|Posted by Fluffy on November 12, 2012 at 8:45 PM|
Eric is not purebred Icelandic. He has a bit of Shetland in him. Even though Shetlands and Icelandics evolved continents apart, there are some remakable similarities. The Icelandic sheep were the only source of domesticated meat and milk on the continent for thousands of years. The sheep are heavier than Shetlands, heavier boned and a bigger, meatier carcass. The Icelandic sheep were milked and the sheep cheese was eaten and enjoyed all over Iceland, particularly a soft cheese called Skyr. There has been interest in the Icelandic breed as dairy sheep most recently.
The wool from the Icelandics has coarse guard hairs and fine loft hairs. The wool, spun together is LOPI wool and is famous. It contains little lanolin and is very warm, but can feel scratchy against the skin. The skins from the sheep make excellent warm outer garments or rugs. Sheepskin has been used for the bedridden for centuries to aid in their comforts.
Eric is considered "white" though he is cream coloured with a few tan freckles. He will be sent in with the Icelandic ewes at the end of December so lambing will occur at the end of May when the weather is fine. This timing does not provide marketable lambs by the end of summer, but it is easier on the shepherd with not having to get up in the middle of cold nights in January and find newborn lambs, then revive them from being half frozen and set up a spot where they can stay warm and dry with their moms. Welcome to the farm , Eric.
Categories: Icelandic sheep