We have spoken before (Which breed of cow should I be eating?, Selecting livestock for resilience over performance) about our rationale for breading our own, locally adapted livestock.
Our preference when buying in livestock, regardless of breed or genetics, is that they come from a local farm or at the very least from similar country to ours. Last year we needed a couple of new Merino rams. The stud we usually go to had none available and we were forced to go a bit further afield. It didn’t go so well. The two rams we got came from flat, river country north of Mudgee. Not so far geographically but a very different ecosystem. They got through the mating season but always looked poorer than the other stock. One died not long after joining and the other didn’t make it through the winter.
We didn’t end up with the numbers of Merino ewe lambs we wanted for herd replacement so this year we decided to sell off some of the older stock and buy in some young ewes. These came from about 5 km away, virtually the same country as ours. They know the lay of the land, so to speak, and are settling in well.