Our Shetland Beginnings
The sheep in our flock carry the full spectrum of fleece types found in the North American Shetland. There have always been a few soft silky double coats and a few relatively short single coats. But over time, we have bred for a dense relatively single coated fleece with good length, and the softness and luster that define "Shetland" wool.
We purchased our foundation flock from the Doanes of Maple Ridge Sheep Farm in 1997.

In August of that year, we brought five ewe-lambs to live with us. and in the fall, they were joined by three bred ewes.
Below: Maple Ridge lambs, on the day we chose our first sheep.
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Our lambs grew amazingly long fleeces in their first two years, but as adults, their staple lengths shortened to reflect those of their sires and dams.

Below: Our sheep on the morning of their first shearing...all that color and amazingly soft fleeces, just waiting to be spun.
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When our lambs were coming-two, they and our three older ewes were introduced to Maple Ridge Oberon; our very first breeding group.
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The first Stonehaven lamb was as thrilling to our ewes as she was to us. Glenda's lamb Chloe had 8 mothers for the first few moments of her life!
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As Maple Ridge Shetlands, our foundation sheep were direct descendants of those from the original importation. Their fleeces were soft and lustrous, and each sheep's fleece was unique, yet consistent with the Shetland standard: "extra fine and soft texture; longish, wavy and well-closed".
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Our flock grew slowly in NH as we retained special lambs from each year's breeding. A few more sheep from Maple Ridge joined our flock over the years, including the first of many horned ewes.
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Pictured below are Maple Ridge Oberon (left) and Puddleduck Bjørn (right). These two gentlemen congenially shared senior ram status in New Hampshire; both made the journey with us to Oregon.
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When we moved to Oregon in 2001, we brought 40 Shetlands with us in our journey across the country: 30 adult ewes, 4 ewe-lambs, 4 adult rams and 2 ram-lambs. Several friends drove out with us, a caravan of two trucks & trailers and two cars.

As we came through Hell's Canyon on our way to Pine Valley, our sheep were greeted by a flock of Bighorn Sheep.

We were nearly home.
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A few more Flett sheep joined us just before and after our move to Oregon as Ingrid Painter dispersed her Shetland flock. And over the years, special sheep from several other Dailley flocks have added diversity to our genetics. After our move to Oregon, we acquired a few sheep carrying AI blood from the UK for their distinctive patterns and markings.

We continue to breed for all the Shetland colors and for soft fine fleeces, but limitations in pasture, in time and in energy have led us to a dramatic reduction in numbers over the past few years. Presently our flock consists of approximately 45 ewes, 2 adult rams, and a few special wool-wethers.

Our flock seniors will not be sold. Our oldest ewe is 16, but there are usually around 12 teenagers in our flock. Shetlands are long-lived and the old aunties are pampered in their golden years. Each night 7 or 8 "rocking chair girls" trundle into the feed room for extra groceries. They have earned their rest.

Our thanks to Linda & Tut Doane for having the vision of bringing Shetlands to the United States, and for pursuing that dream so passionately.
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