The Gotlands

 

Gotland sheep are descendants of the Gute Sheep from the Island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Per GSBANA website (Gotland Sheep Breeder Association of North America) Legend has it that the Gotland breed, as we know it today, began with one farm in the early 1920’s. Shepherds wanted a breed of sheep with no horns and a higher quality fleece. A particular farmer saw a ram on a train headed for the slaughterhouse. He liked the look of the ram, pulled him off the train, bought him right there. He used this ram to cross breed to his Gute Sheep and began selecting and breeding for polled sheep and the characteristic curly grey fleeces of the Gotland peltsheep or modern Gotland sheep.


Per wikipedia, the Gotland sheep are fine-boned and of medium size. They are polled and have no wool on their heads and legs. Their fleece is fine, long, lustrous and dense and can be all shades of grey from silver to charcoal grey. In the USA Gotland can also be found in white and moorit. They have a clearly defined curl. Their disposition is docile and friendly. The fleece is typically 29 to 34 micrometres. Lambswool can be in the low to mid 20s micrometre range. The fleece is prized in the US by hand-spinners and in Europe they are most desired for their pelts.

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