About the American Gotland Sheep

Origins of the Breed

Gotland Sheep were first established on the Swedish island of Gotland by the Vikings.

In addition to being great seafarers, the Vikings were great sheep farmers. They brought Karakul and Romanov sheep back from expeditions deep into Russia and crossed them with the native landrace sheep. They then took these animals on their extensive voyages to provide meat and skins along the route.

Those travels led to the spread of these northern short-tailed sheep and their development into related breeds like Gute, Icelandic, Finnsheep, Shetland North Ronaldsay, and Manx. Primitive horned Gotland sheep (still called Gute) still exist on the island of Gotland today.

The Gotland Peltsheep (pälsfår), or modern Gotland, was developed in Sweden in the 1920s through controlled breeding and intensive selection. This produced a true multipurpose long wool sheep that yields good flavored close-grained meat, furskins, and soft, silky, lustrous fleece.

Introduction to Britain

The Gotland’s pelt characteristics particularly attracted W. Macdonald, who in 1972 imported 110 of the sheep into Scotland to produce furskins for his Antartex Sheepskin Co.

Lars and Anna Rooth made another importation when they moved from Sweden to Sussex in 1984, also for producing furskins.

The eventual dispersal of the MacDonald flock has led to the establishment of about 30 purebred Gotland flocks throughout Britain.

Introduction to the United States

In 2003, the process of laparoscopic artificial insemination was carried out for the first time for the Gotland sheep in the U.S. Interest has spread quickly as breeders have discovered the beautiful, lustrous fleece and the ease of care of a medium-sized sheep.

Gotlands Find a Niche

While Gotlands produce furskins and beautiful fleeces for spinning or felting, they are also easy to lamb, prolific, milky, and very motherly. Their lambs are active and fast-growing from birth.

These qualities, together with their hardy and adaptive nature, make the Gotland half-bred ewe suitable for extensive/rough grazing commercial systems.

Shearing Gotlands

In many flocks the main shearing is in early spring, with a second cut in autumn. Gotlands may be shorn bare or with a short close curled fleece for any early season show. Where there is no dedicated Gotland class, the AGSS recommends that it is preferable to enter Gotlands in "Long Wool" or "Colored" classes rather than "Primitive" classes.

General Appearance

Gotland sheep are medium-sized and solid-colored, with lustrous, long wool and a clean head and legs. They have a bold and alert appearance with fine bones and a good breadth and depth of body. Their ears extend gracefully outwards.


  • Gray fleece, solid-colored with shading allowed but no distinct patterns or spotting.
  • Fleece color ranges from light silver to dark charcoal.
  • Head and legs are generally solid black. Lamb birth coats are black, becoming gray within several months.
  • Small white markings on head, legs and tail are accepted but discouraged; shall be less than 30% of those areas. (Note that light gray eye circles and muzzles are not white markings.)


Gotland sheep are of medium size and substance. Ewes generally weigh from 120 to 155 lbs. Rams are heavier, weighing 165 to 190 lbs at mature body weight. The ideal height range for mature Gotland ewes is 25.5" to 30.” For mature Gotland rams it's 29.5" to 32" at the withers.


  • Solid colored head, generally free from wool.
  • Bold eyes, alert medium-sized ears set slightly above horizontal.
  • Small, neat, and straight muzzle with an even jaw and teeth set squarely on the pad.
  • Both males and females are generally and preferably polled.

Neck and Body:

Gotland sheep have a slender neck and shoulders set smoothly into a level back with generous length, good depth and reasonable breadth of body. They’re well-suited for market production.


They have a naturally short, hair-tipped tail measuring less than 6" as measured at the underside. It’s generally broader at the base and tapering to the tip.


They have slender legs that are well-spaced and upright. The legs are solid-colored and generally free from wool.


Their fleece is fine, long, lustrous, and dense, with clearly defined curl and staple. It is soft to the touch. The fleece is typically 29 to 34 microns in diameter at 18 months of age, as measured midside at the last rib. Lamb wool is typically in the low- to mid-20s micron range.


  • Any fleece color other than gray.
  • Long heavy tail, broad to end. Docked tail.
  • Uncharacteristic wool. Double coated, dull or straight locks. Indistinct lock formation. Overly coarse or harsh wool.
  • Deformities of jaws.
  • Greatly undersized or oversized animals. Overly coarse or cloddy animals.
  • Distinct pattern or spotting in wool. Small "sliding" white spots - spots in the fleece adjacent to the head or legs - are disqualifying in rams, discouraged in ewes. In ewes, these spots shall be smaller in area than the adjacent portion in the non-wooled area.
  • De-horned animals, trimmed horns, horns growing into the animal (fatal horns).
  • Rams without two normally descended testicles of approximately equal size.
  • Any sheep judged to be generally unthrifty, unworthy, or unsound.

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Ervalla New Victory (NZSBA)

DOB: Oct 2019
Importer: Skoog's Sheep & Cattle Company, LLC
Importer: Anette Skoog & Matthew Garcia
Codon 171: QQ
Associated Registry Registration #: 4067
Country of Origin Registration #: 77005/19

Ervalla New Zilver (NZSBA)

DOB: Oct 18, 2018
Importer:Skoog's Sheep & Cattle Company, LLC
Importer: Anette Skoog & Matthew Garcia
Codon 171: QQ
Associated Registry Registration #: 4068
Country of Origin Registration #: 77002/18

Ervalla New Ztor (NZSBA)

DOB: Oct 21, 2018
Importer:Skoog's Sheep & Cattle Company, LLC
Importer: Anette Skoog & Matthew Garcia
Codon 171: QQ
Associated Registry Registration #: 4030
Country of Origin Registration #: 77003/18

Ervalla New Zylvester (NZSBA)

DOB: Oct 2019
Importer:Skoog's Sheep & Cattle Company, LLC
Importer: Anette Skoog & Matthew Garcia
Codon 171: QQ
Associated Registry Registration #: 4066
Country of Origin Registration #: 77006/19

The Dane

1499 AGSS NG427
Limited Codon 171 - QQ


455 AGSS G1567
Limited Codon 171 - QQ


32 AGSS G1695
Limited Codon 171 - QR


27 AGSS G1782
Limited Codon 171 - QR


72 AGSS G1786
Past Codon 171 - QQ


1132 AGSS G1835
Codon 171 - QR


1441 AGSS G2180
Codon 171 - QQ


1266 AGSS G2050
Codon 171 - QR

Rolls Royce

1232 AGSS G2031
Codon 171 - RR

Sindarve Shaun AGSS

3344 SE870-08014
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Sindarve Mercurius

AGSS 3340 SE870-06473
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Sindarve Nestor

AGSS 3338 SE870-5483
Codon 171 presumed QQ


AGSS 3345 SE43319-09006
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Skinnarve Allen

AGSS 3341 SE3434-06167
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Lindholmen Benny

AGSS 3342 SE061495-09021
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Fattings Tjelvar

AGSS 3343 SE003425-07083
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Sindarve Silver

AGSS 3339 SE870-06343
Codon 171 presumed QQ


AGSS 3268 SE61495-10068
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Ervalla Grey Ztrong

AGSS 3271 SE 21215-12452
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Ervalla Grey Fifty

AGSS 3272 SE21215-33050
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Sindarve Bla

AGSS 3269 SE870-12408
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Ervalla Ztarke

AGSS 3270 SE21215-33076
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Sindarve Frodo

AGSS 3267 SE870-1053
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Fattings Aron

AGSS 3264 SE3425-07038
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Nors Fox

AGSS 3265 SE3051-08315
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Grandby Mr. Big

AGSS 3266 SE26673-09018
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Kalder Lakris

AGSS 3247 SE697-14067
Codon 171 presumed QQ

Sindarve Amor

AGSS 3246 SE870-14092
Codon 171 presumed QQ


AGSS 3518 AI, UK G1992
Codon 171 QR