Untapped Information About Arapawa Sheep

Arapawa sheep has a fascinating and gorgeous appearance that portray the true kiwi heritage of the sheep breed.

The sheep has amazed so many hobbyists around the world since they have scant information about them. The information of the ancient breed that looks like merino is scarce.

Is there a distinctive way to define the kind of the sheep breed? The question can get you pissed off, right? Let’s start the chase now…

In this post about the series of sheep breeds, you will discover detailed information concerning the history and origin of the breed, physical characteristics and some of the common livestock diseases that affect them.


 Our latest related post:  Ultimate Guide on How to Start Sheep Farming in USA   

History and Origin of Arapawa Sheep

These are a breed of feral sheep that come from Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. The sheep breeds have been isolated since they were developed in 1867.

The exact origin of the sheep breed is still unknown due to scant information about them. There are a lot of theories over the internet about the arrival of these animals.

According to research conducted by experts from American Livestock Conservancy, the breed are a true descendant of Merion breeds that have strains of Australia.

Other theories suggest that the breed originated from the Middle East and they were developed by the whalers. These are the people who brought the breed to Arapawa Island in the 1500s from a Spanish galleon.

The sheep breed is listed as a rare breed in the New Zealand Rare Breeds Conservation Society. Continue reading the post in order to learn more about their physical features and how to care for them.

Arapawa Sheep Characteristics

Size and Weight

The sheep breeds are small size animals. They have lean and light bones. They tend to have an average weight that is lower than those of modern sheep breeds.

Body Appearance

The animals have a clear narrow face and head. They have bright eyes, long neck, and slender ears. They are very sensitive and alert as compared to other breeds of sheep.


Normally all the Rams have horns while the ewes are polled. The horns of the rams have a spiral shape and they tend to be long. The legs of the sheep breeds are long as compared to modern sheep breeds.

Coat Color

The animals have black coat coloring while there are some breeds that have white patches all over the whole body. There are very rare cases that you can spot a pure white feral sheep.

Uses of the Sheep

The feral breed of sheep is typically known for wool production. They are small in size and the amount of meat products is generally low when compared to meat production sheep breeds.

Climate Tolerance

The animals are very strong and hardy. They tend to survive in different weather climate without experiencing any kind of problems. Though they are well adapted to the native weather climate.

Behavior and Temperament

The animals are very active and alert. These behavior enable them to alert other animals about the impending danger. They also have a docile temperament hence can easily be managed by children or novice farmers.

Common Health Issues and Special Needs

The sheep breeds are hardy and robust. They are naturally resistant to fly strike hence they are not easily affected by common sheep diseases. They tend to have a strong immune system.

The animals tend to be great foragers hence they have low maintenance cost especially those concerning the purchase of special sheep feeds.

Remember to have a close relationship with a professional vet so that in case of any symptom of diseases they can be diagnosed and treated early.


Ever thought of starting sheep farming? Well, think about Arapawa breed. They are great breed and very simple to manage as compared to other modern breeds of sheep. They tend to be small in size hence can be breed on a small farm.

If you happen to have these breeds, we would love to hear more stories from you. Kindly use the comment form below and share with us. Cheers.

Leave a Comment