22 Jul 2012

Fewer lambs leave their tails behind them - farmer

7:01 am on 22 July 2012

A Hawkes' Bay sheep farmer who bucks the normal practice by leaving the tails on most of his sheep says he's starting to see more sheep and lambs with their tails intact at the local saleyards.

Bruce Wills, who's also the national Federated Farmers president, says after experimenting over several years he's leaving either the full tail or two thirds of it on lambs from his family farm, Trelinnoe, off the Taupo-Napier Highway.

It works well - in commercial terms - for his hill country farming business, with reduced health complications in pregnant ewes and a lower incidence of fly strike on sheep.

Mr Wills says it appears some other farmers are trying the idea but he doesn't think it's catching on in a big way yet.