Icelandic Sheep Origin, Facts, Weight, Milk, Wool Quality

Icelandic sheep are one of the oldest known and most pure sheep breeds. The Icelandic sheep has been known for centuries for its meat and wool, as well as for its milk. The Icelandic breed belongs to the North European short-tailed family of sheep, and they have a naturally short tail, which is shaped like a fluke. In order to ensure the continued purity of the breed, Icelandic sheep will be disqualified from North American registration if they have their tails docked. Icelandics are a medium-sized breed, with ewes weighing between 130 and 160 pounds and rams weighing between 180 and 220 pounds. The shape is typically stocky and short-legged.

Wool is absent from the face and legs. The wool is double-coated and available in a variety of colors, including white, browns, greys, and blacks. Horned and polled strains are both present. The breed is extremely cold resilient when left un-shorn for the winter.

Icelandic Sheep Origin, Facts, Weight, Milk, Wool Quality
Genetic testing has discovered a gene present in the Icelandic breed that increases the chance of multiple births for triplets, quads, quints, and even sextuplets if the ewe carries two copies of the gene. When a single copy of the gene is present, the increase in fertility will be much milder, with a major impact on the number of triplets. The gene, termed as the Thoka gene, is labeled after the first sheep was discovered to possess it.

    Icelandic Sheep Origin

    The Icelandic sheep breed was first developed in Iceland. In particular, it is in the northern European group of short-tailed sheep, showing normally a short fluke-shaped tail. The Icelandic sheep is a breed of sheep with the world's oldest pedigree and one of the purest strains. The Icelandic breed has been prized for its meat, wool, and milking capacity throughout its 1100-year history.

    Icelandic Sheep Facts

    Icelandic sheep are moderate-sized animals with a soft skeletal structure. Their faces are open and Udders are pendulous. They are often short-legged and muscular. Their faces and legs are wool-free. Their fleece is double-coated, and it comes in white and a range of other colors.

    Icelandic Sheep Weight

    Icelandic sheep are moderate-sized animals, with fully grown ewes measuring 150-160 lb and rams averaging 200-220 lb. They have a delicate skeletal structure, an exposed face, open legs, and udders. Polled and horned strains of both genders exist in the breed, though it is mostly horned.

    Icelandic Sheep Milk

    A normal Icelandic sheep ewe can yield approximately 1-2 quart of milk each day, depending on the breed raising environment. This is without the lamb feeding, and they will continue to yield for around 2 months at this rate. Sometimes people take the lamb away from the mother when it is born, feed them milk supplements, and drink all of the mother's milk.

    Icelandic Sheep Wool Quality

    The Icelandic sheep has a high-quality fleece. The fleece has a delicate, fluffy inner lining known as thel and a longer, rougher exterior coat known as tog. The tog fiber with a spinning count of 56-60 and a micron count of 27-30, and which expands to 6-8 inches in length. Tog takes around 6 months to completely grow.  It is glossy, sturdy, waterproof, and repels rainwater. Thel is a silky undercoat that grows to a length of 2-4 inches and has a spinning count of 64-70 and a micron count of 19-22 ".Tog emerges from primary hair follicles, while thel emerges from secondary follicles. 

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