In a country where sheep farming is a major industry, New Zealand sheep are very much kings of the road as in this stretch of highway between Gore and Winton. When herds of New Zealand sheep occupy the road, motor vehicle traffic is brought to a stop.
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 represents 12 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 (stong 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. New Zealand is a world leader in agricultural research and advisory services. Pastoral agriculture is practiced throughout New Zealand with beef cattle predominating in the Far North, dairying in Waikato and Taranaki, and Sheep farming with cattle in the hills and in the south of the North Island. In the South Island sheep farming is the main form of pastoral agriculture with a sprinkling of beef cattle farmed in the high and hill country and wetter flat areas and some dairying on the flat land of both coasts. Livestock are rarely housed, but feeding of small quantities of supplements such as hay and silage can occur, particularly in winter. Grass growth is seasonal, largely dependent on location and climatic fluctuations but normally occurs for between 8-12 months of the year. Stock are grazed in paddocks, often with moveable electric fencing around the farm. Lambing and calving are carefully managed to take full advantage of spring grass growth.
DEDICATED to all the farmers in New Zealand
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Aug. 2011 Southland New Zealand…
FEATURED: Even-toed Ungulates
Is This A 65km Zone?..Moving Sheep
Featured 2nd Oct. 2011