Getting our own sheep

When we arrived in NZ we thought getting some sheep would be the first thing to do, but it was a long road until we finally released our first flock to our little piece of land. Creating a proper fence took us about three months and another month was spent on having the neighbor’s cows on the land because the grass was already too long for sheep. Cows are perfect to eat and trample long grass down to make the paddock ready for the sheep who only eat the short and young grass. I spent the time on gathering some knowledge about holding sheep and I hope we made the right decision buying 5 Wiltshire lambs from a breeder nearby. 3 ewes (female) and 2 wethers (castrated males, for the freezer).

I actually wanted to have Dorpers as our friend and neighbor in Austria had those. Their meat is of excellent quality, they get lambs all year round up to 3 times in 2 years and they’re self shedding, which means we wouldn’t need to shear them every year. But almost all farmers told me that the area we live in was too wet for Dorpers as they quickly struggle with infected feet on wet ground. Only the desert-like dry Canterbury plains would be suitable for them was the common sense. So I dropped the idea and went for Wiltshires which are also self shedding (at least mostly) and are known to be resistant against fly-strike and other diseases.

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