Welcome to our World of Gotland Sheep !
Skoogs Sheep & Cattle Co raise dual-purpose Gotlands for wool, meat and pelts. Our life and journey with the Gotland Sheep started in Sweden. The flock name "Ervalla" goes back to our first flock in Sweden. This was also the name of the small, typical Swedish countryside village were our farm was located. You can trace the country of origin for sheep with our flock name by their prefix (US), (NZ) while sheep without a prefix are born and raised in Sweden. You can read about the history of our flock below. Over the years we have successfully exported genetics from our sheep to several countries including USA, New Zealand, Norway and United Kingdom. If you are interested to know more about our flock or want to learn more about Gotlands in general – write an e-mail to email@example.com and we will send you more information.
Today, we raise Gotland Sheep in for production of wool, pelts and breeding stock. This includes a breeding flock based in New Zealand. We sell high-quality Gotland rams to other flocks in New Zealand. All rams are sold after weaning and lamb evaluation @110 days of age. The production of frozen semen for customers around the world includes USA and Canada. Selection is made with focus on production traits to give our customers access to Gotland genetics with true dual-purpose value. Our genetics are based on 100% Swedish blood lines and selected from the best breeders on the Gotland island and the mainland of Sweden.
In the United States, we use the wool and pelts for production of yarn, fabric and sheepskin products. Our start-up of a larger flock for production of wool in the US is still in it´s first stage. When we have breeding stock available for sale, this will be posted here on our website and on our social media channels (Facebook / Instagram). In the meantime: check out our page about available frozen semen, found under the headline: Gotland Sheep.
If you are already a sheep breeder, based in New Zealand or USA and would like to raise Gotlands for wool production – we are looking to establish relationships with people just like you. We need more wool producers, if you want to add a breed and/or diversify your current farm - contact us for more info.
Anette is teaching classes for Gotland sheep breeders about wool evaluation, selection and breeding. She provide live sheep / lamb evaluation services for breeders in USA and New Zealand. For a current class / travel schedule - please visit the Gotland Lamb Evaluation or class pages. In parallell she also teach classes in traditional Swedish handcraft techniques using sheepskin to create small gifts and large blankets (“Skinnfells”).
We are happy to share our story with you and to show ewes and rams from our flock. Starting breeding sheep professionally in Sweden, our flock expanded over the years, and later we raised 700 ewes in a twice a year lambing programme. Our Gotlands were born in April, raised on pasture and turned out to be the most competitive sheep compared to our beef cattle. The cattle business consisted of 200 head, commercial market heifers / bulls coming from our registered Black Angus & Limousine flock.
For nearly 10 years, we spent time and effort in building a Gotland flock of top-quality i.e within the best 10% compared to all registered Gotlands in Sweden. Many of our rams have been top-ranked, and some of them are among the best 1% breeding rams in the country.
We strongly believe in a dual-purpose Gotland, a sheep that can grow on pasture, give silvergrey shiny wool and beautiful pelts for fashion and handcraft. Because of this goal, you will NOT find ewes and rams from us that only have preferred wool traits while ranking low for the body / growth / fertility traits. If a sheep in our flock is not fulfilling the selection criteria, they will not be kept for any further breeding.
Maintanence and improvement of genetics is made by keeping the best animals, selection means that the rest is sent to the market for meat / pelt production. Due to the demand for Gotland wool, we may sell castrated rams for long-term wool production under certain circumstances.
In a flock with 300 lambs born we keep the best 1% rams (~3-5 yearly) and 10-20% (30 - 60 yearly) best ewes for future breeding.
To keep their place in our flock, our sheep must be able to combine both meat and wool traits. Production time without disturbance, i.e good health over the life-span and high milk yield to increase lamb growth rates are also important for our breeding programme.
Our most important foundation ewes came from Imnäs and Oppeby. We bought the Imnäs flock when the former owner retired and got a rare possibility to maintain and develop breeding value from 25 years of work. Oppebys flock, raised on their beautiful castle estate in eastern Sweden, went for sale when the owner decided to quit all farming operations. The one in a life-time opportunity crossed our way - 400 ewes and all lambs based on the best genetics from the Gotland Island and the Swedish mainland became ours.
Many of our best ewes traces back to the Gotland flocks Gannarve, Sindarve and Enge. Main land blood lines are from Ansta, Hultet, Esta and Lindholmen.
Gotland rams used in our flock have been carefully selected from the best Swedish farms and some of our most important sires have been:
Sindarve Blå (the ram in our photologo), Ervalla Ztarke, Sindarve Zeb, Ervalla Grey Fifty-Five and Nors Futuro. We have spent much time and attention to detail, when selecting breeders that can contribute in enhancing all important traits when breeding Gotlands. You can read more about past and present rams, their strenghts and their background history in "Gotland rams".
Selection in our flock is based on as many objective criteria as possible. We use on farm scoring, estimated breeding values and evaluate performance of each individual on a twice yearly basis. EBV`s - estimated breeding values gives a possibility to compare all sheep in the registered Gotland population in Sweden for selected traits. The system use the Best Linear Unbiased Prediction method for calculations, meaning that we can compare each animals genetic merit without interference of environmental or farm-specific factors. EBV´s give the possibility of comparing any registered individual against the registered population and enhances the speed of genetic progress if used for selection.
You can read more about Performance Recording, Phenotypic scoring of lambs and EBV´s in the sections for each topic choosing subtitles under Gotland Sheep.
To come closer to our main markets and also locate our breeding were the infrastructure for animal reproduction techniques and large scale breeding is available we decided to move some of our production and breeding out of Sweden. We have now exported our genetics world-wide, including United States, European Union, Norway, New Zealand and will add other export countries in the coming years.
Interested in Gotlands for a small or large flock? Curious about world-class fiber and pelts? Would you like to introduce the best genetics in your existing flock?
We appreciate questions and to stay connected with our sheep breeding community, independent of the breed you raise. Send an e-mail and we will respond to your request as soon as possible.