Icelandic Sheep Timed Auction
Northwest Auctions to hold sale for Pedigree Icelandic Sheep
After 2 successful online sales in 2021 and 2022 the Icelandic Sheep Breeders Of the British Isles (ISBOBI) have arranged another online auction for the sale of Pedigree British Icelandic Sheep (a primitive breed of sheep). However, this year we will be using North West Auctions to run this on our behalf . The sale will run from Friday 8th September to Monday 11th September 2023. The closing date for entries has now passed. All validated entries (must be registered with the ISBOBI Society) will be available to view at least two weeks prior to the sale.
Icelandic Sheep, whose number are in the region of 300 in the UK, are medium sized and fine boned, their naturally short tail, (avoiding docking and stunted growth rates), and their ability to thrive off grass are great selling points. The breed still has its double coat of tog and thel, producing fantastic fleeces which come in a variety of colours, the wool is very much sought after for its natural properties and can go for considerable value.
Icelandic Sheep have been isolated genetically from other breeds of sheep for over a thousand years and are one of the oldest and purest domesticated breeds of sheep in the world today. In recent years, many breeders have successfully crossed Icelandic sheep with the Blackface and Shetlands with much success; others have had particularly good results crossing with the larger continentals. Icelandic rams have come into their own, producing cross breeds which are considered by members of the breed society to be lighter on the ground than some heavy breeds and producing better quality meat than some smaller breeds.
Ruth Stanton, Assistant Secretary of (ISBOBI) said:
“We are very excited indeed about the upcoming auction. In recent years there has been so much interest in Icelandic Sheep, it has completely spiralled. The aim of this auction is to help provide us with a measure as to what is happening as well as a benchmark for the breed.”
The first Icelandic Sheep were imported into the UK in 1979, and in 1988 the Icelandic Sheep Breeders of the British Isles was founded, with the aim of preserving the purity of the breed in the UK and coordinating information about the sheep to breeders and those who are interested in buying them. Within the breed there are in the region of 35 types, not all of which are represented in this country. In Iceland they have been the source of meat and wool and historically milk too, the famous Skyr was made with sheep milk before milk production was increased using cow’s milk. However, as sheep milk is more easily digested and calcium more accessible there is renewed interest in this as a product.
Entries have now closed, full details of the sale can be found on the Northwest Auctions website soon. It is important to note that to bid you must have a Northwest Auctions website account.