Icelandic Goats, also known as Settlement goats, are an
ancient domestic goat breed believed to be of Norwegian origin and dating back
to the settlement of Iceland over 1100 years ago.
Iceland Goats have been isolated for several centuries, which
mean that they are highly inbred. Under their coarse, long guard hair they have
a coat of high quality cashmere fiber. Icelandic goats are kept mainly as pets
and currently have no economic value.
They were on the verge of extinction during the late 19th
century, but they recovered prior to World War II, but unfortunately it was
short lived and the numbers quickly declined again. Today they are slowly
increasing in numbers. In 2003, there were only 348 Icelandic Goats, but by
2010, the herd had increased to 535. The Icelandic goat is the only farm animal
sponsored by the Icelandic government to help ensure that it survives.