We chose to add Icelandic sheep to our farm in 2004 because they are a triple purpose breede. I really liked their wool and colors and the general look of them and they are different enough from the Jacobs but with many of the more primitive qualties I value in the Jacobs. I enjoy them because of their friendly and intelligent personalities, their good mothering abilities and beautiful wool. I have milked ewes both for lambs and for my own use and they are physically easy to milk.
I strive to breed registerable breeding stock with nice handspinning quality wool and good conformation from a meat standpoint. We also have some leadersheep genetics in our flock so we try to balance those qualities with the other more marketable features. Most of my ewes have very nice fleeces, but some are prized for their mothering or productive qualities more. I prefer horned sheep, but my one scurred ewe is of good meat conformation.
I’m still learning about these sheep. They are bright and interesting, but sometimes harder to raise than the extremely low-maintenance Jacobs I used to breed. Some have difficulties with heat and lambs often need watched more carefully during worm season in the summer months. They love the cool weather though and many are very personable and visit me in the pasture. Generally, they are very good mothers with few lambing problems. The lambs are quick to get up and nurse and grow fast if I keep up with worming them. I absolutely love working with the lush fleeces they produce. I have not had trouble with agressive rams either.
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