Origin of The Breed
The Dorper sheep was developed in the 1930’s by the Department of Agriculture of South Africa when they did a crossing with a Dorset Horn Ram and Blackhead Persian ewes.
A need originates for a fairly good mutton sheep which could produce fast growing lambs on veld conditions with a good quality carcass. In the Western Cape, a prerequisite was that the ewes must be rutting in November-December in order to lamb from April. In the Karoo areas, the aim was to replace the fat-tail types with a breed with a more acceptable carcass. The initial need was to produce a sheep breed suitable to the demanding low rainfall areas of the Northern Province. A relatively easy-care sheep with an acceptable meat carcass had to be found for these difficult circumstances.
The most important characteristics required for the breed were probably the following:
- Satisfactory lambing ability in the Autumn
- Reasonably acceptable meat carcass
- A good slaughter lamb on veld conditions at 4-5 months
- Resistance against cold wind and rain, extremely high summer temperatures and radiation
- A versatile sheep and good utilizer of tough grass and shrub veld
- Satisfactory reproductive fitness
- Easy care without lamb shearing problems
- Fair amount of color and pigmentation
For more information and to buy the manuals contact the Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society of South Africa.
Telephone (+27) 049-842 2241