5 Mar 2014

Easy-care sheep trial ends

3:41 pm on 5 March 2014

A long-running scientific trial to breed sheep that are easier to care for and sheep with less wool has come to an end, and the trial subjects are to be sold.

AgResearch scientist David Scobie said the 13-year breeding project looked at two main types of sheep - easy care and shedding.

"We were trying to design a better sheep that you didn't have to dock or dag or crutch and wouldn't get fly-strike or dags and those sorts of problems, so we were looking for a sheep with a bare head, bare legs, bare belly, bare backside and a genetically short tail."

Dr Scobie said the trials began at a time when the cost of shearing a sheep was more than the farmer got for the wool.

The 300 trial sheep will be sold next Wednesday at the Tinwald general saleyards.