We saw that a local hobby farm family was moving and needed to find homes for their animals, including their Shetland sheep, so we thought we would take a look. The Shetland’s are supposed to be a bit larger than the Soay and have a thicker wool coat, so we thought that we could possibly take on two bred ewes so we could have lambs this spring. Even though our fences are not up and the shelter isn’t built, if we liked them we could put them up in the garden (fenced) and the old out-building.
Well, the Shetlands we saw were really woolly. The owners noted that even though they could be “roo’ed”, they sheared them. The wool was just too thick to fool around with. I’m not sure what we were expecting, but they seemed huge. Obviously, they are not too big, but that wool, wow. We may still have picked up a few, but the owners were not part of the voluntary scrapie program.
The trip was still great as we got a much better idea of the space required for our soon to arrive flock. Our delusions of fancy feed stalls, elaborate water tanks, and intricate mineral stands were fortunately cast away, we really came away with the feeling of “we can do this”. It really reinforced the correctness of our Soay decision – their pocket size and “roo-able” wool are two traits that we rookies really need.