Another ancient breed from the British Isles, Shetland Sheep are likely descended from a mixture of Viking and wild sheep inhabiting the Shetland Islands north of Scotland. During the Middle Ages, Norse seafarers introduced their Scandinavian sheep to the islands they would visit. In addition to being raised by local shepherds, the sheep would interbreed with wild and semiwild sheep already inhabiting the various islands, for instance, sheep such as the more primitive Soay Sheep from the Outer Hebrides. Hence, Shetlands are hardy, easy lambers, retain their characteristically short tails, and exhibit a single yearly estrus. Generally small in stature adults are easy to handle and produce beautiful long-stapled wool of a multitude of colors especially prized by hand spinners.
In addition to our small flock of Shetland Sheep, Coon's Age Farm is
also inhabited by Cashmere Goats. Unlike the sheep which we sheer and pluck wool
from, we comb the Cashmere directly from the goats with a stiff-toothed metal comb. Several of
these goats also have packed as part of herpetological and ecological studies throughout
the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Together, the Shetland Sheep and Cashmere Goats are integral to weed management on Coon's Age Farm where we control weeds with natural methods such as multispecies grazing, pulling, cutting, and tillage.
On Coon's Age Farm, we hand-spin our native wool and cashmere into individual hand knitted creations including colorful
knit hats to keep you warm during a winter's outing. Additionally, this wool ends up in original needle felted creations called "Muckle Masterpieces"--
named after our original Shetland Sheep ram. Dolls and horses, each lovingly crafted by hand and to order, are available.
Please, call or email us for prices and to place an order.
We welcome farm tours and visitors can grab a shovel and help us irrigate the hayfields and pastures listening for the singing of chorus frogs and the winnowing of snipe. We also offer natural history tours of the farm and adjacent wild areas hoping to foster appreciation and knowledge of this oft-overlooked part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and how local cultures and economies can assist in its conservation.
Eric & Melonie
Katie, Callie & Aislee Atkinson
Coon's Age Farm
99 Lovers Lane
Belfry, MT 59008
Give Us A Holler
Small Farmer's Journal
English Shepherd Club