Shetland Sheep at the Farm

While living in the Hoosier state of Indiana we purchased our first Shetland ram in 1989 from Gail Former of Underhill Farm. When we moved to Pennsylvania in 1995 we contacted Linda and Tuthill Doane at Maple Ridge Sheep Farm in Vermont and our original flock sires came from there. Since that time we have traded and purchased animals with others in Pennsylvania and have culled our flock intensively. At present we have a small flock of two rams and thirteen breeding ewes. Because some of our original breed stock included Border Leicester and Cheviot, we retain a limited number of crossbred ewes as well. The focus of our breeding program has always been on adherence to the Shetland breed standard and on fleece color and quality.

[Taken, in part, from the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University. ] “The Shetland’s roots go back over a thousand years, probably to sheep brought to the Shetland Islands by viking settlers. The Shetland is the smallest of the British breeds and it retains many of the characteristics of wild sheep. Today they are considered a primitive or unimproved breed. Rams weigh 90-125 pounds and ewes about 75-100 pounds. Rams have spiral horns and ewes are typically polled. They are fine-boned and their naturally short, fluke-shaped, tails do not require docking. Shetland wool has a Bradford count in the upper 50s to lower 60s and a fiber diameter range of 20-25 µm. Fleeces weigh 2 – 4 pounds and have a staple length of 2-5 inches. Shetlands comes in a wide ranges of colors. Besides the white, the sheep produce several shades of wool including moorit (brown), shaela (silver), fawn, grey, dark brown and black. Shetland fleeces are often patterned. There are eleven distinct colors and thirty described patterns, many of which bear their Shetland dialect names. Unfortunately, many colors and patterns have become quite rare as white wool has historically commanded better prices. The wool color and high quality is commercially important to the wool industry of the islands where natural wools are often used to make high quality shetland knitwear. Extra fine ring shawls are knitted, so called because the finest can be passed through a wedding ring; in the UK as a whole the wool is prized by handspinners. Shetland sheep are very hardy, good mothers, and easy lambers. Yearlings make excellent eating and dress out well even when exclusively pasture-raised. Purebred Shetland meat is highly regarded but is slow to mature. The North American Shetland Sheepbreeders Association (NASSA) was established in coordination with the Shetland Sheep Breeders’ Group of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in the UK. The purpose of the association is to assist breeders of Shetland Sheep in maintaining the purity and quality of the breed and to provide accurate registration and pedigree records for informed breeding decisions.The preceeding appears in its original form at the website of the Oklahoma State University, Department of Animal Science.”

Click the links below to migrate to the website of the North American Shetland Sheepbreeders Association (NASSA) to view the four-generation pedigree of each of our registered animals; use your back arrow to migrate back to this Pairodox Farm Blog page.

Pairodox Constance, 03/08, PA1634/1228, NASSA #S28393
Pairodox Marianne, 03/08, PA1634/1235, NASSA #S28391
Pairodox Greta, 03/09, PA1634/1253, NASSA #S30096
Pairodox Evie, 04/10 PA1634/1284, NASSA #S31633
Pairodox Zinnia, 04/10, PA1634/1300, NASSA #S31634
Pairodox Jenny, 04/10, PA1634/1306, NASSA #S31635
Pairodox Chloe, 04/10, PA1634/1307, NASSA #S31636
Pairodox Dinah, 04/10, PA1634/1314, NASSA #S31637
Pairodox Abby, 03/11, PA1634/1328, NASSA #S33671
Pairodox Jill, 03/11, PA1634/1330, NASSA #S33672
Pairodox Margaret, 03/11, PA1634/1339, NASSA #S33673
Pairodox Nichole, 03/11, PA1634/1340, NASSA #S33674
Pairodox Linda, 03/11, PA1634/1342, NASSA #S33675
Pairodox Henry, 03/07, PA1634/1217, NASSA #S25584
Painter Hill Woodruff, 05/11, PA1069/0710, NASSA #33789

If you’d like to talk to us about husbandry issues, especially as they relate to Shetland Sheep, do not hesitate to get in touch via the link at our website. We offer breed stock, raw fleecespelts, and freezer lambs (seasonally) for sale – please drop us a line and we’ll get back to you about details and about prices and shipping options.

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