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Dorset Horn Sheep
  • Out of season breeding
  • Aggressive breeders
  • Fertility
  • Fleece very white, strong, close, free of fibre
    Docile and easy to handle
  • Excellent mothers and milking ability
  • Lamb easily with high percentage of multiple births
  • Excellent carcass
  • Extremely adaptable & hardy
    Intelligent & docile
The Dorset Horn is regarded as one of the oldest, purest and best of the British upland, short-woolled, horned breeds. It has been an identifiable breed since the 16th century and was originally known as the Dorset and Somerset Horn. The first imports to Canada were to Markham, Ont. in 1886.

Its chief distinction is its horns – large and curled – in both rams and ewes. Ewes with horns of this size and type (though notably small & fine in comparison to the male horn) are unique to the Dorset breed among modern domestic sheep. The rams’ horns are large and tightly curled in "regimental mascot" style.

The Dorset Horn is a big sheep, hardy and active. A mature ewe weighs 160-180 lb. and the ram 210 to 260 lb. It is an excellent ‘doer’ and excels all other breeds in its adaptability to all locations and varieties of climate. Dorset Horn rams are used as terminal sires for fast-growing, early maturing prime lambs which can be marketed at an early age. Dorset Horn ewes are prolific and can breed twice in one year, although 3 lambings in 2 years is more usual. The lambing rate is good and they are among the best mothers, the ewes seldom failing to own their lambs, and are heavy milk producers.

Their face and legs, clear of wool, are also noticeably white and show another of the Dorset Horn’s distinguishing features – a pink nose and light coloured hooves. The fleece is noted for its whiteness, and is of medium length, fine, strong, close and free of fibre averaging 5 - 9 lb.

The Dorset Horn are easy keepers, requiring little grain when supplied with fair quality hay & pasture. A healthy robust sheep, well suited for organic production with good parasite resistance. They are well known for their intelligence and quiet disposition. Their meat is good quality with excellent flavour. Dorset Horn are now on the Rare Breeds endangered list worldwide as polled Dorsets are preferred commercially.

Shetland Sheep

Thrifty sheep evolved on the hills & heaths of Britain, each adapted to their particular locality. Sheep have lived on the Shetland Islands for well over 1,000 years, adapting to a harsh environment and thriving in a cold, wet climate. The sheep of Shetland were an important part of subsistence agriculture of the islands, and the rugged habitat and geographical isolation produced a breed that is distinct and significant. They thrive on very poor grazing, producing the finest wool of any native British breed, in a myriad of beautiful muted shades of black/grey/brown/white. Many of the colours are referred to by their traditional names, such as sholmit, shaela, eesit, mooskit, mogit and moorit. It is the basis of the Shetland Islands woollen industry, which is famous for its Fair Isle sweaters and fine lace wedding shawls that can be pulled through a bride’s ring! Formerly the wool was rued (plucked) by the crofters, but now it is removed with shears. The wool is fine, soft and strong. Fleeces average 2-4 lb. and vary in crimp from wavy to straight. The sheep may be double coated, with coarser outer wool and a finer inner coat. Eleven colours and thirty colour patterns are recognized in the breed. This diversity is a great asset both to the breed and to the fiber artisans who enjoy using the fleeces.

The Shetland breed likely descends from the ancient Scandinavian sheep, and it is a member of the northern short-tailed sheep breed family. Historically, only a few Shetland sheep were exported, and it was not until recently that large populations were established on the British mainland and in other countries. Though fleece continues to be the breed’s primary product today, Shetlands in Britain are also finding a commercial niche for crossing with Cheviots and other breeds to produce market lambs. Shetlands were imported into Canada in the 1980’s and a decade later into e US.

Shetland sheep are fined boned and small in size with a short fluked tail. Rams weigh 90-125 lb. and ewes weigh 75-100 lb. Though small, their meat is of good quality and full of flavour. Most rams have spiralled horns, while most ewes are polled. With adequate handling, Shetlands are calm and charming in disposition, with great intelligence. Considered endangered only a short time ago, the breed has now been removed from the conservation lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

For more information on our products and availability, please contact us!

10 Emery Rd., RR#2, Summerside, PEI, CA, C1N 4J8
(902) 436-5180, emmerdaleorganics@hotmail.com