Breeding policies

Across all our breeds, Meadowslea are totally focused on breeding an easy care sheep well suited to its environment, that will achieve high performance in adverse conditions with a low labour requirement.

Our policy for the stud flock
For more than 30 years our stud ewes lambed on our Berridale tussock block totally unshepherded. The ewes are scanned and recorded before being set-stocked on the hill up to 2000 feet. No-one goes near them for 7 weeks until they are brought down for tailing. The lambs are mothered up, tagged and survival recorded. Every ewe must come in with her lambs and achieve at least 150% lifetime performance - or be culled. The ewes and lambs then return to tussock blocks until the lambs are weaned and weighed.

With stud ewe numbers increasing, in 2023 we lambed some Romney and Terminator mobs in steep gullies at the back of our new Punaroa Downs block, which lies behind the Meadowslea home place and at similar altitude to Berridale. With limited yard facilities on this block we took the opportunity to do something different, and used Smart Shepherd proximity collars to record stud lamb parentage. The mobs were left to lamb completely unshepherded during some very adverse weather with impressive survival results.

Adverse conditions common at lambing
Berridale experiences harsh spring weather and snowfalls every year at lambing. Feed is often very short and we need ewes that can forage and milk in very tight conditions, then pick up again quickly when the grass comes.

Ewes that are able to successfully rear their lambs in these conditions now make up our stud flock.

"Our clients can be totally confident in the
survivability and performance of these sheep"


Results significant for clients profitability

  • No lambing shepherd and less work
  • High survival from scanning to weaning
  • Lambs born with "get-up-and-go"
  • Minimal ewe losses (no bearings, no cast ewes)
  • Terrific mothering and milking ability
  • Easy hogget lambing

Unique rams for sale - with tough history

  • Born on tussock and survived severe storms at lambing
  • Learnt to forage and travel on steep hill while on mother
  • Have mothers who have reared successfully every year
  • Weaned at top weights off native country up to 2000 ft
  • All above average on S.I.L. performance traits