You are fond of linguistic sciences and northern legends? Then you know that the name Føroyar (Faroe Islands) is derived from Old Norse and means „Sheep Islands“. Sheep are central to Faroese culture. According to historical records, as early as AD 565, the Irish abbot St. Brendan saw an „Island of sheep“ and a „Paradise of birds“ during a voyage across the North Atlantic, in several days’ sailing distance to Scotland. Up to the present day, the Faroe Islands are home to 70.000 sheep. The Faroese national coat of arms, Veðrur, consists of a blue shield and a ram.
Every year, only the best rams are selected for breeding. The sheep farmers mark them with spray paint. Also annually, the Agency for Agriculture arranges a competition in order to elect the most beautiful rams in various age classes, recently in November. The categories: Front legs, hind legs, horns, general appearance and wool. The horns grow straight towards the eyes? Bad, just as bow legs. The coat is dense and even, the muscles around the shoulders are big and strong? Fine.
The rams’ prize following those extraordinary beauty competitions: Unfortunately, no crowns, even though I like the thought of diamond-studded, combat-ready horns very much. But once again time to spend, in valleys and villages, on green mountain slopes and on top of bold cliffs. With the start of February, the new generation of Faroese sheep is already on its way. The lambs will be born after 25 April up to late May.