Posted Jun 27, 2019
Shetland sheep are a small, hardy breed. Mature Rams weigh 90 to 125 pounds and ewes weigh 75 to 100 pounds. They are mainly bred for their wool. The original wool type is very fine with extreme crimp. It is next to skin soft. When shetlands were imported to the US, Americans welcomed not only the fine wool type, but the double coated type as well. The double coated fleece consists of a shorter, finer undercoat and a coarser, longer outer coat. The two types can be separated. Shetland sheep come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Rams have horns and horned ewes can be found occasionally. Shetlands are a friendly, personable breed with humans. Some may be friendlier than others by nature, but if this breed gets enough interaction with people when young, their curiosity will get the better of them. It doesn't take much for shetlands to melt into a puddle when you give them some scratches. Wethers especially. Shetlands are very smart. They are very capable escape artists and if there is trouble to be had, they will be the first to get into it. They will test fences and often will challenge electric net fencing if not properly trained to it. Proper fencing is a must. Shetland ewes are fantastic mothers. They rarely need help lambing and they are fiercely protective of their babies against predators. This is a healthy breed that requires minimum care. I cannot speak of meat or milk quality or production as I have not utilized either.