With the new year well underway, members of…
The Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association of New Zealand (BCSBA) is delighted to launch its newly updated website. This new platform enables us to offer more news and blog posts; a feature that we hope to use regularly. This is the first of these posts.
The BCSBA was formed in 1976 by a group of people who had an interest in black and coloured sheep. This begs the question : ‘why black and coloured sheep?’ The simple answer is that they are interesting because of their natural coloured fleeces, which range from black to grey and dark brown to cream. This natural coloured wool is sought after by hand-crafters. Naturally coloured wool can be over-dyed so that many more colours can be created increasing the range of colours that is available from white wool.
Naturally coloured sheep arise in every breed, and consideration is given by the breeder as to which breed to keep. The characteristics of the land on which the sheep will live is one consideration, but so is the potential use of the fibre the sheep produce. While there will always be variation within any breed, within the most common of New Zealand breeds Merino is usually the finest wool you can produce, along with Polwarth. Corriedale, Romney and Perendale are in the middle of the range, and Lincoln and English Leicester will produce the strongest of fleeces. There are many other breeds available as well, including the more rare ones such as the Arapawa and Karakul, but selling the fleeces of less common and rare breeds can be more challenging.
The Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders’ Association website can give you a wealth of information to assist in your decision to breed coloured sheep. You may like to sign up and become a member of the Association, so you can gain an enormous amount of knowledge by talking to other members who have many years of experience.
Don’t wait, join up now and start your journey of breeding coloured sheep.
President, Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders’ Association of New Zealand