Arapawa Sheep are a wonderful New Zealand heritage breed of sheep and in my opinion perfect for the lifestyle block. They are from Arapawa Island, in the Marlborough Sounds, and are thought to have been introduced some 150 years ago by early settlers, possibly a type of Merino sheep. They were introduced and essentially forgotten about and have survived on their own in the wild. It's for this reason I think they are a perfect lifestyle block sheep, they are hardy!
Now I'm not suggesting you purchase them, and forget about them, they still need to be cared for like any other sheep. They still need drenching, they still get fly strike, and they still need shearing, although just once a year is fine as their wool is slow growing. There wool is fine, soft with a lot of "bounce" to it. They are also very good mothers, I've never had any issues with birthing.
What I love most about the Arapawa Sheep their individual characters! Also their lambs are so adorable!
Arapawa's are also a very active sheep and in the evenings, sitting on the deck, it is amazing to watch them interact with each other, and sometimes racing each other around the paddock. I would have to say they are the "greyhounds" of the sheep world. Very quick. They can however be trained with food, so don't panic sheep dogs are not required. Also as long as they have plenty of grass & feed, they respect the fences, although one ole girl, has been known to jump a fence if she doesn't want to be shorn.
As a meat sheep, their meat is lean and sweet, with a little game added to the flavour.
If you are looking at adding a small flock of sheep to your lifestyle, do consider the Arapawa's.
From time to time we have sheep available for sale:
Ram Lambs For Sale - Currently 10 months old
Arapawa Fleece - Raw/Uncleaned $15/KG
Fresh - Shorn NOV19
Fleece essentially all one colour, sun bleached black wool, once cleaned & carded, the wool takes on a dark rich brown colour. Fibre length is between 30-60mm. Email me if you wish to add this to your Unicorn Products order - Cost is essentially to cover postage.
If purchasing sheep, you must have suitable transport when collecting, and you must also consider the size of your property before purchasing (councils do have by-laws to consider). We will not release sheep if there are any doubts about the ongoing welfare of the sheep. We're happy to provide ongoing support & advice if this is your first time owning sheep.
Other Fabulous Fibre Producers:
If you are looking for raw fibre, I can personally recommend the following producers of excellent, high quality fibre's, fantastic for your next project:
FANTAIL FARM MOHAIR
Contact: Stephanie Bristol
Phone/Text: 027 452 7124
FB: Fantail Farm Mohair
TE HARINUI WOOL
Fibre: Fine Romney Wool
Contact: Sue Blanchard
Phone: 021 175 2544