Pitt Island Sheep
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About Pitt Island SheepAbout Pitt Island Sheep



rnIn the nineteen-seventiesrna feral flock of several thousand sheep could be found on Pitt Island in thernChatham group, New Zealand.

rnrnThese possibly derivedrnfrom Saxony Merinos first taken to South-East Island - another island in thernChatham group - in 1841 and later transferred to Pitt Island. In any case, thernflock is known with certainty to have been in existence for almost a century.

rnrnA Reserve for 300 of thesernanimals was created on Pitt Island in 1981. A number have also been taken tornmainland New Zealand.

rnrnPitt Island sheep arernalmost all colored and have the self-shedding fleeces characteristic of feralrnbreeds. The rams are impressively horned - up to a meter long measured aroundrnthe curve.

rnrnIn a study made of thernsheep on the Reserve in 1981, Dr M. R. Rudge found that only 11.1% of rams andrn8.8% of ewes were white; 97% of rams were horned but only 13% of the ewes hadrntrue horns, though 54% of the ewes had scurs.

rnrnContent and PhotornSource: New Zealand Rare Breeds (www.rarebreeds.co.nz).rnrn

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