Perendales have been bred to handle tough, difficult conditions and to be able to survive largely without outside support, therefore the breed displays as being very alert, quick moving and intelligent. Excessive noise and dogging is usually not necessary.
Perendale ewes are hugely protective of their lambs against all comers (including foxes) and regularly rear up to 140% to weaning with virtually no assistance.
Perendale ewes produce many sets of twins and are best left alone whilst lambing. Lambs are quite strong, active and suckle quickly. Great motherability and great survival rates are achievable.
Perendale rams are very active and a ratio of 1 ram up to 75 ewes is adequate. Rams should express masculinity and alertness and ewes that intelligence and female character found in Perendale sheep.
Perendales are somewhat naturally worm resistant and quite tolerant of worms and may only require one drench (anthelmintic) under 1 year of age.
Crutching prior to lambing is occasionally needed, with very little in the way of 'dags'. Annual shearing is essential. No wool blindness - open faced. No wrinkles at breach, therefore no mulesing required.
All Perendales have black hooves and there is no need for foot work to be undertaken. A black tip on the nose is desirable too.
Head covering should display an open face with a covering of fine white hair indicating a soft handling fleece. The nose should be slightly 'roman' with 'prick' ears set at 10 to 2. Black spots are permissible on the ears but not desirable.
As Perendales are maternal (vs terminal) type sheep, a self-replacing flock is easy to maintain within a farm program that may be considered valuable for bio-security reasons and having less expenses.
Perendale ewes are also a proven breed used in a prime lamb flock with terminal sires and will produce fast growing meat market lambs regularly weaning in excess of 140% with minimal inputs.
The major feature that sets Perendales apart is "the least input to achieve the highest return" being the goal set by Massey University in NZ many years ago when Perendales were first bred. This continues to ring true even today.
The following is an extract from The Perendale section of 'The Australian Flock Register', governed by the Australian Perendale Association and produced annually by the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association.
PERENDALE - General Appearance:
A medium sized, white-faced sheep showing unmistakable Cheviot ancestry in is open face, the carriage of its head and neck and its ease of movement. Resemblance to its other parent, the Romney, is shown in its weight of fleece and to a lesser extent, in its size.
- Head - Strong without being over-large, wide between the eyes and broad in the crown, medium top-knot desirable but not essential. Horns are not permissible.
- Face - Open, white and free of wool below the eyes. Black spots are not permissible unless minute. Nose should be broad, black and with good open nostrils.
- Eyes - Dark, bold and intelligent, full of character.
- Ears - Medium length, somewhat erect giving an alert appearance soft to handle. Black spots though permissible are to be discouraged.
- Neck - Strong and should hold head well up.
- Shoulders - Not too heavy, but well-set. Withers can be a little higher than shoulder blades.
- Chest - Wide, with plenty of heart room.
- Ribs - Well sprung, with good length loin.
- Hindquarters - Firm and deep, well set to legs.
- Legs - Medium length clean and bone not too heavy. Rust should be avoided.
- Feet - Medium size and black.
- Skin - Healthy pink colour.
- Carriage - Well balanced, free moving and stylish.
- Fleece - Quality wool with the 32-38 micron range is acceptable for adult sheep; lams and hoggets produce finer wools down to 28 microns. Staple long and regular over entire fleece. Crimp well defined and even from butt to tip. Colour an attractive chalky-white fleece, showing virtually no lustre. Handle soft and bulky, with good density. Free of black fibres, rust, kemp and hair. [refer Wool Characteristics]