The Gotland sheep originally comes from the island Gotland in the Baltic Sea. It's a grey breed with black head and legs.The skin is "curly" and they don't have horns.
In some cases, there are white areas on the forehead but it's seen as a small deviation from the original breed. But the skin is a more important factor when judging good sheep from bad ones.
The lambs are fully black when they are borned but slowly change to grey during the first 4 months. The ewes weight about 60-70 kg and the rams 80-100 kg.


The Gotland sheep is curious and lively but it varies a lot between individuals. They are quite often spread over large areas but get together when it's time to go to the water or finding a place to rest. The ram's temper varies a lot, some are very calm while others are more "aggressive" and try to butt. Both ewes and rams are very agile and are good at jumping.

Heat och lambing

The ewe's heat is tightly connected to the time of the year and occurs in the late fall which means they lamb in the spring. Some other breeds can lamb all year around but the Gotland Sheep always lamb in the spring.
The lambs are born 5 months after covering (145 days in average).

Young ewes usually gets one lamb while older ones get two. Three lambs are quite frequent as well.


The breeding objectives for the Gotland sheep is focused on sheep adapted to natural meadows and pastures. The adult sheep shall have a good ability to use both grass and herbs as well as small bushes and leaves. This makes them good to conserve the open landscape.

The Gotland sheep skins have a large value and the breeding is mainly looking at the skin. A solid color over the whole skin with an even curl size connected with a silky and glossy coat is the goal.

The slaugther weight for a lamb aims for 16-20 kg to satisfy the market demand.

To choose what animals to keep in the breeding, all lambs are examined when they are four months old. It's done on the farm but preferable by an educated external person. Every individual is checked with respect to the shape of the body and skin attributes as curl, silky, glossy, color etc.
The best male lambs can then be examined by a professional judge. You then have to bring your lambs to this event. The very best lambs from this examination will show up in a national auction. 

Products from the Gotland sheep

In addition of being very good in conserving the open landscape in meadows and pastures, the skin is very attractive for both handicraft and the design industry. The wool is easy to tangle and can also be spun to yarn. The meat is lean, tender and tastes very good.