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New Zealand Sheep breeds

New Zealand Finn

The Finnsheep is an ancient breed, native to Finland, also known by the names of Finnish Landrace or Finn. It is one of several North European short-tailed Landrace breeds. They were imported into New Zealand in the 1980s by LambXL and Sheepac, largely because of their high fertility.

As part of a composite, high fecundity ewe breed, the NZ Finn gives an immediate lift in lambing percentage. Its fertility genes are stable and major increases in lamb production can be achieved in first cross animals. The fecundity of NZ Finns is a genetic trait maintained in most European short tailed sheep, which responds to feed input.

NZ Finn animals have a long lean carcase. A proportion of Finn genes within a composite ewe breed will generally decrease fatness in lamb carcases, a desirable trait.

NZ Finn wool is of medium fineness with high lustre. NZ Finns have been crossed with the Merino resulting in a heavier fleece, higher yield with very little loss in micron.

They are sexually precocious and will 'cycle' for several months longer than our standard British breeds. Most NZ Finn cross hoggets will be able to be successfully mated, thus increasing productive efficiency.

It is a browser rather than a grazer and is ideal for cleaning up rough blocks.

Active. Highly fertile. Very good mothering ability. Highly resistant to facial eczema. Used in cross-breeding programmes with traditional sheep breeds to produce half-bred sheep with increased flock fertility and resistance to facial eczema. Being fine-woolled it may eventually become recognised as a useful dual-purpose breed.

The breed is found in a wide range of climatic conditions throughout Bodyweight New Zealand.

Polled. White face. Pink nose. Very little wool on poll. Fleece white and lustrous. Long-bodied and long-legged. No wool on legs. White hooves.

Under 5,000

Body weight:
Ewes: 50–70 kg
Rams: 66–93 kg

Wool production:
Fibre diameter About 27 microns
Staple length 75–125 mm
Fleece weight 2.5–4 kg

Lamb production:
175–250 per cent. Long breeding season.


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