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Diggers Hill sheep (Photo by Karen Nicoll)
Diggers Hill sheep (Photo by Karen Nicoll)

Diggers Hill Sheep

Breed Standard

These sheep evolved in the area southwest of the Waiau River in Southland from escaped and abandoned stock in the late 1880s. The foundation stock was probably Saxon Merino. The following Breed Standard was compiled for the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand and is dated 12 April 2007.

Head: Brown tones in the mask are a feature.
Rams should be horned, with a black vein running the length of the horn.
Ewes are more feminine and may be polled, have scurs or a small set of horns.
Eyes: bright and alert.
Ears: medium length and well set on.
Teeth: neither under or overshot.

Body: Lighter boned, very well fleshed, compact and symmetrical.

Ribs: Well sprung.

Legs: Medium length and straight. The hind legs are set well apart with the animal able to walk freely. Hooves are well formed and sound.

Skin: Soft, free of folds or wrinkles.

Wool: Fine quality wool, which is very fine of 16-20 microns, soft handling and free from kemp.

Genital organs: Testicles must be present, normal and equal in size.
Scrotum: well attached and uniform.
Udder: well formed and attached.

General appearance: Compact, alert and active with carriage that is bold and free.

Defects: Thick, long or pricked ears.
Roman nose.
Coarse wool in breeches.

   See also:
» Diggers Hill Sheep   
» About Feral Sheep   
» Feral Breeds statement
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