Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself
Perkasie, Pennsylvania, United States
Posted Aug 03, 2011
Cheviot and Shetland sheep are both dual-purpose sheep, but because of their small size yield a small carcass. Their meat is excellent, even beyond the first year. Cheviots have an excellent, dense fleece of good staple (3-4" and even longer) which has a helical crimp, making it a lofty yarn, easily spun. Shetlands fleeces vary, some being dual-coated and some not, but their fleece is exceptionally fine and very prized. Cheviot x Shetland crosses are done in the US as well as in the Shetland Islands. They are appropriate for crossing because of their similar size and small heads, making lambing easier. While Cheviots are polled (hornless), Shetlands have large and distinctive horns. The crossbreds are horned or not, depending on the dominant breed. The fleeces are more dense than Shetland, more fine than Cheviot. This creates an exceptional fleece which varies depending on the % of each in the cross. A 50/50 cross is always white when using a white Cheviot, and is polled. Beyond that percentage, the color is (as in pure Shetlands) a nice surprise, and horns are usually present. The fleeces are long, rarely dual-coated, and very desirable. The density it greater, giving a heavier fleece, and the hand is never disappointing. In the Islands they do this cross to produce a good fleece with more weight per animal. The temperament is usually very good, making crosses good pets, particularly the wethers.