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Arapawa sheep facts for kids

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Arapawa ram
Conservation status Rare
Country of origin New Zealand
Distribution Arapaoa island
Use Wool
Wool color Black, white
Face color Black, white
Horn status Rams are horned and ewes are polled (hornless)

The Arapawa Sheep is a breed of feral sheep found primarily on Arapaoa Island in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, where they have probably been isolated since they were introduced in 1867. Although there are many theories of how the sheep arrived, it is generally accepted that they are descendants of Merino strains from Australia. The New Zealand Rare Breeds Conservation Society classifies this breed as "rare". This breed is raised primarily for wool.


Ewes have horns, and rams have long spiral horns that often measure over 1 metre (3 ft). The fiber is of Merino-like fineness.

Due to living in a rather hostile and very steep terrain, this breed often looks hunched over as they carry their head and tail down most often. They have a light build and long legs making them a rather active breed. The head and face are narrow and clear while the ears are slender. Most often, the Arapawa displays all black. However, quite often, white points are displayed. On rare occasions, an all-white sheep can be observed. "Cocktail" Arapawas are those that are white spotted.

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