Shetland sheep

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Shetland sheep are primarily raised for meat, wool, and conservation grazing purposes. The breed is originated in the Shetlands Isles, Scotland. Shetland breed belongs to the Northern Europen Short-tailed group. Shetland ewes are hardy, easy Lambers, good mothers and produce ample milk.

Shetland sheep breed information

The Shetland sheep are small-sized breeds with some wool on their faces, nose, and legs.

The breed has small erect ears and comes in eleven main colors. The light grey, white, grey, musket, emsket, shaela, black, moorit, fawn, mioget and dark brown or the recognized colors by the breed association.

The rams are horned and ewes are polled.

The mature Shetland ram weighs 45 kg (100 lbs) and ewe weighs 35 kg (77 lbs).

Shetland wool produced in the Shetlands gained protected geographical status with a protected designation of origin (PDO) classification as “Native Shetland Wool”.

The fleece of shetland is fine and soft.

The fleece weight os Shetland is around 1 kg to 1.8 kg.

The numerous shades of Shetland wool is a valuable commodity. The Coarser Shetland wool is used to make Tweed and also the multi-colored knitwear and knitted lace shawls.

The Shetland ewes are seasonal breeders, become fertile in October and November and lambing in spring or summer.

The Shetland area is of poor grazing land, even in that situation the ewes have the lambing percentage of 130 percent.

The healthy lamb weight is between 2 to 3 kg.

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Things to know

Shetland sheep are one of the smallest British breeds.

When better pasture and care are given the Shetland ewes produce twin lambs.

Characteristics of Shetland sheep

Breed NameShetland sheep
Other Name
Country/Place of OriginEngland
Breed PurposeMeat
Breed SizeMedium
Weight Ram(Male) 45 kg (100 lbs)
Weight Ewe(Female) 35 kg (77 lbs)
Lambingsingle or twins
Good for Stall Fed open grazing 
Climate Tolerance local conditions

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