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New Zealand Sheep breeds

Cheviot

Cheviots were introduced to New Zealand in 1845. During the next 50 years large flocks were established in Southland, Otago and in the North Island between Napier and Taupo.

In Britain sheep similar to the Cheviot have grazed the borderlands between England and Scotland and the Scottish Highlands for centuries. A hardy animal, it can survive on poor pasture withstanding long periods of semi-starvation in very cold conditions. Horns have only in recent times been bred from the Cheviot.

The breed declined in New Zealand from 1910 owing to light fleece weight and difficulty in mustering. However, during the 1940s the Cheviot enjoyed a revival when crossed with the Romney. This crossbred gave improved growth rates, hardier sheep and easier mustering on hard hill country. The Perendale is derived from this cross.

Because of its bulk and resilience, Cheviot wool is used in carpets, knitwear and tweeds.

Classification:
Dual-purpose breed used both as a sire for creating crossbred ewes and as a terminal crossing sire for lamb production. Bulky, low-lustre wool.

Found:
Widespread, mostly in the North island in ram-breeding flocks.

Description:
Compact, short-legged sheep with white face and legs free of wool.

Numbers:
12,000

Body weight:
40–50 kg

Wool production:
Fibre diameter 30–35 microns
Staple length 100–150 mm
Fleece weight 2–3 kg

Lamb production:
90–110 per cent

 

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