About Ile de France NZ

Why we started Ile De France

In a search for a paradigm shift in sheep farming profitability, Murray Rohloff a Romney ram breeder of 25 years in Eastern Southland, trialled the Ile de France breed renowned for its extended breeding season overseas capable of 3 lambings in 2 years.

This interest inevitably led Murray to team up with Peter Ponsonby of Tuapeka West near Lawrence in South Otago. Peter had 40 years breeding Dorset Horns out-of-season and a prominent Poll Dorset breeder.

Unfortunately for the 3 lambings in 2 years concept, much of the land capable of supporting it was converted to dairying. However their experience with Ile de France proved the breed’s ability to survive, grow and be very drought resistant. SIL performance figures indicated that the Ile de France breed is very strong in all the MATERNAL TRAITS.

Upon the retirement of Peter and Murray, the stud was purchased by the Thomson's and the Forrester's in May 2017 and its heart moved to North Canterbury.

Meet the people behind Ile De France


Ile de France breeding policy


The breeding policy is entirely for maternal trait excellence.  SIL dual performance recording is carried out, along with Carla testing for resistance to worms and DNA testing for footrot resistance.

All imported sires are screened for low birth weigths with high growth rates, twinning and Carla and Footrot resistance prior to importation.

In 2013 the Raggity Range flock in Central Otago was added to IDFNZ.  Whereas the South Otago flock was graded up from Dorsets, the Raggity Range flock was graded up from a Romney base and are also fully recorded on SIL.  

The grade-up policies have enabled the "Kiwi-ising" of the breed for New Zealand's fine and strong wooled sheep industries.

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