Raising Icelandic Sheep on the Homestead
Icelandic Sheep are descended directly from the sheep brought to Iceland by Viking settlers, in the early ninth and tenth century. Icelandic sheep are genetically identical to the original breeding stock from over 1100 years ago. They are probably the oldest breed and have the purest line of all modern domestic sheep worldwide. Our pasture raised sheep all are sourced from the most reputable breeders, and we enjoy their character, personality, and attractive horns. Meet the Sheep!
The Icelandic Sheep breed is a triple purpose breed which means they provide meat, milk, and wool. Icelandic wool is highly valued for artisans, for its texture and colors. The sheep produces a long outer coat and a finer inner coat, which produces wool of exceptional quality.
We have obtained an antique spinning wheel which when restored will be used to process the wool.
We shear personally on-site and hand skirt the wool.
Raw Wool....Contact us about Fiber!
Icelandic Sheep have been used as the primary source of milk and dairy products in Iceland for centuries. Sheep need significantly less hay to survive the winter than a cow. The lambs are separated from the ewes in the evening, and are reunited with them after the morning milking. The lambs then have access to suckling their milk supply throughout the day to promote healthy growth. Sheep's Milk has almost twice as much protein as cow's milk. Sheep's milk contains more minerals than cow's milk and is easier to digest. It is high in calcium, and is excellent for making cheese on the homestead.
Besides the wool and milk, Icelandic sheep produce quality meat. Icelandic lamb meat is sought after by gourmet chefs around the world for its tender texture and flavor. Our sheep are pastured using 'management intensive grazing'. This means that the animals are moved regularly to a new patch of grass during the growing season, giving the other areas of pasture time to grow more grass. Other than a small amount of commercial sheep feed, which the ewes receive in their trough during milking, the animals are primarily fed grass and hay.
Lambs will be slaughtered in the fall at about 90 to 110 pounds.