Sommarang Farm means Summer meadow in Swedish. We are located in the lake country area of Wisconsin, about 30 miles West of Milwaukee and 40 miles East of Madison. We raise Registered Shetland Sheep and Registered Oberhasli Dairy Goats. We love both of these breeds. Our goals are to improve fleece quality in the shetlands and milk capacity in the goats without giving up anything on the breed standard.
Shetland sheep roots go back over a thousand years, probably to sheep brought to the Shetland Islands by Viking settlers. They belong to the Northern European short-tailed group which also includes the Finnsheep, Norwegian Spaelsau, Icelandics, Romanovs, and others. Today they are considered a primitive or "unimproved" breed. This means that although they are small and relatively slow growing, they maintain their natural hardiness, thriftiness, easy lambing, adaptability and longevity. Shetlands survived for centuries under harsh conditions and on a meager diet, although they do very well under less rigorous conditions. Having retained most of their primitive survival instincts, they are easier to care for than many of today's "improved" breeds. Shetlands are one of the smallest of the British sheep. Rams usually weigh 90 to 125 pounds and ewes about 75 to 100 pounds. Rams usually have beautiful spiral horns, whereas the ewes are typically polled. They are fine-boned and agile and their naturally short, fluke shaped tails do not require docking. They are a calm, docile and easy to manage breed. Most respond well to attention and many even wag their tails when being petted!
A very important characteristic of the Shetlands is their beautiful wool, upon which the world-renowned Shetland wool industry is based. Shetland wool is one of the finest and softest of any British breed. This soft, yet strong and durable wool is a delight to spin and is ideal for knitting. It was traditionally used in Shetland shawls so fine that they could be drawn through a wedding ring! Fleeces usually weigh between 2 and 4 pounds and have a staple length of 2 to 4-1/2 inches. Occasionally the wool will shed in late spring as it did generations ago when it was "rooed" or pulled off by hand. Shetland wool comes in one of the widest ranges of colors of any breed. Besides white, which dyes very well, other colors include light grey, grey, emsket (dusky bluish grey), shaela (dark steely grey resembling black frost), musket (pale greyish-brown), fawn, moorit (shades between fawn and dark reddish-brown), mioget (light moorit), dark brown and pure black. There are these eleven main colors as well as thirty markings, many still bearing their Shetland dialect names. Unfortunately, many of these colors and markings have become quite rare as white wool is dominant and has historically commanded better prices. excerpted from the NASSA folder NORTH AMERICAN SHETLAND SHEEPBREEDERS ASSOCIATION
Oberhasli dairy goats are a swiss breed, display a unique combination of color red bay with black, and patterning which is all their own. And though their color and markings can be quite striking, it's often the alert and inquisitive facial expression, the sweet natured temperment and the exceptional flavor of their slightly sweet milk that earns them such devotion from dedicated breeder. excerpted from the Oberhasli breeders site.
Fiber and Patterns
We have raw, very clean wool for sale, as well as roving in all shetland colors. Contact me for prices. Also a pattern and fiber page will be added soon.