Energy metabolism, ranging behaviour and haematological studies with Romney Marsh and Cheviot sheep : a thesis presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of New Zealand

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Massey University
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Youatt (1776-1847 a) in commenting on British breeds of sheep, writes:- "In all the different districts of the Kingdom we find various breeds of sheep beautifully adapted to the locality which they occupy. No one knows their origin; they are indigenous to the soil, climate and pasturage, the locality on which they graze; they seem to have been formed for it and by it." Some present day students of animal husbandry are now examining the characteristics of these various breeds in the light of the particular environment in which each originated. Their object is to discover what characteristics can fairly be ascribed to particular sets of conditions, or in other words, what possible functional adaptations to environment can be revealed by study of this unique collection of soil stable breeds. Interest in the background of the development of these breeds and its possible influence on them is not however limited to the United Kingdom as British breeds of livestock have been taken to all the corners of the world in the wake of the migratory movements of the British people. For example, in New Zealand, at the time of writing, attention is being focused on the Romney-Cheviot crossbred ewe which is competing against the Romney Marsh for certain hill country and this has prompted consideration of the parent stocks (Plates 1 and 2) from the standpoint of their original habitats. This project was undertaken to augment what has already been done in New Zealand on this subject.
Romney sheep, Romney Marsh sheep, Cheviot sheep, Sheep breed development, Sheep physiology