Iceland’s Native Goats Rebounding

Monday, March 1, 2010

THINGEYJARSVEIT, Iceland — Vilhjalmur Grimsson and a handful of his fellow farmers are credited with bringing the Icelandic goat back from the edge of extinction in their native land.

Grimsson’s goats, several of which are shown here, will spend the summer in the mountains and remain there until the first snowfall of autumn.

His 12 does gave birth to 15 kids in February, bringing to 535 the total number of Icelandic goats in Iceland now. Just a few years ago, the total count had dropped to below 400. The Icelandic goat will be considered at risk until the herd count reaches 1,000.

At the peak of their popularity in the 1930s, Iceland had nearly 3,000 of the goats, which have cashmere-like hair. Their numbers dwindled because of the difficulty in marketing goat products.

Goat cheese remains almost unheard of in Iceland, though Grimsson and the other goat farmers are finding some interest in goat’s milk, goat’s milk ice cream and the goat’s lush hair.


4 Responses to “Iceland’s Native Goats Rebounding”

  1. Maria Brown

    Are there any Iceland Goats at all in the US? Very intriguing!

  2. shelly

    Do you export your goats. I would be interested in bring them to Cananda.

    • NJ

      I’m sure you can find good goat breeders in Canada rather than suffer the expense of importing.

      • shelly

        no cashmmere goats here, some cross breeding doing well however ,I don’t see the expense as SUFFERING. And after going there and seeing them first hand ,it would be nice to keep a pure line of an endangered breed here in Canada.


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All Things Goat was created by Naimhe Jeanne (Nee-Vah Jeen,) of Illinois, and Martha Ann, of Vermont, who believe in the humane treatment of goats whether they are pets or raised for milk, meat or fiber. Through news, profiles, recipes and editorials, All Things Goat illustrates how our caprine friends improve the quality of life for many worldwide. Our All Things Goat intern is Lela Perez, of Killeen, Texas.

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