The Gotland and Finnsheep
Dover Farm is home to a flock of over 60 Gotland and Finnsheep. Known for their friendly and curious natures, Gotlands and Finns are a growing presence in the North American fibre sheep community. Dover Farm is a proud to contributor to the development of Gotland sheep in North America and is committed to excellence in breeding stock and bloodlines.
Originally from Sweden and a member of the Northern European Short-Tailed Family, the Gotland is the modern descendent of the ancient Gute (Gutefar) sheep. Today's Gotland is a member of the Lustre Long Wools, which includes breeds such as the Teeswater, Wensleydale and Blue Face Leicester, and is known for producing remarkably fine fleece with beautiful lustre.
Gotland colours range through the gray scale, from silver to charcoal with subtle shading within the fleece. Locks are long (3-7 inches) and lustrous with a strong wavy crimp. Gotland fleece is known for its incredible softness in relation to micron counts that fall between 29 and 34 for adults and in the low to mid 20s for a lamb. Dover Farm's use of Finnsheep (see below) as a foundation breed produces Gotland fleeces with micron counts in the mid to high 20s.
Dover Farm is a member of American Gotland Sheep Society and follows their established breeding standards, using Finnsheep as the foundation breed for developing their Gotland bloodlines. Dover Farm is proud to use Gotland rams from Martin Dally, who first imported Gotland semen to North America.
Dover Farm offers Gotland breeding stock, as well as a limited supply of whethers. Please contact Dover Farm for more information.
The Shepherd and the Hand Spinner originally introduced Finnsheep (Finns) to the flock as a foundation breed for the Gotland flock. However, after getting to know this lovely breed, they decided to develop a separate flock of Finns to complement the Gotlands.
Finns are originally from Finland and also a member of the Northern European Short-Tailed Family. Finns are known for their prolific litters that are often 3 or more lambs.
A Finn fleece has high lustre, a soft hand and minimal grease. Locks are easily separated and slightly pointed, with lengths ranging between 3-6 inches. Micron counts vary from 23 - 32, with finer examples occurring in well managed flocks. North American Finns are more often white in colour, although black, gray and brown are being reintroduced.
Dover Farm currently has 40 pure breed Finns, including rare brown and gray rams.
Finn breeding stock is available for purchase, including a limited supply of whethers. Please contact Dover Farm for more information.
Quality care creates quality Fleece
The Shepherd and the Hand Spinner both believe that to create a high quality fleece, a sheep must be both happy and healthy. Dover Farm sheep live a free range life on 63 acres of managed pastures that encompass both certified organic and chemical free fields. Pastures are maintained through careful rotational grazing, regular mowing and the application of manure as fertilizer.
The flock is protected from natural predators by Molly, Bess and Bella, the farm's 3 Maremma dogs, who live with the sheep year round.