Our Sheep - Lovely and Gentle
Delightful to Both the Eye and the Hand
We added sheep to our farm for two very simple reasons - fiber and meat. Choosing the right breed, however, was far less simple. There were two breeds that seemed to fit our criteria - Shetlands and Miniature Cheviots. We decided to give them both a try.
The four Shetland lambs (one ram and three ewes) arrived first. They were followed shortly thereafter by the three Miniature Cheviot lambs (one ram and two ewes). Both breeds had their strengths and weaknesses.
It took about a year to decide which breed best suited our personalities, our purposes, our land, and our climate. The Shetlands were calmer, quieter, and had super-soft fleeces. The Cheviots were meatier, a bit spookier, and their fleece, while very dense, and beautiful, was much coarser and not as nice to work with. We liked them both, but keeping two breeds was not practical. After much deliberation, the Shetlands prevailed and the Miniature Cheviots were sold to a local farmer.
The Shetlands are seasonal breeders and, in our area, breedings season begins, like clockwork, toward the end of November with lambs arriving mid-spring. While many Shetland sheep "roo" (shed their fleece) in the spring, we find our fleeces are of better quality when everyone is sheared at one time. Our sheep forage like goats gobbling up poison ivy vines, goldenrod leaves, wild roses, etc.
Our little herd of four Shetlands grew to 13 in just two years and we reached the point where we had rams to provide us with meat. We had been told that Shetland meat was rich, sweet, and not at all gamey like other mutton. We were skeptical. No more! Shetland meat is the very best of the best.
Our rams are used for one or two seasons and then either sold to other breeders or processed for part of our family meat supply. We routinely have both mature, registered sheep and lambs available for sale. Contact us for more information.