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New Zealand: Rare
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Chatham Island Sheep

A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin

Chatham Island ewe (Photo by David Tuart)
Chatham Island ewe (Photo by David Tuart)

      Near the southwest corner of the main island of the Chatham group is a small flock of feral sheep which appear to have certain Merino characteristics, and thus may predate the Island’s change to longwool breeds. (See » Pitt Island for a location map of the Chatham Islands.)

Chatham Island ewe (Photo by David Tuart)
Chatham Island sheep on Chatham Island (Photo by David Tuart)

      It is believed that Chatham Island ferals have been living ‘wild’ for almost a hundred years, and it is possible that they originated from some Saxon Merinos that were taken to South East Island (another of the Chatham group) in 1841.

      The most noticeable difference between these and the feral sheep of  » Pitt Island is that the Chatham ferals are mostly white-woolled, whereas those on Pitt are mostly coloured.

   See also:
» About Feral Sheep
» Feral Breeds statement
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