To many Icelandic farmers, the lambing season, which starts in early May, is an important part of the year as it signals the end of a long winter and the start of summer and warmer days.
Sheep farms are a crucial part of Icelandic agriculture and livestock; there are thousands of sheep farms across Iceland with nearly 1,000 sheep at each farm. The spring lambing season is a busy time on these farms, requiring all who live on the farm to carefully watch and care for the sheep until they have given birth.
Since Iceland’s settlement thousands of years ago, the Icelandic sheep strain has remained pure. Rich with tradition and an essential element to Iceland’s heritage, Icelandic sheep have also been key to the Icelanders’ survival.
New technological advancements have assisted in the care of sheep. Each new lamb is labeled so it can be traced back to its mother in case they are separated, and farmers keep a registry of the number of lambs birthed by each mother as this number can range from two to five. The first lambs born each year earn the distinguished titles of Lamb King and Lamb Queen. The young lambs born this season will spend their summers in the highlands and graze on grass, berries, and arctic herbs – growing necessary strength from their diet’s exceptional flavor and texture.
From May 18-24, Icelandic sheep farmer Pálína Axelsdóttir Njarðvík (@farmlifeiceland) will be taking over the Icelandic Lamb Instagram page to provide insight into the lambing season. She will be posting to the page’s stories with updates and even share when viewers can witness the birth of new lambs this season!
Be sure to tune in, and let us know if you’ll be tuning into the takeover on Twitter!