About Herbert Sheep
Wild sheep or bushies have long been known to occur in the
area around the headwaters of the Waianakarua River, inland from Herbert and
Hampden, in North Otago, NZ. This area is at the southern end of the Kakanui
Mountains and the northern end of the Horse Range. They originated from stragglers
that escaped muster on sheep farms, and although occasionally shot, were
largely left alone. From about the 1970s serious efforts were made to eradicate
these feral animals, partly to facilitate development of some of the land, and
partly because of the perceived damage they were causing to patches of native
forest. About this time, some were re-domesticated, largely for their novelty
Although these sheep are generally referred to as the Herbert
breed – named after the Herbert Forest plantation of exotic pine trees planted
in the foothills – they have also been called Waianakarua sheep from the river
that flows through the area, and even Kakanui from the southern end of the
mountain range, part of which forms the catchment of the River.
There are few of these sheep in domestication, and no
studies have been made of them.
Content and Photo Source:
New Zealand Rare Breeds (www.rarebreeds.co.nz).