Lambing Season in Full Swing

Kría and Jóhanna, holding the lambs Blíða and Blær.

Kría and Jóhanna, holding the lambs Blíða and Blær. Photo/Kristín Heiða

Vala Hafstað

“They’re very funny, and their different personalities are amazing,” Jóhanna Engilráð Hrafnsdóttir, 10, tells Morgunblaðið when describing the lambs on the farm Steinstún, located in Norðurfjörður, the West Fjords, where she lives. This is the lambing season in Iceland, a very busy time, when someone must be on call in the sheep shed, day and night, ready to assist when the lambs are born.

Blær gives Jóhanna a kiss.

Blær gives Jóhanna a kiss. Photo/Kristín Heiða

“We help give the sheep hay, and we’ve also helped the newborn lambs find their mother’s udder,” Jóhanna and her friend Kristjana Kría Lovísa Bjarnadóttir, also 10, explain. They have sometimes assisted when lambs are being born.

From Steinstún.

From Steinstún. Photo/Kristín Heiða

On the farm Steinstún, 275 ewes will give birth this season. One of them has already given birth to three lambs, and ten more are expecting three lambs. One of the ewes is even expecting four, which is quite rare.

This is a time of great excitement and hard work for any sheep farmer.

The ewe Sólveig, with her lamb.

The ewe Sólveig, with her lamb. Photo/Kristín Heiða

And for your information, Icelandic sheep don’t say baa when they bleat. Should you encounter one during your travels, remember that they will address you with a “me,” the pronunciation of which you can find here, in case you decide to answer them in their own language. According to Bændablaðið, there are 476,000 sheep in Iceland, so knowing this single word is sure to come in handy.

The farmers in Steinstún, Gulli and Marta.

The farmers in Steinstún, Gulli and Marta. Photo/Kristín Heiða

Weather

Cloudy

Today

7 °C

Overcast

Later today

9 °C

Light rain

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7 °C