Other common names: Australian Corriedale; Coloured Corriedale
According to the Australian Corriedale Association, "The Corriedale was simultaneously evolved in both Australia and New Zealand about 1874 by selectively breeding from cross bred progeny of pure Merino and Lincoln sheep. The breed was developed to meet a demand for a dual purpose animal with good meat characteristics and commercial wool production. Because it is run in a wide range of conditions the breed's popularity ranks second only to the Merino in the world at the present time. In South America alone, Corriedales account for some 70% of the sheep population, and graze from the heat of the equator to Tierra del Fuego's cold, from a wet 1500mm rainfall to a low 275mm, and from sea level to 3500 metres in the rare air of the Altiplano."
Appearance / health:
Corriedales are relatively large, hornless sheep with medium fine, high-yielding wool that is soft, bulky, thick stapled, medium length, and highly favored by hand spinners. Their bodies are broad and balanced, and provide good meat.
One of the most common ailments among sheep is a viral skin disease called soremouth or “orf.” Ringworm or “club lamb fungus” is a rash also common among sheep. And much like “mad cow disease,” sheep can have a similar neurological ailment called “scrapie.” Sheep health issues should be addressed by a qualified veterinarian. Good health is promoted by sanitary habitat conditions and proper nutrition.
Behavior / temperament:
Sheep are herd animals that rely on staying together as a flock to protect themselves from predators. They are highly sensitive to predators because they are basically “prey animals.” They sense the presence of threat from several hundred feet away (they are able to twist and turn their ears to detect potential danger) and instinctively flee instead of fight or attack. While fleeing, sheep run in a winding pattern to be able to see what is behind them.
As domesticated animals, sheep make good pets because they are docile and easily connect with humans, especially lambs that are bottle-fed. Miniature breeds and sheep that have hair instead of fur make ideal pets. Raising pet sheep is a popular project in the 4-H youth organization.
Corriedales are known to have long life spans. They are hardy and specifically bred to adapt to a wide range of climate conditions including high rainfall and low temperatures.
Housing / diet:
Sheep are grazing animals and do well living their entire lives outdoors. They get sufficient exercise and fresh air out in the field. They do need shelter from bad storms and unusually hot days. Many sheep keepers install field structures to provide shade, for example, hutches, domes, carports, and makeshift sheds. A common shade structure is a hoop house, like an open hangar or a greenhouse, which has a metal arched frame covered with tarp or other heavy-duty fabric.
Some sheep owners keep their flock in a barn or similar enclosure to protect them from predators. These enclosures must have very good ventilation because moisture and poor air conditions lead to the sheep’s poor health.
For warmth and comfort, bedding material should be provided. The best bedding is absorbent, clean, and dry. Some options are straw, wood shaving, sawdust, corncobs, dried corn stalks, peat, hemp, paper, and alfalfa hay. Preference is determined by cost, availability, convenience, and type of sheep. Wool sheep will not appreciate sawdust because it gets in their fleece. Paper is highly absorbent but difficult to manage in the field.
Lambs start with their mother’s milk and a light diet of pasture grass at two weeks old. After weaning the lambs from ewe’s milk at six weeks old, they can start eating dry feed of grains (wheat, oats, barley, cottonseed, corn), soybean and peanut hulls, and hay. The main diet of sheep is fresh grass and other forage and pasture vegetation. The pasture must be fertile and large enough to support the grazing of sheep for about seven hours a day (morning and afternoon). Fresh water must be constantly available, especially during the warm months and if the diet is mostly dry hay. Supplements are recommended, and must be given in the middle of the day to balance the sheep’s food intake.
nice temperament, large size lambs, good wool, long life span, high fertility rate
climate conditions Australia
Our Herd of Corriedale Sheep
We had approximately 20 sheep on our farmlett. These were mainly for the wool, some were occasionally for meat. We mainly had females in our herd. They were quite big sheep, and we very rarely had any health issues to contend with. These sheep were quite laid back animals, and fine being around people. They sometimes followed us around the yard. They produced a good amount of wool each year.
Pros of owning Corriedale Sheep: They are a laid back sheep with a nice temperament. They can be good company when you're outside with them. Quite easy for catching and shearing, and they produce good wool which can be used in a variety of ways. They are also very meaty sheep so are great if you're looking for a 'dual purpose' breed. They also have a long natural lifespan.
Cons of owning a Corriedale Sheep: Like with most other lifestock, you will need a good amount of room. Not really a 'back yard' pet..
From RavenWitch Apr 4 2015 3:27AM
Corriedale Sheep - Bred for Meat Production
It took Australian farmers 7 generations to finally breed the Corriedale into a new, ‘pure’, breed of sheep that is distinctive for having a dual purpose that suits the Australian and New Zealand farmer – it has impressively thick, yet fine, wool and large size lambs which are usually sold off for their high value in meat.
As they are particularly hardy animals, they appear to be able to deal with most climate conditions Australia seems to throw at them.
These are not a ‘pet’ animal, as such, although lambs that have lost their mothers have been known to become a family pet. Nursing is easy – a baby’s bottle and either some baby formula or even cow’s milk mixed with about an inch of water and heated slightly, as you would for a child. The easiest way to feed the lamb is to sit above the lamb on a chair where the lamb can come up under you, between your legs and then you will soon feel them butting their heads against the bottle teat as though demanding ‘faster, faster’.
As a pet they tend to act like a dog and will literally follow you around the yard and butt you gently with their head when they want attention. They have also been known to chase away other animals out of protectiveness, especially towards children.
Do not be mistaken, however, getting your son or daughter a pet lamb for Christmas is not a good idea if you live in a city – these are farm animals and herd animals and are best put back into the herd once weaned.
The Corriedale sheep has a long life span and the ewes are able to breed once a year for at least a good 10 years and are well known for having twins, meaning the average herd has a production level in excess of 100%. This high fertility rate plus the mother’s ability to look after their lambs and keep them safe can mean that it’s not uncommon for Corriedale herds to have survival rates of 140%.
Naturally, this high rate of birth combined with high rate of lambs that survive, mean that a farmer will gain significantly financially if he/she looks after the herd correctly.
This means that once the ewes have given birth, any movement from one paddock to another should be as gentle as possible with the least amount of stress. This reduces the chances of any lambs losing their mothers.
Sheep in general are usually fed a combination of hay and the surplus of crops grown by the farmer as a first source of income as well as land that is unusable or unsuitable for the farming of crops. At all times they must have access to water that is easy for them to get to, preferably a dam where the incline is not too steep so that they do not get 'bogged' down in the water and drown.
Sheep will generally eat and meander throughout a paddock all day, every day, so depending on the size of your herd and your location it is best to have more than one sizable plot of land. Once the sheep have eaten through a paddock, supplemented with hay, they are then generally moved onto another. This is usually planned well in advance so that the last paddock of feed prior to the lambs being sent off for sale is specifically to fatten them up. High levels of wheat should be avoided prior to sale and the feeding of hay alone for more than two days prior to sale can lead to weight loss and a reduction in meat quality. In Australia, Vitamin E can be deficient so pellets high in this and other vitamins fed to the lambs for around 2 weeks prior to sale is beneficial.
To anyone who has issues with animal cruelty, I would like to take a moment to explain that it is imperative for the lamb to have its tail cut off. Each farmer has his or her own way, however we used a very strong rubber band that was placed as close to the start of the tail as possible and then the rest of the tail was cut off manually using a very sharp knife. The rubber band was green and very thick and would cut off the blood flow immediately and allow the lamb to heal quickly and with the least amount of pain.
The reason I say this is that here in Australia (as in other parts of the world) sheep are renowned for what is called ‘getting flyblown’. This is when fly’s lay their lava around the anus of the sheep where they quickly turn into maggots and literally eat the sheep alive. By cutting off the tail, it is easier for the farmer to see and treat a lamb or sheep that looks to be infected (remember that most farmers see their sheep at least 5 times a week) and also if the tail is kept on, unfortunately sheep fecal matter can stick to the tail and encourage more flies.
The very last thing ANY farmer wants to see is a flyblown lamb or sheep as it is incredibly disturbing and upsetting, so this is one instance where prevention is better than cure..
From msdollydidit Mar 31 2014 11:52PM
When we moved onto the farm there were already about 20 Corriedale sheep on the property. We agreed to keep an eye on them for the previous owner of the property and in turn were compensated for doing so. We enjoyed having them initially, but as time went by the little ones became a big problem. We did not have the fence electrified so the little ones would climb through the fence and run to the neighbor's pasture. Since I hadn't met my neighbors just yet and didn't speak Spanish, I didn't want to be found on their property chasing "my" sheep.
I would retrieve them, return them to their mother, and then about an hour later repeat the process. And the little ones were hard to catch. They knew where to go back to their mother. If they couldn't find her, all they had to do was let out a "baa baa" and their mother would do the same. They would recognize her voice and go to her or they would meet halfway.
We may try again to have sheep on the farm, but probably as much as we don't like the idea, we will have to electrify the fence in order to keep the little ones in. Also, a farmer stopped by one day and pointed to our pasture. We didn't know what he was trying to tell us because he spoke Spanish, and soon after, we knew what he came by for. One of the females had fallen over in a small ditch in the pasture and could not get up on her own. So I helped her back up and she ran off. A day later I found her again on her side not being able to get herself up. They are known for being helpless and not good at defending themselves. This is why they need a shepherd to watch over them..
From PetLover02 Nov 12 2015 7:49AM