I first began raising Shetland sheep in 1992. From the beginning I always believed in their heritage as a finely fleeced, soft wooled breed. I've become more and more dismayed during the past 15 years as I've seen breeders working in the opposite direction towards coarser, heavier fleeces. I've heard that it is impossible to breed Shetlands that average 23 microns, but I've always felt it was achievable. And now I know it is true.
My entire flock averages at last rib/midside 27 microns or less at maturity. And now I have a two year old ram who is dark moorit in color named Tennyson whose last rib test is 23.8 MFD, 5.1 standard deviation, 21.5 coeffient of variation and only 8.3% of his fibers are greater than 30. My daughter's young polled ram "Mac" tested 21.4 MFD, 5.5 SD, with 7.3 fibers greater than 30(lamb fleece). Both these rams are bred to the majority of our ewes for spring lambs. We are very excited to see what they will produce for us.