Icelandic Goat

The Icelandic goat is an ancient breed of domestic goat which is also known as ‘Settlement Goat‘. The breed has a long history and believed to be of Norwegian origin, and dating back to the settlement of Iceland over 1100 years ago.

It is believed that, the Icelandic goat is one of the native goat breeds of Iceland brought to the country by the first settlers, who came mainly from Norway.

There is no evidence of goats being imported since this time. But historical evidence and records from 1703 onwards show that ‘goats have been kept in all parts of the country in small numbers’.

The Icelandic goat was on the verge of extinction during the late nineteenth Century. But recovered prior to Second World War. And the number of this goat breed is increasing gradually. And there were 849 goats in Iceland at the end of 2012.

But the Icelandic goat is very rare outside it’s native land. And the goat populations are highly inbred, as the breed has been isolated for centuries.

The Icelandic goat is the only farm animal sponsored by the Icelandic government for the purpose of ensuring its survival. However, read more information about this goat breed below.

Icelandic Goat Characteristics

Icelandic goat is a beautiful small-medium sized animal. Their coat color vary, but mainly with white and have white face. And their coat is of high quality cashmere fiber. They usually produce about 163 to 790 grams with cashmere fiber being 25.4 to 44.6 percent of the total fleece.

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Both bucks and does have horns. On average the Icelandic bucks weight about 60 to 80 kg, and the does weight about 35 to 60 kg. Photo from Wikipedia.


Icelandic goats are kept for many purposes. They are mainly kept as pets. But due to the economic potential, they are also raised for milk, meat, cashmere and skin production.

Special Considerations

Icelandic goat is a multi-purpose breed. They are good for both milk and meat production, and also for cashmere fiber and skin. But the breed is currently of little economic value. And they are mainly kept as pets. But the does are pretty good milk producers.

On average they produce about 150 to 200 liters of milk per lactation. Review full breed profile of this goat breed in the following chart.

Breed NameIcelandic
Other NameAlso known as Settlement Goat.
Breed PurposeMulti-purpose. But now mainly kept as pets.
Breed SizeSmall-Medium
BuckAbout 60-80 kg
DoeAbout 35-60 kg
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Coat ColorMany, with white
Good for Stall FedNot sure
Country/Place of OriginIceland

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