Origin & History
The Charollais breed of sheep was developed in the same region of France as the Charolais breed of cattle. Charollais sheep are primarily a terminal breed excelling in fast growth on pasture with high meat yields.
The breed was first introduced into New Zealand in 2009 with regular subsequent importations of embryos, semen and live animals. The only source available to New Zealand has been Australia where an importation from the UK was made in 2005.
The New Zealand population of Charollais sheep is increasing by embryo transfer of pures and grading-up from highly ranked and proven breeds in NZ.
Charollais sheep are primarily a terminal breed excelling in fast growth on pasture with high meat yields. The breed is characterised by being very long (with an extra rib) and wedged shaped. This shape has assisted the breed to gain a reputation for easy birthing out of ewes of all breeds and sizes.
Charollais Sheep Genetics NZ was established in 2012. Performance recording on Sheep Improvement Ltd. facilities and Across Flock Referencing are both mandatory for members.
The breed is represented in the Central Progeny Test giving linkage into the national sheep evaluation program SILACE.
Todate commercial farmers are reporting reduced days to slaughter and ViaScan meat yields upto 59% by using Charollais rams as terminal sires.