New Kids On The Block

Sheepies! Yeah baby! And to think that this whole farm was started all because I wanted some wool producers to go with the chickens we bought. As you know, I ended up with French Angora rabbits instead of sheep on that tiny quarter-acre, but now I have my sheep at last!

The Frühlingskabine is now the proud home of two Shetland sheep, one ram (dark brown) and one ewe (cream colored). Shetland sheep are a heritage breed –also called a primitive breed– of sheep that originate from the Shetland Islands between Scotland and Norway. It is thought that the breed evolved on the Shetland Islands over one thousand years after being brought there by the Vikings. Shetland sheep are a very docile breed that also make good mothers… an excellent trait considering that our new ewe is due to give birth any day now. Baby lambies! I’m excited.

Shetland sheep colors have distinctive Viking names too. Our ewe is a fawn color, and our ram is a dark reddish brown color, “moorit”.

Eleven main colors are recognized (most including many different shades): light grey, grey, white, emsket (dusky bluish-grey), musket (light greyish-brown), shaela (dark steely-grey), black, fawn, moorit (reddish brown), mioget (honey-toned, yellowish-brown), and dark brown.

Over 30 different coat patterns and markings are recognized, many of which can occur in combination. They include katmoget (“badgerface”: dark belly and dark shading around nose and eyes, lighter elsewhere), gulmoget (“mouflon”, the reverse of katmoget: light belly, dark face with light marks around eyes, dark elsewhere), yuglet (generally light with dark “panda” patches around the eyes), bleset (dark with white blaze down face), smirslet (white marking around the muzzle), sokket (with white socks on the legs), bersugget (irregular patches of different colors) and bielset (with a collar of a differing color).

Now we just have to come up with names for the sheepies. Obviously they need Scandinavian names. If we have a ewe-lamb, I might keep the best one back. Fun stuff ahead here on the farm!

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