To many Icelandic farmers, the lambing season is the busiest, yet most exciting of the year. Starting in early May, the season signals the end of a long winter and brighter days.
There are hundreds of sheep farms all around Iceland, ranging from 100 up to 1,000 grown sheep! This makes lambing season an incredibly busy time, requiring the assistance of every inhabitant of the farm and family and friends coming to lighten the load. The sheep are cared for and watched all day and night until each of them have birthed new lambs.
The Icelandic sheep strain has remained pure ever since the country’s first settlement about 1,100 years ago. The Icelandic sheep is entwined with tradition and an essential element in Iceland’s heritage and survival. True to tradition, the young lambs spend their summers in the unspoiled highlands, grazing freely on grass, berries, and arctic herbs. By doing so, they acquire their exceptional flavor and texture, which is renowned all over the world and delicious beyond compare. That way, the cycle of life continues, just as it always has.
Although sheep care hasn’t changed much through the centuries, technological advancements have improved the process. Each new lamb is labeled and can be traced back to its mother in case of separation. Farmers also keep a registry of the number of lambs birthed by each ewe. Usually, there are two born although on occasion they can be as many as five! The first lambs born each year earn the distinguished titles Lamb King and Lamb Queen and they get their 15 minutes of fame in the Icelandic media.
To give extraordinary insight into the lambing season, sheep farmer Pálína Axelsdóttir Njarðvík (@farmlifeiceland) will take over Icelandic Lamb’s Instagram (@icelandiclamb) from May 10-12. She will provide an insight into the lambing season, regularly posting stories and photos, allowing viewers to witness the birth of new life and all the joy and excitement this remarkable season brings. On May 12 Icelandic Lamb will team up with Iceland Naturally and livestream right from Pálína’s farm, giving viewers a chance to go behind the scene and witness the action live from your home!
Will you be tuning into the livestream? Let us know in the comments below!