CROSSBRED SHEEP

Recently shorn Romney sheep grazing peacefully on a farm south of Martinborough, South Wairarapa. New Zealand’s first sheep run was established at nearby Wharekaka, in May 1844.

Recently shorn Romney sheep grazing peacefully on a farm south of Martinborough, South Wairarapa. New Zealand’s first sheep run was established at nearby Wharekaka, in May 1844.

Crossbred sheep, such as Romney and Perendale, are dual-purpose animals that are farmed for both meat and wool. At one time wool was the bigger money-earner, but these days the demand for crossbred-style wool has declined, under competition from synthetic fibres. Meanwhile world-wide demand for sheep meat has risen. Meat now brings in most farm income. (Note that most sheep farms also receive income from other sources, including cattle and cropping.)

Crossbred sheep have coarser wool that performs very well in interior textiles such as carpets and upholstery, in knitted jerseys, bedding and in heavier fabrics such as tweeds. Its excellent insulating properties are valuable in clothing, bedding and high-end home insulation. We’ve very successfully used wool insulation throughout the Wool Shed complex.

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