Tongue River Farm 

Quick Facts About Icelandic Sheep



The oldest pure breed - virtually unchanged in 1,000 years of isolation on the island country of Iceland. 
Largest of the short tailed race of sheep that include Finn sheep, Romanov, Shetland, Spelsau, and Swedish Landrace. 
Commercially viable breed - animals number 500,000 in Iceland and are responsible for a quarter of the total agricultural output.  This is not a "remnant" breed but a commercial production breed. 
     Raised and fattened on grass alone 
     Gourmet quality meat product 
     Fleece is known as a popular yarn and the best fleece for felting 
     Luxurious pelts lead the market in price worldwide 
Body size:  150-160 lb. for ewes; 175-210 lb. for rams 
Ewes can be:  lively, bright, curious, active, shy, flighty, calm, friendly and have excellent personalities.  They are not generally fence jumpers or crazy acting.  They have lived side by side with their shepherds for hundreds of years. They easily become pets.
Rams can be:  sweet, docile, aggressive or protective of their flock.  Rams of all breeds should be considered potentially dangerous and kept away from children no matter how docile they may seem.  Adult rams will breed 60 ewes.  Ram lambs will breed 30 ewes. Icelandic rams are extremely fertile and easily settle their ewes. 99% of most flocks will lamb out in 20 days. 
Either sex can be polled or horned - horned rams develop a magnificent full double curl.  Horned ewes develop a pleasing backward sweeping half circle.  White Icelandic ram 
Yearling horned ram 
Hardy, healthy, disease resistant - our flock is OPP free, foot rot free, and Scrapie free! 
Energetic and aggressive grazers - large rumens make them efficient utilizes of large amounts of forage. 
Non flocking - though classified as a non flocking breed, Icelandics have been traditionally herded in winter by shepherds.  When free ranging in summer, the ewes will spread out and aggressively seek the best forage.  The flock normally "trails," one behind the other, instead of shoulder to shoulder. 
Long Lived / Early Maturity - Lambs will reliably breed in their first year to lamb as yearlings. Ewes can produce to age 13 years or older.
Reliable Twinners - Most ewes will twin in their 2nd year and thereafter. About 15% can triplet.
Milking Ability - Ewes were used for dairy purposes in Iceland. Their high milk production leads to fast growing lambs and suitability for the dairy industry. Ewes can easily raise triplets.
Fast Lamb Growth - Nursing lambs on good pasture can gain 3/4 to 1 lb/day.
Polled badgerface ewe lamb 
black badgerface
No loud voices - animals seldom "talk" and when they do, their call is a soft pleasing "Ma-Ma" sound. 
No strong "sheepy" smell  
Beauty - the combination of long lustrous colorful fleeces, clean dished faces and big soft alert eyes make this breed one of the most beautiful and photogenic of all sheep breeds. 

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Tongue River Farm
Tongue River Farm
  5000 CR 4910
 Pomona, MO 65789

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  © Copyright Tongue River Farm, 2002