Shepherdwoods Farm Flett Shetlands
It has been a long road to get to this point, but we now seem to have a really nice small flock of Flett Shetland Ewes that we are keeping and breeding with the Flett Manson straws that were obtained from Kathy Baker back in 2005.
At present the Flock includes -
Shepherdwds Mousa S22203, DOB 3/06. Dark Moorit out of Stone Haven Ian and Cherry Rose Sunny. 30% Flett
Shepherdwds Flotta S25828, DOB 3/07, Moorit with Mioget background. Out of Shepherdwds Fiona and Flett Manson. 50% Flett
Shepherdwds Bunny S30177, DOB 4/09. Musket, out of Sheltering Pines Lena and Underhill Cirrus. 12% Flett
Shepherdwds Sophie S30178, DOB 4/24/09 Black out of Sheltrg Pines Wilhelmina and Underhill Jonathan Swift 3% Flett.
Shepherdwds Eina S31938 DOB 4/28/10 Black Iset out of Shepherdwds Perie Bard and Shepherdwds Sammy.
Shepherdwds Iona S38505 DOB 4/22/13 Black out of Shepherdwds Sophie and Thunderhead Pixie and her sister
Shepherdwds Skye S38506 DOB 4/22/13 Black Krunet
Shepherdwds Flora S38504 DOB 4/12/13 Moorit out of Shepherdwds Fiona and Shepherdwds Noses
Shepherdwds Little Rysa S38507 DOB 5/6/13 Musket out of Berghoff Rose and Thunderhead Pixie
2014 Last Fall we borrowed a ram and out of 5 ewes had 9 lambs. Three ram lambs and one ewe lamb all part Flett are for sale.
We will be bringing two of the ram lambs for sale to Jefferson, WI during Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival Sept. 5, 6, 7.
I think these are the best rams we have ever produced. At four months old they are a nice size. Horns look to be wide and developing very well. Fleeces have a nice handle. Rams are polite and well mannered.
Some info about our Partial Flett Ewes
In 2009 we downsized the flock to concentrate on the Flett bloodline.
Three of our partial Flett ewes were AI -ed to Flett Manson in 2010 at the AI session at Hidden Valley Farm and Fiber Mill, Valders, WI, on Saturday, October 30th. The resulting lambs range from 60- 80% Flett.
In the Fall of 2012 we put 6 ewes in with two partial Flett rams - Thunderhead Pixie and Shepherdwoods Noss. In April and May of 2013 nine lambs were born. We now have 3 black ram lambs and 2 black ewe lambs for sale.
All have really nice, soft fleeces. The rams have very nice horns.
If you are interested in AI-ing your registered Shetland ewes with the Flett Genetics contact us for info about the Flett Manson straws that are available
Picture - Jean Flett and Chris Greene discussing wool (what else) outside Flett house 2004.
History of the Flett Shetlands
In July1948, George A. Flett of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada imported three moorit ewes and one moorit ram from Shetland by way of the Orkney’s with the help of G. E. Anderson, a livestock agent in Lerwick, Shetland and a family friend John T. Flett in Orkney. They sailed on the SS Laurentia to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and then were moved by train to Fort Qu’Appelle where George and his son Peter went to pick them up.
Peter and his wife Jean took over the farm after Peter’s parents retired and Jean took over the raising of the Shetland sheep. She would keep a ram that showed the best characteristics and breed him to the flock till he got too old then she would pick another ram. The flock remained closed, until 1991 when Jean was able to buy a moorit Dailley Shetland ram from Doreen McLean in Alberta, Canada. In pedigrees this ram is known as Dailley Flett.
It took Jean some time to convince the Rare Breeds Trust and NASSA that her flock was indeed pure Shetland sheep as the Dailley importation was so well known and her flock was not. With the help of many people like Dr. Stanley Bowie, Ingrid Painter, Dr. Roy Crawford, Lawrence Alderson and Dr. Phil Sponenberg, Jean’s flock was finally registered in the North American Shetland Sheep Association.
Some concerns were raised about the 50 years of inbreeding of the flock but it was noted by Lawrence Alderson that inbreeding does not cause defects or deformities it simply concentrates the characteristics of the founder animals. It was also concluded by Dr. Phil Sponenberg that inbreeding of the Flett Shetlands did not pose any danger to the rest of the Shetland population rather "these inbred groups of animals are of great use in animal breeding, since there is great confidence that there are no hidden weaknesses. The inbreeding would have detected any weakness, and they are simply not there."
This is the way it went until the year 2002 when Jean sold the last remaining ewes and rams to Kathy Baker, Nier Lakes Shetlands, in Crossfield, Alberta, Canada. Kathy already had a flock of Shetland sheep. The ewes she got from Jean, a lot of them were already bred. The first lambs didn’t do so well because the ewes from Jean were in poor condition. But, Kathy had a “bumper crop” of lambs in 2004 that I saw Summer 2004 and they are doing quite well. She changed her breeding program so that the Flett rams were bred to her Dailley ewes and not the Flett ewes.
Added Note - The ram that the semen importation came from was LHE Flett Manson, NASSA #14420, born 5/13/02. He is 100% Flett.
Pictures - Left - Flett Family Home, added on to through many years. Right - Flett farm buildings - gray barn is where the sheep were housed.