Let’s talk sheep!


Herd Master
Oct 16, 2010
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Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
Perhaps you could buy wethers for the wool. Go to your local chamber of commerce and ask about a spinners guild. They may be able to look up members in other towns and counties.

Look up alpacas, processing the wool and what sheep wool is best. Ask apace breeders.

If I was to do something like this, I’d want wethers in a variety of breeds, just to play with the different combinations.

I forgot about wethers!
They're usually cheaper, too!


Herd Master
Aug 1, 2011
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Rineyville, KY
You know you can eat wool breeds too, right?

Despite popular advertising, they taste the same as the hair breeds. The only wool sheep that I have any recollection of tasting “strong” was a 7yo Romney ram, but it still tasted good.

If your only goal with the wool sheep is to use their wool, get wethers. Without a uterus or testicles, all their energy goes into getting fat and growing wool so you usually end up with better fleece quality than a breeding animal. You can usually get them for a little cheaper too and a lot of breeders are happy to see their little buddy (why do the ram lambs have to be so personable) go to a good home instead of the butcher.

As for specific breeds - I raise Border Leicesters and Shetlands. I love my BLs, but I almost exclusively use my Shetland wool. There’s a big range in fleece type in the Shetlands, but I breed for a soft, silky fleece and is nice to work with and wear.

I have a scarf that I knit years ago (it was my first project that I spun the yarn and then knit) out of my Shetland wether Doon’s fleece. It’s not my prettiest spin or knit, but that is the one item that I always reach for when I need an extra layer in cold weather. I can wear it directly on my face with no itch factor at all.

Shetlands also come in a variety of colors and patterns so they’re pretty to look at too. They are a small hardy breed. My BLs are hardy as well, but I can’t remember the last time I had a serious issue with one of my Shetlands.

If I had to start a flock completely from scratch, I’d keep the Shetlands, but I’d probably add Bluefaced Leicesters (BFL).

I think both Shetland and BFL would blend nicely with Suri alpaca.

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