Wednesday, 5 November 2008


On the way to Town yesterday evening I was stopped at the end of the road by a flock of sheep. It's the first time that I've been stopped in such a way. That puzzled me because there are so many sheep in New Zealand.

The first sheep were landed in New Zealand by Captain Cook in 1773. The Sheep population grew to 70.3 million in 1982 but has now declined to 43.1 million due to declining profits compared to other types of farming.

That still represents 11 sheep for every person in New Zealand.

There are 36,000 flocks of Sheep with an average flock size of 1400. The main breed farmed in New Zealand are Romney, an English breed. They are largely dual purpose wool/meat animals and their wool is predominantly strong. New Zealand is the world's largest producer of crossbred (strong wool) contributing 25% of the world's total. This is two and a half times as much as contributed by China, the next most significant producer of strong wool. This type of wool is used mainly in interior textiles such as carpets, upholstery, furnishings, bedding, and rugs. It is also used for handknitting yarn and blankets.


  1. Do you have to travel half-way across the world and then blog about sheep? How cute! I hope Pat will never let you forget it.

  2. Why does the farmer have a large pole in the trailer? Maybe the tractor is fitted with a telephone, of course. My mobile phone requires something similar.

  3. Oh! Graham - how cute are they?!!!

    What pills are you on - you hate sheep. All that way for sheep?

    Oh my, am I going to have fun with that, when you get back.