Smores has an
amazing light crimpy fleece.
Our Registered Sheep- a new beginning.
Silverthorne and her lovely round bum.
Silverthorne is a registered Katmoget
ewe, bred to Smore's Courante for April
lambs. Thank you to Angela Marshall of
CABLE Ranch for allowing us to bring
Cutie Pie is a very pale registered
moorit ewe. Cutie Pie is bred to
Smore's Courante for April 2012
lambs. Thank you Angela Marshall of
CABLE Ranch for allowing us to bring
home Cutie Pie.
Lambs are expected beginning March 20th. We'll be posting more sheep
pictures as they come, so please check back. Please note that we will
not have any ewes for sale, but may sell some wethers or rams.