The answer to this question has many parts. On my search for the perfect Breed of Sheep for me, there were lots of criteria that had to be met.
Small enough for me to handle. Hardy so they can withstand both the cold winters and hot summers of mid-Missouri. Resultant to diseases and parasites. Easy lambers, as a new shepardess I was somewhat intimated by the lambing process and absolutely daunted by the prospect of ‘helping’ a ewe to lamb.
I wanted good mothers, short tails, quick to market, but most of all I wanted beautiful fleeces in a huge variety of colors for hand spinning and felting.
Several breeds met this criteria (Shetland, Karakul, Gulf Coast, Icelandic) so I began looking at them. Spending time researching on the internet and visiting local farms. When I arrived at Tongue River Farm to look at the Icelandic flock, I looked over the field full of ewes with their lambs and knew this was the breed for me. The ewes were quite, very independent and did not run from the dogs. I was smitten!!! The beauty of this breed with its many colors, its dual coat and its clean face and legs was enough to take my breath away.
So on March 5th of 2006, we brought home our small flock of Icelandic ewes. The rest will be a story for another time.