The one thing we were told when we first started out with our Icelandic sheep was, never leave without the pedigree papers. When you are going to buy or are inquiring about buying Icelandic, or any animal for that matter, don’t be scared to ask a few questions. So, I have put this little piece together to share with anyone who is not too sure what to ask or to look for.
- If you’re buying a lamb, ask if both parents are registered.
- Ask if the animals you want are registered.
- If buying from more than one person, ask about pedigree history so you don’t buy related animals.
- Never buy unless you get the pedigree papers at the same time.
Check animals over for:
- Good mouth – the bottom and top jaw should align correctly. The incisor teeth should meet the pad on the upper jaw. (The best way to see a possible jaw problem is to look at the animal from the side).
- Look under eye lids for healthy pink flesh (if pale, animal is anaemic)
- Check legs are straight not bowed, and that all four feet are on the ground.
- A good ram should have two evenly sized testicles that should move within the scrotum. They should feel firm and springy and they should be free of lumps and swelling.
- If it’s a ram lamb, feel its testicles to make sure they have both dropped – important for breeding.
A good breeder will not object to you doing and asking any of these things..