Icelandic Sheep Breed Standard
This is the Icelandic Breed Standard which is what we as breeders are to follow when breeding Icelandics. This provides somewhat of a picture of the "ideal" Icelandic sheep which can be used to judge your own animals against. This is especially important to keep in mind when you are shopping for sheep.
- A medium sized sheep
- Fine boned with an open face and legs
- Mature body weights, Rams 90-100 kgs., Ewes 60-65 kgs
- Short with a broad forehead to the nostrils
- Nostrils should be well open, lips thick and jaw strong looking
- Eyes should be bright and alert
- Horned and polled acceptable in both sexes
- Horns growing too close to the face is undesirable
- Short, round and broading at shoulders so that where neck and shoulders meet is not noticeable
- Rams should have a much thicker neck area than ewes
- Broad, blending smoothly into body
- Rounded and meaty
- Broad and reach well in front of legs
- Wide chest cavity
- Ribs should stand well out and be well rounded
- Long, thick back muscle with firm flesh
- Loin is broad, roundish, strong
- Rump is broad well muscled, fairly long but can taper back a bit
- Legs are well muscled and thick, muscle reaching far down towards the hock
- Feet are short, thick, straight and squarely placed
- Pasterns are strong, angling about 45 degrees to the ground
- There should be a lot of wool
- Fleece comes in wide range of natural colours
- Wool is dual coated; fine wavy undercoat called thel and long, coarse corkscrewy outercoat called tog.
- Kemp in wool is undesirable
- Color variable, depending on colour of wool.
- Tail is naturally short, fluke shaped, mostly covered with hair, 15-20 cm long on a full-grown sheep.
- Docking of tail disqualifies Icelandic sheep from registration.
- Badly twisted legs