New Zealand Rare Breeds Website: – Information
» Home » Breeds » Directory » About » News » Webmart » Projects » Gene Bank » Links » Join » Contact

» Priority Listing Red Star

New Zealand: Rare
Origin: Feral

Hokonui Sheep

A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin

Hokonui sheep
Hokonui ewes at Winchmore, South Canterbury
(Trotter/McCulloch photo)

      The Hokonui hills in the heart of Southland, New Zealand, are widely known as the home of an illicit and potent “Home Brew” whisky. Not so well known is an interesting breed of wild sheep which have made the rugged and isolated Hokonui Hills their home for more than a century.

      At one time more than 2000 Merino sheep roamed the hills. Today only about 100 remain feral. Another 100 to 150 are being retained in domestic flocks.

Full-mouth Hokonui ram (white) with ram hogget
Hokonui rams in Southland
(Photo by Alex Henderson)

    Wild sheep were known to occur in this area as early as 1863 – only a few years after the first Merinos had been brought to the district.

      Re-domesticated Hokonui sheep continue to display feral behaviour patterns. They build strong family groups, and quite frequently a junior ram will stand guard over a younger lamb while the mother goes off to feed.

 » Breeders Directory listing  

   See also:
» Hokonui Sheep Breed Standard  
» About Feral Sheep   
» Feral Breeds statement
© Copyright 
 » Go to Rare Breeds Home Page 
See also Navigation Bar at top of this page

Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand Incorporated

XHTML and CSS Valid icons