Shetland Sheep

grazing Shetlands

The original Shetland flock.

We have a small registered flock of Shetland Sheep on MacCurdy Farm.  The flock was established on March 2017 with a ram originating out of Chassagne Farm in Puslinch, ON and 3 ewes originating from Dr. Cathy Gallivan’s Springwater Shetlands flock in Deerfield, NB.

Shetland sheep, as we know them, are small bundles of fleece with a hardiness suitable for our climate in Northern, NB.  Often labelled as a primitive ancient breed, Shetlands have a naturally short tail with only 13 vertebrae that does not require docking.  They have smaller feet with a narrow leg and are fleet of foot, which makes for an interesting challenge during shearing, foot trimming, and any other required care.

Shetland sheep come in 11 different colorings and as much as 30 separate marking patterns.  Our original ram is listed as black while the three ewes are fawn (1) and grey (2) katmoget.  Shetland sheep markings have traditional names like mioget, shaela, gulmoget, and katmoget.   For more information check out the NASSA website.

three ewes

Our fawn katmoget and two grey katmoget ewes.

Shetland lambs are small, weighing between 4 – 8 lbs at birth.  Shetlands often have singles in their first pregnancy and can have up to a litter of 5 lambs.  Shetlands are easy lambers, like most heirloom breeds, and have excellent maternal instincts.  They can be seen stomping their foot at any perceived threat to their lambs.

Shetland sheep are not fussy eaters but prefer grassy hay to hay with a lot of stock/stem.  Our sheep receive a free choice mineral block specifically designed for sheep and constant access to water.  Before lambing they receive some barley and sileage, which helps their condition.

Storm

Storm, our first ram lamb.

We plan on selling breeding stock after we have grown our flock to a manageable size of two or three dozen but plan on sending overstock rams to table or to other breeding programs.  Prices range between $200 and $350 per head depending on age and registration status.  Raw wool is available at a fair price and comes skirted (cleaned of debris).  You can contact Justin at 1-506-760-0469 for more information.

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Shetland Sheep

  1. Dan Mazerolle

    My wife (nee Kathy Neilson, Point La Nim near the old school) told me that you might have fresh lamb this spring. I am interested in a leg of lamb. We live in Dartmouth and will have to figure out how to get here, but anything is possible. An ides of cost would be helpful.

    By the way, I grew up in Dalhousie and went to school at DHS in the late 1960’s. Would your father, Jimmy, be of the same vintage?

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    • I will likely have more lamb in the Spring however, this is my first foray into selling lamb raised on our farm so I am learning the finer details as I go. I am in the process of setting prices and I would be able to have a leg of lamb prepared for you when I have a few more lambs butchered in the Spring. Shetlands are a smaller breed so the more time that passes within the first year, the better for me.
      Dad attended DHS in the late 1960s before leaving to attend several different universities. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

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