The Corriedale Story by P.G. Stevens. 1955-5-19.
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Four radio talks by P.G. Stevens on the history of the Corriedale sheep breed.
1. The Early Years. P. G. Stevens describes how James Little emigrated to New Zealand in 1863 and brought with him a small flock of Romney sheep. He was shepherd for Dr. George Webster at Corriedale sheep station, North Otago. It was with difficulty Little maintained his Romney separate from the main flock of Merino.
2. The Cult of the Crossbreed. P. G. Stevens continues the story of the Corriedale sheep. On his arrival in 1863 Little had suggested cross-breeding the Merino and Romney. Webster allowed him to experiment and was impressed with the stock Little produced. Little's breeding of Romney ceased in 1878 on the death of Dr. Webster. By this time there was a growing recognition for the half bred with heavier fleece, higher lambing percentages, better mothers and quicker growing young sheep.
Moving to North Canterbury, Little realised that no longer was the fleece to be the only product of any value and planned sheep that would thrive on the low rainfall hill country, produce both a profitable fleece and commercial carcass and most importantly, breed true. A new breed was in demand.
3.The Critical Years. P. G. Stevens continues his story of how James Little developed the Corriedale sheep breed. Recognising it as a new breed that thrived on the high hill country's low rainfall, produced both profitable fleece and commercial carcass, and bred true. Based in Allendale, North Canterbury in 1878, Little mated Merino ewes with Lincoln rams. He adopted a family system of line breeding and for the next 15 years continued creating what he called Corriedales. In 1903 the New Zealand Sheep Breeders Association recognised the Corriedale breed (under certain conditions) but would still not register it.
4.The Recognition. In 1911 the NZSBA published the annual returns of the 18 Corriedale flocks in the appendix. In 1910 the Corrriedale breeders formed their own association which in 1923 became a separate body, the Corriedale Sheep Society issuing their first flock book in 1924.
In 1916 there were 20 flocks and admitted by the NZSBA to full flock book status. In 1904 Little's son, H. D. Little founded the Huihui flock with sheep from Allendale.
James Little died in 1920 after 57 years of active sheep breeding in New Zealand. Corriedales were exported freely overseas seen as a flock that lives and prospers in inhospitable districts. In 1950 Lincoln College held an International Corriedale Congress.
Reference number 150938
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Nonfiction radio programs
Stevens, P. G. (Percival George), 1901-1980, Narrator
New Zealand Broadcasting Service (estab. 1946, closed 1962)
Date 19 May 1955