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Thoughts on Shetlands?


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Oh my, that doesn't bode well --- I'd be happy to entertain suggestions for other breeds with a high quality wool for hand spinning?

 

I'll say what I have before about Shetlands: Vile little creatures with a penchant for escaping & roughly zero flocking instinct.
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Sadly, the few Shetlands I did meet were ... interesting. They didn't flock well and they seemed quite feral in their attitudes. Not a all dog-friendly, either. :rolleyes:

 

Merino, Targhee and Rambouillet have good fine wool. They're rather large sheep, but they flock well, seem gentle and produce a nice fleece. Peeking around on Google, I see Corriedale, Cotswold and Romney also named as good for hand spinning. Hope this helps!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Tunis[ian]? I don't know anything about good spinning wool personally. But there used to be somebody up the road from me with a small flock of high quality Tunis. Spinners would reserve the fleece from the same sheep year after year, and paid good money for the privilege. They seem to tolerate hot weather well and they're decent producers on the meat side. (I have two good Tunis/Katahdin cross ewes and they're so fat they jiggle when they walk, on nothing but eaten-down skanky summers-end grass pasture.) The downside is if you're aiming for that top quality level of fleece it means putting jackets on the sheep and no working them with dogs -- I guess you could work lambs and hoggs or any sheep whose fleece became less than perfect for any reason. Good luck with your project.

 

LizS in SCPA

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It depends what kind of handspinning you're interested in doing. For next to the skin the finewools Gloria mentioned are good breeds, CVMs (Romeldales) are also a popular finewool breed. Finewool can be challenging to process for handspinning, and difficult to shear for the inexperienced. Longwools (Lincoln, Romney, Border Leicester) tend to be easier to process and shear, but the market can be a bit limited. A nice compromise can be Corriedales or Bluefaced Leicesters, they have fleeces that are a little more versatile, and tend to be easy breeds to raise. I raised Sheltands for a number of years, and agree with Ben about them, there is also a lot of variability in the breed in this country, with people breeding for very different traits.

 

Probably the best thing would be to go to a sheep show that concentrates on wool breeds, and see what you like and talk to the owners about their characteristics. Also, see what fleeces are for sale, the prices, and what is actually selling - it will give you an idea of what people are looking for. Personally, I raise what I like to spin (Wensleydales), it makes it much easier for me to market my fleeces.

 

I do coat my sheep, and work them with dogs, and have never had any problems with the fleeces getting damaged, but that could be different with a different fleece type.

 

Angelique

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There's sure a lot to learn.... Your suggestion of going to a sheep show is a good one...this is a project that needs to take some time There is a fiber mill in the county...I might start by wandering down there and talk with them about the different kinds of wool. Everyone around here seems to be into raising alpacas though...

 

Liz

 

It depends what kind of handspinning you're interested in doing. For next to the skin the finewools Gloria mentioned are good breeds, CVMs (Romeldales) are also a popular finewool breed. Finewool can be challenging to process for handspinning, and difficult to shear for the inexperienced. Longwools (Lincoln, Romney, Border Leicester) tend to be easier to process and shear, but the market can be a bit limited. A nice compromise can be Corriedales or Bluefaced Leicesters, they have fleeces that are a little more versatile, and tend to be easy breeds to raise. I raised Sheltands for a number of years, and agree with Ben about them, there is also a lot of variability in the breed in this country, with people breeding for very different traits.

 

Probably the best thing would be to go to a sheep show that concentrates on wool breeds, and see what you like and talk to the owners about their characteristics. Also, see what fleeces are for sale, the prices, and what is actually selling - it will give you an idea of what people are looking for. Personally, I raise what I like to spin (Wensleydales), it makes it much easier for me to market my fleeces.

 

I do coat my sheep, and work them with dogs, and have never had any problems with the fleeces getting damaged, but that could be different with a different fleece type.

 

Angelique

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I added some shetland to my crossbreds.

 

the 8 way cross I breed.

 

They worked fine

 

I like my crossbred wool for hand spinning.

 

 

Can't have wool on the legs in my climate.

 

Your dogs and your sheep will work it out.

 

Mine did

 

 

 

My suggestion is find some folks making and selling stuff that you like the handle of, ask them what they got.

 

Don't like alpacas, my nieghbor is now eating his.

 

Hey....I have info to send you on your grandmothers wheel.

 

Send me an e-mail with your address.

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I added some shetland to my crossbreds.

 

the 8 way cross I breed.

 

They worked fine

 

I like my crossbred wool for hand spinning.

Can't have wool on the legs in my climate.

 

Your dogs and your sheep will work it out.

 

Mine did

My suggestion is find some folks making and selling stuff that you like the handle of, ask them what they got.

 

Don't like alpacas, my nieghbor is now eating his.

 

Hey....I have info to send you on your grandmothers wheel.

 

Send me an e-mail with your address.

 

Thanks, Tea -- I will....and my husband would approve of the solution to the alpacas...he's highly allergic to them!

 

Liz

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Border Leicesters have exquisite fiber (soft and silky). They are sensible and nice to work with - fast, but not flighty.

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Another fine-wool sheep breed = Cormo. I believe that they were developed in NZ or Australia and have Merino in their background. Beyond that I don't know anything about personality, "herdability" or meat characteristics. I just really like their wool.

 

Jovi

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I know someone in AZ that has shetlands. I bought some crosses from her. They are not difficult to work if your dog doesn't pressure them too much.

I am also wanting to learn how to spin. Romney wool is suppossed to be easy to learn on and Romneys are pretty common and should be easy to find.

They are also docile and throw a decent lamb when crossed to a meat type ram. I just bought a DVD from Rural Route Videos a week or two ago titled

"Working with Wool-Spinning". It was very well presented and easy to follow. I would recommend it. Mona/Virginia

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Mona, thank you for the video recommendation. I'll check it out!

 

Liz

 

I know someone in AZ that has shetlands. I bought some crosses from her. They are not difficult to work if your dog doesn't pressure them too much.

I am also wanting to learn how to spin. Romney wool is suppossed to be easy to learn on and Romneys are pretty common and should be easy to find.

They are also docile and throw a decent lamb when crossed to a meat type ram. I just bought a DVD from Rural Route Videos a week or two ago titled

"Working with Wool-Spinning". It was very well presented and easy to follow. I would recommend it. Mona/Virginia

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