As It Happens

Iceland releases hotly anticipated list of most eligible rams

Competition for spots in the Ram Registry are fierce, which is why Snaedis Anna Thorhallsdottir is proud to gave five of her rams featured in the catalogue

Farmer ecstatic after five of her rams featured in the competitive Ram Registry

Hrutaskra, or the Ram Registry, is an annual publication of Iceland's most eligible rams available for breeding. (The Ram Registry )
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Transcript

If you're looking for a ram to mate with your ewe, you could do much worse than Fjalldrapi.

The Icelandic ram is described as a "beautiful" creature, with strong, sculpted muscles rippling along his back, shoulders and thighs.

If you're more interested in strong leadership qualities, look no further than Nikulas, who is "tall and respectful and carries his head high."

These are just a few of the eligible bachelors profiled in the Ram Registry, a highly anticipated annual catalogue of rams available for breeding in Iceland published by the Icelandic Agricultural Advisory Centre.

"The publishing of this catalog is always very exciting for Icelandic sheep farmers," Snaedis Anna Thorhallsdottir (Snædís Anna Þórhallsdóttir) a farmer from Borgarfjordur, told As It Happens host Carol Off. "We've been waiting for it to be published."

Fjalldrapi made the cut to be listed among the 44 most eligible rams in Iceland. (The Ram Registry )

The 52-page publication features profiles and coloured photographs of 44 meticulously chosen rams.

Competition for a spot on that list is fierce, which is why Thorhallsdottir​ is proud to have five of her rams, including Fjalldrapi, featured in the catalogue — four of them appeared for the first time.

"So yeah, we like what we see," she said.

Snaedis Anna Thorhallsdottir is an Icelandic farmer who had five rams featured in Iceland's 2018 Ram Registry. (Submitted by Snaedis Anna Thorhallsdottir )

And if other farmers like what they see, they can contact the Ram Registry and arrange to breed their ewes with her strapping, top-of-the-line rams. 

But don't expect any farm dates. 

"It's really more of like a sperm bank, so they don't really get to meet any ewes," she said. "They just produce their donation and then it's sent to the farms."

She's expecting her sheep to generate quite a buzz this year.

"I think they are all very amicable rams."

She said different farmers look for different qualities in a ram.

Those breeding for meat will want a sire that is well-muscled, while those looking for a ram to lead their flock will be paying close attention to temperament and personality. 

Each profile contains details about the rams' pedigrees, breeding experience, wool quality and a projection of how many offspring they can be expected to produce. 
Nikulas is a respectful and reasonable ram with great leadership skills. (The Ram Registry )

But the most important part, Thorhallsdottir​ said, are the pictures.

"A picture says a lot and it's nice that they are standing tall and looking good in the photo that is put in there," she said.

And while it may seem odd to the ramless among us that such a catalog exists, it's par for the course for Icelandic farmers. 

"For us, we don't think it's funny," Thorhallsdottir​​ said. "We think it's completely normal."

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview with Snaedis Anna Thorhallsdottir produced by Jeanne Armstrong.

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