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Six Reasons to Love Gotland Sheep

Just a short time ago, I had never heard of Gotland sheep. Now, I have my own small flock of Gotlands out in my paddock. If you ask any shepherd, they will tell you that THEY have the best breed of sheep. They will rattle off a list of reasons why you too should love their sheep. Today, I will take a turn. Read on and you will learn six reasons shepherds and fiber artists love Gotland sheep. 
1. Gotland sheep grow lovely curly locks of wool, a desirable trait for handspinners, felters, and doll makers. Within a year’s time, their fleece can grow up to 10 or more inches in length. These locks of wool have much luster and a soft handle. The long staple length is a dream to a handspinner. Because of the fine micron count, Gotland wool also felts easily, creating a dense, sturdy piece of felt. 
Gotland Curls
Gotland Curls
2. Gotland sheep have clean black faces and legs. For shepherds living in snowy northern climates, this characteristic allows for ease of caring for the sheep in winter months. Sheep with wool on their faces can develop “wool blind”, when the wool on their faces grows to much that they can not see. The shepherd must keep that wool clipped away from the eyes. Also with clean legs, mud and snow does not build up on them.
Clean Face & Legs for Northern Shepherds
3. Gotland sheep often have “sugar lips”. The white hair around their lips makes them appear as though they just dipped their lips into a sugar bowl. This particular trait simply adds to the “cute” factor!
“Sugar Lips”
4. Gotland sheep have adaptable, curious, personable temperaments. Once comfortable with their shepherd, Gotlands bond quickly to people making them a perfect breed for small family farms. Our flock provides proof of their adaptability to new situations. Our flock rode for 3 weeks in a livestock trailer to get to our farm. They all arrived in perfect health. They also came from a more moderate region of the U.S. Our little flock has shown no signs of stress in adapting to our bitterly cold and snowy climate. 
Gotlands-Curious and Personable
Gotlands Possess Curious and Personable Temperaments
5. Gotland sheep love to forage and eat what other sheep may consider uneatable. The first time I turned my Gotlands out on pasture, they immediately went for a weed that my Romney sheep would not touch. They ate the weed as though it were candy before deciding to eat the grass. This helps with pasture management, keeping weeds in control. They also devoured the Christmas tree which I gave them, a natural parasite preventative.

Gotlands Love Pine

6. Gotland lambs mature and grow quickly. Most Gotland shepherds breed their ewe lambs and find that they make wonderful mothers-often having twins and triplets. For those raising them for meat, Gotland lambs grow out to a nice weight within 6 months making them a true dual purpose breed.

Bred Gotland Ewe
Ema-Due to Lamb in April

 In the short time that I have owned Gotland sheep-I have decided that I now possess the BEST breed of sheep!

What do you think is the best breed of sheep?


One Response

  1. Allison Kelsey

    They look and sound wonderful! What a blessing that they came through their travels so well. They’re lucky to have landed at your farm. I cant wait to see the lambs!