The following is this year's Shetland sheep price list. Shown are ear tag numbers, names, colors, prices and some basic information. We have not tried to describe each animal in detail on the price list. They are all unique and would need a paragraph to do each justice. The colors and textures vary from sheep to sheep and within individual fleeces with some having very special marking patterns. When you have narrowed down your choices, we will send you a Data Chart for all those in which you may have an interest. You will then be better able to make your final selection. We want you to be an informed buyer!
Most of the Shetlands shown on the list below are available now; we try to keep this list as up-to-date as possible. Occasionally sheep are here for breeding, awaiting test results for interstate shipment or otherwise reserved but have not left the farm. We can discuss this further when you call. Shetlands always look forward to having visitors! Let us know when you will be in our area so that we can set aside some time for your visit.
| || ||Jillian||Moorit|| || ||8052|| ||7042|| ||soft, fine, even fleece|
| || ||Orin||Black|| || ||8052|| ||8010|| ||soft, lustrous fleece - small|
| || ||Sunflower||Musket|| || ||8052|| ||4077|| ||Sweet, shy|
| || ||Seamus||Moorit|| || ||8052|| ||7042|| ||Very soft, wavy fleece|
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that all sheep (and most other animals) be inspected by a veterinarian, certified to practice in the state of origin of the animals, before being transported across state lines. The veterinarian must complete an Interstate Health Certificate, certifying that the animals were in good health on that day. The Certificate is valid for 30 days if shipping by surface and 10 days if shipping by air. A copy of that certificate must accompany the animal and a copy is sent to the State Veterinarian of the destination state. While we might take issue with some USDA regulations, this is a very good one. We frequently choose to have Shetlands inspected that are sold to residents of Vermont. The USDA wants to be sure that no disease or other unhealthy characteristics are brought to other parts of the country; we certainly can’t argue with that!
We like the idea because it gives our customers a degree of confidence that a veterinarian, who is familiar with Shetland sheep and our flock, certifies that the sheep he is checking are in good shape. Sheep are very susceptible to “shipping fever”. While this isn’t really an official disease, it is the generic name given to the pneumonia type problems that sheep may contract when stressed. Shipping sheep is VERY stressful to the sheep and their immune systems sometimes get quite run down. Any “bug” that happens along may find a ready host in a newly arrived sheep.
Shetland sheep are very thrifty animals. As a primitive breed, they have had to survive, over the years, on Spartan feed and their systems have adapted so that they do quite well on marginal feed. In fact, they do poorly on very high nutrition feed and can suffer permanent damage. They are quite “boney” compared to most “improved” breeds with a normal condition score between ½ and 1 full point below most breeds. If a newly arrived Shetland comes down with some form of “shipping fever”, the average veterinarian, not familiar with primitive breeds of sheep, might treat the sheep for malnutrition rather than “shipping fever”. Part of this treatment might be to feed lots of concentrates and grain to “fatten” the sheep. This could be fatal because most Shetland sheep receive very little grain and ours receive none.
Many folks want to visit our farm, pick out their sheep and take them home with them in their van. Certainly visiting with the sheep is important. The Shetlands love people and interesting bonding takes place during a visit. A van is the ideal transportation vehicle for Shetlands. Although in new surroundings, they are more comfortable because they can see and hear people during the trip. A pickup with a cap is the second best transportation. A trailer might work if it is enclosed completely and there is plenty of hay so the sheep won’t slide around every time you go around a corner. An open truck is totally unacceptable. To get a Interstate Health Certificate we must work around our veterinarian’s schedule. He can’t drop everything and come to our farm just because we have a customer visiting. Although not infallible, we have worked out several plans that will allow you to pick out your sheep, the veterinarian to do his inspection and you to take the sheep home all in one visit. Call and we can discuss what will work best for you. You can’t just drop in, pick up your sheep and go home.
When you get your Shetlands home, you may want to keep them in the barn for a few days to allow them to calm down and start getting used to you and their new surroundings. It is paramount that you have your veterinarian visit with the new sheep as soon as possible so he/she can see what a Shetland is all about. Certainly a quick check to see that everyone made the voyage OK but more importantly, to become familiar with their size, condition score and temperament. Although the Shetland sheep population has grown enormously since we brought the first ones into the United States in 1986, many veterinarians still have never seen one. They are enough different from the average sheep that we feel it will be very much to your advantage to have your veterinarian become as familiar with them as soon possible before you have to call on him/her when you have a problem some time in the future.