Arapawa Sheep | Online Record Book Preview
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Arapawa Sheep - Species Detail
The Arawapa (Ovis aries) sheep is a fascinating and beautiful breed of sheep found on the Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds at the Northeast tip of the South Island of New Zealand. The Arapawa are a rather primitive looking sheep and are consider to be rare by some. The most probable origin for the Arapawa feral sheep is that they are escapees of a flock of mainly Merino origin, known to be introduced in 1867.
DESCRIPTION (male) weight averages 100 - 175 lbs (45 - 79 kg) the ewes are considerably smaller. The Arapawa (Ovis aries) is considered to be a small sheep with an average height of 27 - 31 inches at the shoulder.
These animals are believed to be related to the Merino Sheep and are easily domesticated. The animal is a short tailed animal probably from the influence of the merino sheep and has a medium frame with narrow black faces, thin clean legs and small feet with hard hooves. The skin is black and the fleece is typically a deep reddish brown color. The facial coloration is typically black, but may exhibit some degree of white coloring on certain animals. The Arapawa (Ovis aries) are considered to be intelligent animals and are weary, quick on their feet and have a very nervous disposition. The rams grow impressive large open black horns and are typically browsers.
DISTRIBUTION huntable populations are found on the Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds at the Northeast tip of the South Island; Pitt Island and in numerous private and feral herds throughout the South and North Islands of New Zealand.
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