Type and its Importance

While production is of major importance, type is also very important in the Perendale which has been designed as an active sheep, and this is a type which New Zealand will always need for its immense acreage of hill country. Any improvements must be grafted on to this type without impairing the essential characters of an active sheep – hardiness, the ability to move on hills with the minimum expenditure of energy, a digestion which can utilise rough and inferior feed, the constitution to stand up to severe climatic conditions and, at the same time, the ability to wean a good percentage of strong lambs.

History has shown that so-called “improvements” under-mined some essential characteristics of a breed. Introduced under very favourable conditions with the object of attracting the buying public as being a more profitable type, they so often have done a great deal of harm. This sort of thing must be avoided at all costs.

Do not think you can go on for ever improving your type. There must come a time when the type and production of the good ewes in a well established flock are in balance with the environment, supply and quality of feed. At that stage the principal aim should be to raise the standard of the poorer ewes in the flock. Only a major change in conditions, due, say, to a radical change in management, warrants a definite change in type.