“Baa-ram-ewe! Baa-ram-ewe! To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true! Sheep be true! Baa-ram-ewe!”

FlatHills14
Random old farm stuff
FlatHills8
The farm was tucked into the hills

One of our lunch stops along the journey was at Flat Hills, a little farm with a cafe. After lunch, we got to go see all the animals. This is an excellent opportunity to talk about sheep in New Zealand because they are everywhere, the highest density of sheep per unit area of any country in the world. There are about 10 sheep for every one New Zealander.

FlatHills1
Black sheep
FlatHills3
More sheep
FlatHills4
More sheep

What’s funny about the ubiquitous New Zealand sheep is that they are not native to the islands. In fact, only two mammals are native to New Zealand, and both are species of bat. Until the Europeans came, New Zealand was the land of birds. Every other mammal was introduced by Europeans. If you really want to get a Kiwi going on a hot topic, bring up pests. They really hate pests, defined as anything that threatens native species. There are extensive efforts to eradicate pests introduced by Europeans throughout New Zealand.

FlatHills15
Beautiful flowers
FlatHills9
Rooster
FlatHills20
Black sheep
FlatHills2
Black and white sheep

But sheep do not qualify as pests since they do not threaten native species. They’re also big business.  In fact, the agriculture industry in New Zealand is so extensive they produce enough food to feed 67 million people each year. This is pretty impressive for a country of 4.5 million. Not surprisingly, New Zealand is the largest exporter of lambs every year.

FlatHills18
Giant pig
FlatHills19
I don’t think she looked up once
FlatHills21
Lovely little farm
FlatHills11
Random old farm stuff
FlatHills6
I was mesmerised by these flowers – so beautiful

Title quote: Sheep pledge of allegiance in Babe. I understand this movie is set in Australia, but I don’t think the sheep will mind.

FlatHills7
I don’t know what these are, but I love them
FlatHills10
Hen
FlatHills12
A shiraffe – half sheep, half giraffe… actually just a llama
FlatHills16
Lagoon and the foothills
FlatHills5
Little bridge on the farm
FlatHills17
You wouldn’t think this would need to be said…
FlatHills13
Goats

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s