of wool sheep
The southern hemisphere countries of New Zealand and Australia offer exceptional conditions for the Merino. In the face of fierce worldwide competition, some breeders took a gamble on producing wools of unrivalled fineness.
The Merino sheep requires constant care and particular kinds of pasture, far removed from any form of pollution, and these are found primarily in southern Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. Merinos involve more work than any other breed, requiring unswerving passion and devotion to the task from the breeder. Their toil is not always appropriately valued by the market, but as lovers of fine wool, they reap their reward at each shearing, when the fleeces reach the desired fineness.
Purebred Merino rams need a particular climate and pastures. Until the shearing period, flocks are free to roam and the breeder may face several hours’ walk to herd them.
Australia is the world’s leading producer of Merino wool, with the wool produced in Tasmania considered to be one of the country’s very best. Originally from Saxony, the Saxon Merino sheep is the aristocracy of wool sheep, so to speak. It is a high-maintenance animal and only very few breeders work with a flock of purebred Saxons.