Shetland Sheep

Shetland Sheep are a small primitive breed, considered a dual purpose sheep for wool and meat. They can be milked like their larger cousins, the Icelandic Sheep, but being a small breed they yield less milk. The soft and highly varied wool is favored by handspinners, and they are easier to shear due to size and lack of long wool on face and legs. The meat is considered lean, tender and mild flavored. The ewes are naturally polled, the rams are horned.

We chose Shetland Sheep as our beginner flock because they are a small, calm, friendly breed, forage well on poor pasture, do not require tail docking, lamb easily, and handle extreme weather well. The wool quality is a bonus! We found this breed to be quite intelligent and trainable.

For more information on this heritage breed, please visit American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and North American Shetland Sheepbreeders Association.

 If you want to learn more about sheep behavior and the mischief they can get themselves into, watch Shaun the Sheep!