Icelandic Goat: Farming Information Guide

Icelandic goat is a thousand-year-old animal that has survived to our days since the first inhabitants of the island introduced it to their boats from Norway. It is known that it was the first, very first settlers who brought the goat to Iceland. And it is known why, without this animal, survival would have been completely impossible. Everything in Iceland is pure and autochthonous. Everything is the result of years of isolation, of loneliness. And it is fascinating and peculiar thanks, precisely, to its geographical isolation, a circumstance that has allowed it to have one of the purest breeds in the world, genetically speaking.

Towards the end of the 9th century, therefore, the Scandinavians introduce the goat to the island. Over the years, this fact would encourage the colonies of Icelanders to settle in the country because this versatile animal was going to provide them with the meat they would need, wool, skins, and milk.

This animal, related to its Nordic-Russian “homologous”, has been evolving ever since, but for the better. The geographical isolation of the country has been doing its work progressively, preventing crosses and hybrid breeds that are so damaging to the genetics of any animal and plant race.


Icelandic goat is a medium-sized breed. The males usually weigh a little more than 100 Kg., while the females rarely exceed 80 Kgs. The range of colors is extensive and the wool they produce is pure and of excellent quality, much appreciated by the tiny Icelandic textile industry.

Also, the fur is usually white, black and gray. In this breed, both males and females have horns that are large, curved and tilted backward. And let’s not talk about their meat and milk, exquisite food items. And her skin is also used to make clothes and garments.

Its livestock profitability is assured, thanks to its genetic purity, a circumstance that allows it to develop at a very fast speed. Far above any other world race of goats. The gestation period is 143 days and the percentage of reproductive mothers over the total number of females in a herd is very high.

Clear indicative of the excellent quality of its genetics. They usually reproduce at the end of the calendar year, in December. Normally, each breeder gives birth to two goats, although there are larger litters. There are them with and without horns, their legs with short, their head and legs are practically naked and their complexion is strong, somewhat chubby.


Icelandic goat is a breed that is multipurpose, which is the breed for the production of milk, meat, and skin. Similarly, it is raised for the production of wool, which is of good quality and excellent for the production of cashmere. In addition, this race because of its character can be used as a pet.

Special Characteristic:

Without natural predatory enemies, the Icelandic goat has remained in Iceland for more than a millennium. Grazing in the open field and generating a new type of livestock society as far as flocks of goat are concerned. Unlike its European neighbors, this breed is not concentrating in flocks of more than 5 or 10 individuals. Generally with an individual regarding grazing who acts as a leader or guide who has an extraordinary perception of the environment, of the climate, of any danger?

As a kind of guardian. Apparently, there is a specific semen bank for this “guardian”. Currently, goat breeding has become the main livestock activity in the country. During the winter, the flocks remain on the farm and surrounding, fenced.

Due to the harsh climatic conditions of the country and the absence of green soil, due to the amount of snow that covers the country. However, with the arrival of summer, the herds of goats are left free to go to graze the mountains. And so they do, grazing around hundreds of square kilometers.

The quality of its meat, precisely, resides there, in the purity of the feeding of these animals. Generally, farmers have an excellent sense of direction and where their flock is at each moment. However, it is impossible to get all the goats back to the farm. Some stay by the way, or escape, or get lost. Those who do not return will never do so. The goat and the Icelandic sheep have been a tool of survival for the Icelanders. Used for centuries as a source of power and heating.

And the future of this peaceful and elegant animal in Iceland is completely assuring. This race has been on the verge of extinction on several occasions. Before the Second World War and then in the early 2000s, and there were only about 340 goats left. And 10 years later the race reached 1000 individuals.

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