Iceland’s Native Goats Rebounding
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.