The cutest animals to add to your lifestyle block

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Pigs and chickens have their place, but if you only have room for a few animals, why not try something different.

Here are some of the most adorable – and still productive – options out there.

Swiss black-nosed sheep from the Valais

Also known as “the cutest sheep in the world”, Swiss Valais black-nosed sheep have black heads and knees, long, spiral-shaped horns, and curly white fur.

CONTINUE READING:
* Southland Farmer raises Tufty, highland cattle without horns
* Alpacas pretending to be camels, unlikely stars of the Auckland Church Nativity Scene
* The best of alpacas and fibers will be exhibited at the national exhibition in Feilding next month

The sheep come from the mountains of Valais (French) or Valais (German) Switzerland and are known as the hardy mountain breed.

Valais black-nosed sheep are easily lambed and can produce fast-growing lambs all year round.

Swiss black-nosed sheep in the Valais are also known as

Delivered

Swiss black-nosed sheep in the Valais are also known as “the cutest sheep in the world”.

Adult Valais black-nosed sheep are used for both their meat and their wool and produce coarse carpet wool with an average of 38 micrometers of fiber in adult sheep.

Lambs produce wool between 28 and 30 micrometers, just a little coarser than merino crossbreed sheep, which produce wool between 25 and 30 micrometers.

Aries can grow from 80 kg to 130 kg and up to 83 cm in height, while ewes weigh 70 kg to 90 kg and up to 78 cm.

Like all sheep, Valais black noses are prone to problems such as foot rot in humid climates and fly strike in warmer areas. Because of their black boots, they also have a tendency to sweat between the toes.

However, unlike some other species, they have a goat-like diet and, when given the choice, often opt for plants and herbs found over grass in the mountains.

Tufted cattle

This “tough, hairy, happy” organic breed comes from the deep south, although its roots are unmistakably Scottish.

Southland organic farmer and rancher Tim Gow spent 20 years perfecting a breed of hornless (dehorned) highland cattle suitable for the modern age.

Originally from Scotland, the Highland cattle are famous for their “Harley Davidson” handlebar horns, which, despite their meek demeanor, make them undesirable in veterinarians, in transport vehicles or even in butcher shops.

Tufted cattle are native to the deep south, but their roots are unmistakably Scottish.

Kavida Herath / stuff

Tufted cattle are native to the deep south, but their roots are unmistakably Scottish.

With the help of his late uncle Scott Dolling, a geneticist from South Australia, Gow raised the horns of his highland herd.

The rare Tufty-branded organic cattle produce restaurant-quality beef, brightly colored skins, and make adorable fluffy, friendly pets, according to Gow.

With very high natural immunity to parasites and disease, they are well suited for organic farming and are good choices for rough, harsh land.

Alpacas and llamas

Both alpacas and llamas are native to South America and are docile animals with a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.

Alpacas weigh between 48 and 84 kg, while llamas are larger and weigh between 130 and 200 kg.

Alpaca fleece is in great demand in the manufacture of luxury clothing. The fiber is soft, light and low in lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic than other wool.

Alpacas can handle dry cold, but won't be very happy in wet and windy regions.

Stuff

Alpacas can handle dry cold, but won’t be very happy in wet and windy regions.

Alpacas have to be sheared annually and each animal can produce three to five kilograms of fiber per year.

Llamas also produce fleece, but it lacks the consistency and fine texture of alpaca fibers.

Alpacas and llamas are social animals, so you need to have at least two to get started. Remember, uncastrated males are likely to fight and it is best not to keep them together.

Both species can cope with dry cold, but are not very happy in wet and windy regions. Even in warmer parts of the country, they need established trees as protection from wind and sun, and in snowy areas they need a shed.