Lambs at play

Hillside is the farm name and flock registration prefix for Jacob and Shetland Sheep bred by Gary and Dianne Anderson of Sparta, Michigan. We have bred and raised Jacob Sheep for more than 20 years. We selected "Hillside" as our flock prefix when we lived in the flat, hill-less Central Valley of California. Hillside was selected with a particular site in mind where we intended to retire someday; "someday" is here, and in March 2007 we retired from the University of California and moved from California to Michigan. Today our flock grazes on the rolling hills of western Lower Michigan. Our new house and barn were built on the side of a hill on a 20-acre parcel that was part of Gary's family's farm.

Gary is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Animal Science and Physiology at the University of California, Davis. Dianne retired as Associate Director of Service at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis.

In 2009 we added Shetland Sheep to Hillside Farm and offer for sale both Jacob and Shetland lambs.

Jacob Sheep are black and white spotted and typically have either two or four horns. We chose the breed for its magnificent beauty and need for conservation. Shetland Sheep come in several colors ranging from white, through brown, to black. Shetlands also have multiple color patterns and produce fine wool for spinning. In addition to personal satisfaction from contributing to humankind through rare breed conservation, Jacob and Shetland Sheep are 'easy-keepers' and can fit almost anyone's lifestyle. They are hardy and require infrequent veterinary intervention, they lamb with few complications, ewes are attentive mothers, and newborn lambs are vigorous.

Our Jacob Sheep are registered through the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association (JSBA). You can learn more about Jacob Sheep through the JSBA website (http://www.jsba.org). Our Shetland Sheep are registered through the North American Shetland Sheep Association (NASSA). Information on Shetland Sheep is available on the NASSA website (http://www.shetland-sheep.org).

We have Jacob and Shetland Sheep for sale at modest prices ideal for anyone who wishes to establish a high-quality flock at an affordable cost. The American Livestock Breed Conservancy lists both Jacob and Shetland Sheep among breeds that require conservation to prevent their loss from the U.S. landscape. We are particularly pleased to help new breeders, 4-Hers and others get started in their breed of choice; we consider helping new breeders establish their flocks to be a significant contribution toward breed conservation.

Our flock is enrolled in the United States Department of Agriculture Voluntary Scrapie Certification Program. Outstanding wool quality has been included among the goals of our breeding program. You will be highly satisfied with both the quality and prices of our Jacob and Shetland Sheep. For more information, please call us at 616-514-9343 or send an e-mail message to gbanderson@ucdavis.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.

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