The Shetland Breed

The Origins

Shetland Sheep originate from the Shetland Islands.  They are classified as a northern short-tailed 'primitive' breed and have not been improved over the years to make them more commercially viable.

Shetland Sheep are no longer classified as a rare breed due to the success in breeding them in the UK outside of the Shetland Islands.

Characteristics

  • Shetland Sheep are small, hardy sheep that were bred for their wool.  Their fleeces are finest of all British breeds, second only in the world to merino.

  • Their fleeces are naturally coloured and come in all shades of grey and fawn as well as white and black.

  • Shetland ewes often have twin lambs which are born easily and sustained on prolific milk from their mothers.

  • The meat is slow-grown and tasty, and is often eaten as hogget (over one year old).

  • The sheep have naturally short tails and do not require docking.