The Grandvewe Dairysheep breed was developed 6 years ago in Tasmania out of a need for a hardy, robust dairy sheep with good udder conformation. Up until this time Australia only had access to the East Friesland breed which is renowned for its delicate constitution and lack of suitability to the Australian environment making the growth of the Australian sheep milking industry very difficult. Whilst the Grandvewe Dairysheep is similar to the Israeli Assaf breed, it goes further to providing an animal that has a well connected udder and good teat placement for machine milking (unlike the Assaf).
The animal is a large sheep with a sturdy frame. It is a fat-tailed breed, meaning that there are large fat sacs on either side of the tail. The tail should have a width of no less than 10cms at the base of the tail and tapering down to a long thin tail. Their fleece can be white, brown, or brown and white. Ewes are usually polled, while the rams have large curled horns. The Grandvewe Dairysheep face has a Roman nose and long ears.
Adult ewes and rams will weigh between 70 – 90 kilos.
Grandvewe Dairysheep is well adapted to a variety of climatic conditions. It thrives in arid to semi-tropical areas and 100mm-900mm rainfall.
Grandvewe Dairysheep have the ability to thrive in harsh conditions. They were developed to thrive in arid, extensive grazing conditions and have the potential to be produced successfully in a wide range of climatic conditions in Australia.
Grandvewe Dairysheep is one of the most fertile of the sheep breeds, with potential lambing intervals of only 8 months. Lambing percentages in excess of 150% (2.25 lambs per annum) are possible and 100% is feasible for most areas.
Good Mothering Qualities
The Grandvewe Dairysheep ewe is a very good mother and protective of her young. Multiple births are common, with instances of triplets common. Lambs are extremely mobile at birth and survival rates are high.
The Grandvewe Dairysheep ewe produces a large quantity of milk, aiding lamb survival and early growth. Typical lactations are 210 days with an average of 1.2 – 1.5 litres per ewe per day.
Good Grazing Habits
They are non-selective grazers. Experience so far suggests that Grandvewe Dairysheep can adapt to most grazing conditions. There is evidence that they prefer fibre to grains and they respond well to good quality hay.
Pure bred lambs will start to graze in the first few days after birth. F1 lambs after about two weeks.