9 Sep 2016

Clear the board

From Country Life, 9:36 pm on 9 September 2016

Dave Te Kapa's shearing gang is pre-lamb shearing 1000 ewes a day at Snowdon Station in the Canterbury high country.

The shearing shed at Snowdon Station is humming with the noise of music, shearing machines, wool presses and bleating sheep as Dave's gang shear a large mob of ewes.  

In the surrounding paddocks shorn sheep graze happily without a 5 kilogram fleece on their backs, while beyond the shed a snow-topped Mount Hutt shimmers in the distance.

Dave’s shearing run goes from Mt White in the alps to properties on Banks Peninsula. His gang have been shearing at Snowdon Station for the last six years but every farm has its shearing challenges.

“Because of the wide area we cover, flat land sheep are totally different to hill sheep, it depends what breeds they are, the weather, so there are a lot of factors involved,” he says.

Snowdon's owners, Roy Veronese and Annabel Tripp operate a Perendale stud alongside their commercial sheep and beef operation on the rugged 2200 hectare property near Windwhistle, that rises up to 1200 metres on the Benmore Range.

The Perendales are easy-care sheep that can endure severe climatic extremes so they are well suited to the predominantly south-facing hills.

“The breed is a wonderful adapter to the environment, they are very good at using the shelter that you put in front of them and they take their lambs to shelter and use it really well, so consequently the lamb survival rate within the breed is really high,” Annabel says.

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