Our flock of Shetland Sheep was established in 2013. We have breeding ewes in many and varied colours and we use a home bred Grey Katmoget ram Angus (Kennixton Black Douglas) who has sired many lambs in a wide range of colours.
We keep the Shetland flock for their wool, which is the finest of any British Native Breed, and their meat which is of great quality and highly sort after.
Many of our sheep 'roo', this means that they shed their fleeces in the Spring, often after lambing. However, we also shear many of them to reduce the chance of flystrike as we have many a heavy dew followed by a day of warm sunshine, great for lush green pasture but not so good for the sheep who are in full fleece.
'Puzzle and her twin lambs' 2016
ABOUT SHETLAND SHEEP
Shetlands are small, fine-boned sheep belonging to the Northern Short-tailed group. They have adapted to the topographic and climatic conditions of Shetland for over a thousand years. There are now flocks throughout mainland UK and The Shetland Sheep Society maintains a flock register of members caring for Shetland sheep outside the Shetland Islands. The breed are very hardy and have the ability to thrive on low levels of nutrition. They are prolific with a prolificacy of about 160%. They are highly adaptable and succeed well in less rigorous conditions off the Shetland Islands. There is a considerable variation in height and weight of sheep depending on feeding conditions. For example hill sheep in Shetland, out-wintered as lambs, have a live weight of about 22kg whereas a park-fed ewe in the south of England averages 45kg. A ram in peak condition could weigh as much as 65kgs
'Angus' as a lamb with his mother 'Morag'
Rams may be horned or polled. Ewes are normally polled but occasionally may develop short horns that curve backwards.
A special feature of the head is the straight facial profile, but with a distinct hollow between the cheek and nose. The eyes are protuberant and set well apart - about three-quarters of the distance between the nose and the top of the head. The ears are small and fine, set well back on the head and carried slightly above the horizontal. Small amounts of wool are normally present on the forehead and almost always on the cheeks. A straight and level back and a well-rounded rump are indicative of the general quality of the sheep.
Their tails have 13 vertebrae, much shorter than commercial sheep that have 26 vertebrae. It is fluke shaped, broad at the base and tapering for three quarters of its length then continuing without further narrowing to a flattened tip. The upper portion of the tail is wool covered, but there is hair at the tip. The tail length varies in keeping with the size of the sheep, but is usually between 4 and 6 inches.
The most important attribute of the breed is its wool, which is the finest of all native breeds and which shows an amazing variety of colours and patterns. There are 11 main whole colours and 30 recognised markings. The fleece tends to be shed in spring. At this point the fleece can sometimes be plucked or rooed by hand. The fleece weighs from 2 - 3lbs.