Icelandic sheep is an animal with a thousand years of history. It has remained until our days since the first settlers of the island introduced it in their boats coming from Norway.
It is known that they were the first, first settlers who brought the sheep to Iceland. And it is known because, without this animal, survival would have been completely impossible.
Towards the end of the ninth century, therefore, the Scandinavians introduced the sheep on the island.
With the passing of the years, this fact would favor that the colonies of Icelanders settled in the country thanks to that this versatile animal was going to provide the meat that they were going to need, wool, skins, and milk.
This animal, related to its Nordic-Russian “counterparts”, has been evolving ever since, but for the better.
The geographic isolation of the country has been working progressively, preventing crosses and hybrid breeds that are so damaging to the genetics of any animal and vegetable race.
Characteristics Details of Icelandic Sheep:
Icelandic sheep males usually weigh slightly more than 100 kg, while females rarely exceed 80 kg.
The range of colors is extensive and the wool they produce is pure and of excellent quality, much appreciated by the tiny Icelandic textile industry.
And let’s not talk about their meat and milk, exquisite food items. And his skin also used to make garments and garment adornments.
Its profitability cattle is assured, thanks to what we have already commented on its genetic purity.
These circumstances allow her to develop at a speed devilish, far above any other world race of sheep.
The gestation period is 143 days. And the percentage of breeding mothers over the total number of females of sheep is very high, clear indication of the excellent quality of their genetics.
They usually reproduce at the end of the natural year, about December. Normally, each breeder gives birth to two lambs, although there are layers of larger numbers.
There are those with and without horns, their legs are short, their head and legs are practically naked and their complexion is strong, somewhat chubby.
At present, the sheep have become the main cattle activity of the country.
During the winter, the herds remain in the farm and surrounding areas, surrounded by the harsh climatic conditions of the country and the absence of green soil, due to the amount of snow that covers the country.
With the onset of autumn and falling temperatures, Icelandic farmers mount their mighty horses and rush to the mountains in search of their flocks of sheep, for they cannot survive under the harsh climatic conditions of the Icelandic winter.
Generally, farmers have an excellent sense of direction and where their herd is in each moment. You May Also Like To Read Valais Blacknose Sheep.
However, it is impossible to get all the sheep back to the farm. Some stay by the way, or escape, or get lost. Those who do not return will never do so.
However, with the arrival of summer, the flocks of sheep are left free to graze the mountains. And they do, grazing around hundreds of square kilometers.
The quality of their meat, precisely, resides there, in the purity of the feeding of these animals.
Without a defined and particular gastronomy, the Icelandic population consumes a lot of fish and lamb meat.
Such is the importance of this that even a festival is celebrated in honor of the lamb meat: the “Þorrablót”.
And not only the flesh but also the head, the testicles, the eyes and all the “edible” parts of the lamb.
This celebration takes place in January and takes place on the country’s farms, where guests come from all over Iceland. You May Also Like To Read Katahdin Sheep.
Icelandic sheep have been a survival tool for Icelanders. Used for centuries to provide power and heating.
It is a multipurpose breed, from which they draw the milk and with it produce milk and cheese.
They take advantage of wool, and their meat is of good quality and excellent as a source of food. You May Also Like To Read Suffolk Sheep.
Without natural predatory enemies, as has also happened with the Icelandic horse, the Icelandic sheep has remained in Iceland for more than a millennium.
Grazing in the open and generating a new type of livestock “society” as far as sheep herds are concerned.
Unlike its European neighbors, the Icelandic sheep have no flocks of more than 5 or 10 individuals. Usually with an individual (regarding grazing) that acts as a leader or guide.
This leader who possesses an extraordinary perception of the environment, the climate, of any danger. Like a kind of guardian.
Apparently, there is a specific sperm bank for this “guardian”. In that country, there is a strict law that forbids importing sheep to Iceland.
And the future of this peaceful and elegant animal in Iceland is completely safe.
As A Reference: Wikipedia.