Wellington, New Zealand
Posted Oct 13, 2016
Ara-what? Yes, I know, they're not a very well known breed of sheep. In fact, they come from a small island in New Zealand, so it's not surprising that they're uncommon. But as I live in New Zealand I was able to get a couple of these 'fancy' sheep as pets. I got them as lambs last December and called them Boo and Spook (classic sheep names!) All lambs are gorgeous and these two with their multi-coloured wool excelled in lamby-cuteness. I deliberately got them part way through their hand-rearing stage so that I could continue the bottle feeding (see photo) so that they would become very friendly with people and easy to handle when older. And it worked - these are super friendly sheep. In fact, they're so friendly, they have in the past sneaked into the house. And a sheep in the house is like a bull in a china shop - knocking stuff over, running up and down the hall, pooping inadvertently. Lesson learnt - never leave the back door open!
Because these are such friendly sheep, it's more like owning a couple of very woolly dogs that live outside. They love to come over for a scratch on the neck (if you can dig deep enough down through their dense fleece). They also come down the drive to greet the car. I know they're just looking for food really, but it's still nice to be greeted by the farm stock.
They seem quite bright too (sheep are not as stupid as is made out). It didn't take long for Boo to learn that he could stick his head through the cat flap and baa for attention.
All in all - a really nice breed of sheep to own. If you're into weaving and spinning, their wool is sublime. They're smallish sheep as well, so that makes it easier to handle them at the dreaded shearing time. A bit pricey to buy, but worth it for their character.