Country of Origin: Sweden

Gotland

Posted: April 11, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: Sweden
Breed Association Websites:
gsbana.org
americangotlandsheep.org

Gotland sheep are a dual purpose breed that is renowned worldwide for their clear grey, lusciously soft, curly pelts.   Arising from the “Gute” landrace breed on Gotland Island, their ancestors were carried on Viking ships for food and the wool to make clothing and sails. Although some historians believe that the modern Gotland was created by crossing the Gute with imported Romanov and/or British longwool breeds, others, including long term breeders on Gotland island believe that the modern Gotland was created strictly by selection of the best sheep on the island.  This controversy will likely only be resolved once we have the genetic ability to discriminate the genetics of different breeds. 

Gotland sheep are beautiful, friendly, medium sized sheep.  They have no horns (though occasionally small scurs appear), have clean heads and legs and, like many of the northern breeds, have short, clean pointy tails.  They are fine boned, with slender legs and necks, alert faces and ears, and well defined belly for rumen space.  They do well on grass and are perfect sheep for small holdings and grass-fed lamb.

Their crowning feature, however, is their wool, …

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