Spring Sheep is the exclusive home of the Zealandia®, one of the world’s highest performing pastoral dairy sheep breeds.
History of sheep milking in New Zealand
Sheep milking is an emerging industry in New Zealand and started to take off in 2015. Prior to 2015, sheep in NZ were bred for meat and wool production – they certainly weren’t suitable for high milk production, producing on average just 90L per season. Spring Sheep set about to change this through developing the Zealandia breed, a sheep suitable for producing high quality milk from New Zealand's pasture farming systems.
Not all sheep, are milking sheep
Most sheep in the world are meat or wool breeds, with a smaller but rapidly growing portion dairy breeds. Dairy breeds have large udders, typically less wool, are efficient converters of grass to milk, and a good temperament.
Zealandia® - exclusive to Spring Sheep
The Zealandia® flock is exclusive to Spring Sheep. Our Suppliers partner with Spring Sheep to source their flocks under licenses known as a Milking Zealandia® Entitlement. All milk produced by the Zealandia® flock is purchased by Spring Sheep exclusively.
The largest genotyped dairy flock in New Zealand
We invest heavily in our Zealandia® breeding programme and growing this elite flock to enable us to keep up with demand. With the help of New Zealand's leading sheep genetics researchers and practitioners, every aspect of the Zealandia® breed has been designed and considered using data. — We maintain the largest genotyped dairy flock in New Zealand — We have recorded over 34 million individual animal trait records between 2015 and 2021
World's highest performing pastoral dairy breed
Spring Sheep's Zealandia® breed has a genetic advantage across key metrics including milk yield, quality and composition. Our top-performing ewes produce significantly more than the average New Zealand sheep.
Unique breeding line
Zealandia® is made up of the very best dairy sheep genetics sourced from across Europe and New Zealand. Zealandia® is a breed that has been developed by New Zealanders for our New Zealand farming systems, and with end-use milk application in mind!
Comprehensive breeding programme
Combined with the latest breeding technologies and a comprehensive recording programme, Zealandia® provides a strong science and data-backed competitive advantage for our suppliers.
Ongoing genetic gains
Our suppliers have ongoing access to leading Zealandia® genetics that are profitable and focused on farm efficiency. Through our Zealandia® rams our suppliers stay connected to rapid genetic gain in all key traits.