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As with many cross breeds, the Dorper concentrated the best qualities of each breed. Ron remembers raising wool sheep as a teenager. Most estimates are about 10 sheep per acre. Since the Dorper has characteristics of both breeds, the hair sheep potential is across the spectrum on shedding versus needing to be sheared. The Blackhead Persian breed that was chosen as the maternal side by the South African farmers, brought a hardiness and excellent fertility to the relationship. I had just finished my apprenticeship and had started working at a sheep farm. One of the most fertile of sheep breeds that is hornless with good body length and a short light covering of hair and wool. Many sheep and goat people may not be aware of the fact that Dorper sheep are being successfully raised not only in South Africa and the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and Australia. Most sheep require worming or parasite control. The result was the Dorper breed. Dorpers sheep are an easy-care breed that produces a light coat of wool and hair that is shed in late spring and summer. Justin Rhodes - abundantpermaculture.com - asked me for help putting together a list of things he will need to bring sheep onto his homestead this spring. Required fields are marked *. 4  A former sheep pasture is a marvelously fertile spot for growing crops. We used every means possible to stop these dogs but they came and went from the pasture for several weeks before we got them. Our commercial and registered flocks consist of Katahdin hair sheep, all registered with NSIP. People all over the United States north to south raise hair sheep and do well in warmer and colder environments. Because of their ability to adapt to both extremes of hot and cold weather, the breed requires very little. Since Blackhead Persians were from an arid environment, they were easy grazers. In addition to good sheep fencing, run-in sheds for shelter should be available. Your breeding sheep project can either be hand-fed or self-fed. Many breeders have written about how easy the Dorper is to care for. This allows for the possibility of three lambings over a two-year span. If you are raising organic meat, the Dorper is a good choice because they are more tolerant of intestinal parasites than some other breeds. Dorper sheep are hardy and easy to keep. But since we have no grass in … Because of their ability to adapt to both extremes of hot and cold weather, the breed requires very little. Decide the reason why you want to keep sheep. Sheep are kept for a number of reasons - for reasons of earning a living from their wool, hides, meat ... 2. When you start raising sheep, you should start out slow. Other breeders thought the black head and markings from the Blackhead Persian should be standard in the breed. I do not know exactly what the Africans were thinking but I know they got it right!Bring on the cold, wet, and snowy Northern winters and the scorching heat of the Southwest, my Dorpers are ready for it! Currently the Dorper sheep is the second most common sheep breed in the country, and it is also raised in some other countries as well. We are here to help you in any way to get you to where you want to be with your herd. The Dorper ewes range from 150 to 200 pounds mature weight. The evidence points to mild taste with little mutton flavor at all. 1. Dorper sheep do not walk as much to select their food as other sheep do to find a suitable spot to graze. Do you raise Dorpers or another hardy cross breed of sheep? Before purchasing your flock, factor in … The Blackhead Persian breed was used to harsh conditions. The breed was developed for the arid extensive regions of South Africa. Sheep manure will fertilize the soil. Startup cost of a 30-ewe flock Is estimated to range between $187.50 and $235.84 per ewe and the annual cash operating cost at about $51 each. Finances involved in setting up a sheep … Two varieties of Dorper Sheep were created: the black headed Dorper and an all white variety, the White Dorper sheep. For lambing needs, the Corriedale and Columbia breeds are good options. The meat is leaner and milder than imported lamb. We measure prolificacy, weight … Overview: The Dorper is a South African mutton breed developed in the 1930's from the Dorset Horn and Blackheaded Persian. Upgrading was allowed in order to increase the numbers of Dorper sheep after South Africa experienced an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease and importation was no longer possible. The Dorper is an easy-care animal that produces a fleece of little wool that is shed late spring-summer. We feel that our time must be used where it will improve our operation, rather than maintaining status quo. Have from the beginning wanted to raise grass-fed chemical free sheep with the hope of selling the meat to good restaurants sometime in the future. These sheep are missing something, and that's good, say Ron and Judy Monson. Very impressed. While for wool, Merino remains the strain of choice of producers. These sheep would browse similarly to goats and were not picky. © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Extract Natural Dye for Wool from Goldenrod Plants, Why Teach Classes on How to Knit, Spin, Weave or Felt, Drop Spindle Spinning: Making and Using Your First Spindle, Use This Sweater Mitten Pattern to Bring New Life to Old Clothes. By 1964 the agreement was settled by accepting both into the standard. Always know where your ram is when your in their pen. Luckily I have not had this happen to any of our Fullblood Dorper sheep, but I recently had a young Katahdin ewe abandon her lamb. Ranch consulting services, trophy hunting and exotic game sales. The meat produced from a Dorper flock seems very popular. This is important when raising a breed for market. No shearing, less drenching, excellent weight gain on pasture, excellent mothering ability, and the list goes on.University studies and Dorper breeders have noted the vigor and will to live that the Dorper lamb has. Mature rams range in weight from 240 pounds to 275 pounds. Raising Dorpers continues to be a pleasure for Jennifer and I. After an hour or so it became clear that for whatever reason the mother would not reclaim her lamb. The main reason for the Dorpers in the Easy Care cross is for carcass quality and muscling. My White Dorper Sheep: My flock consists of about 200 purebred White Dorper ewes. I use exclusively purebred registered White Dorper rams from Lewis White Dorpers to breed my ewes. Raising quality Dorper Sheep for 20 years. Want to see more like this? For example, we consider time spent worming, shearing, docking and trimming hooves as merely maintaining an operation.If this same time is spent building homestead fencing, water systems, improving lambing or handling facilities, it’s improving an operation. The white dorper sheep are a very fast growing, heavily muscled sheep that have a high feed conversion and are extremely easy keepers. I love lambing time. He is a native of Germany and lives in the US since 1995. Dorper lamb is naturally lower in fat than most lamb. He has been gaining weight and eating pelleted feed since he was a week old. “Purebred” means the sheep has been upgraded from American stock and is at least 93% or 15/16ths Dorper genetics. The ewe may die, become sick, or just walk off from her lamb. Dorper sheep utilize bushes and shrubs to a greater extent for their feed than other sheep breeds such as the Merino-types do. Copyright © 2019 | Half-Circle Six Ranches | All Rights Reserved. Click Here for High Quality Lamb Meat Available for Consumption >>>, Your email address will not be published. Thus, they do not pay for feed most of the time or they pay a very small amount of money for some food supplements or grains during the winter frost. There have been many days when we have been eagerly anticipating lambs and ready to help if needed only to find our assistance is not needed. The ewe in question lambed for the first time last spring. In addition to good sheep fencing, run-in … Your email address will not be published. This can be provided by either a trough that is refilled frequently or a natural body of fresh water. Early on in the breed’s development, a disagreement came about because some breeders thought the Dorpers should be solid white. The Dorset also brought a well-muscled quality to the cross. Dorper hair sheep are low input, easy care sheep that produce excellent meat with no shearing required. Other sheep breeds such as the Van Rooy are also believed to have contributed to the development of the White Dorper sheep breed.. Name of the breed ‘Dorper‘ is a coupling of the first syllables of the parent sheep breeds the Dorset and Persian. When the herd of sheep and goats was located I let the little lamb go and hoped for the best. It is rewarding when your ewes do just what nature intended and care for their newborn lambs, but on occasion something will go wrong. Many of this breed maintain a small amount of wool and hair on their top line. No shearing, less drenching, excellent weight gain on pasture, excellent mothering ability, and the list goes on.University studies and Dorper breeders have noted the vigor and will to live that the Dorper lamb has. A small sheep farming concern calls for dedication, discipline and a genuine concern for the animals. The run-in shed provides a windbreak and shelter from freezing rain and snow. Mixing the non-seasonal breeding ability with the high fertility of the Blackhead Persian, bred offspring that were capable of breeding every eight months. In many cases, breeders report that the hair and sheds from the belly and legs, leaving only the body that needs shearing. Ulf owns and operates White Clover Sheep Farm and breeds and raises grass-fed White Dorper sheep and Kiko goats without any grain feeding and offers breeding stock suitable for grazing. I found her lamb near the water trough in fairly good condition but obviously abandoned and hungry. The remarkable thing about this Dorper sired lamb is that he took the nipple the first time and began to suck just like he had always eaten from a bottle! Many breeders have written about how easy the Dorper is to care for. Our experience has proven the fact that even in the arid conditions of West Texas the Dorper will find the needed forage to thrive. Our ewes seldom need any assistance lambing and do an excellent job of cleaning and encouraging the lambs to nurse. Mostly grass and forage fed. Furthermore the breed sho… We both work off the farm; therefore time is a commodity in short supply. Amsberry sees a lot of advantages to raising hair sheep versus feeding goats. Raising Dorpers continues to be a pleasure for Jennifer and I. There are sheep farmers claiming that they live solely from managing 60-80 sheep, but these farmers normally live near forests with rich and diverse flora and raise their sheep on pasture. This scenario is something all ranchers and farmers should realize when and if (A BIG IF) compensation is paid for damage caused by dogs. The ram choice for the breed development was a Dorset Horned sheep. Little or no hoof trimming is needed when on pasture, and our sheep only are drenched once or twice a year. Ewe Lamb Right Farm strives to raise wholesome & healthy Katahdin hair sheep & lambs. The breed has the characteristic black head (Dorper) as well as white heads (White Dorper). Tell us about the breed in the comments section below. Our sires are Katahdins with NSIP EBVs. I plan to double my herd in the next year or two and build up close to 400 head,” he said. Last year we had some feral dogs attack our sheep and goats and the damage was incredible. The Dorpers require little grain (I do give some through the very harsh winters), and maintain condition on poorer pasture. Sheep will spend about 7 hours a day grazing. Since the Blackhead Persian sheep are a hair breed and the Dorset Horned are a wool breed, how do the Dorper sheep shed out? Finances involved in setting up … Try one of these great recipes today! If hand-feeding, allow a minimum of 1 2 linear feet of trough space per sheep. What a pleasure! When you do decide to add more, you’ll more than likely have to make the proper accommodations. The number can vary based on size and condition of sheep (ewes with lambs), condition of pasture (tall fescue grows fast spring and fall), and how you manage your pasture. American Dorper Sheep Breeder Society members enjoy reduced fees, a quarterly magazine, free listing on the website, educational events and MORE >>>. Dorpers are the fastest growing breed in many countries including the United States and Canada. The Dorset Horned sheep is a non-seasonal breeder, meaning they don’t just breed in the fall. Introducing the Dorper rams into a strong flock of ewes in a strict breeding program can yield even stronger offspring and better quality meat. For … My existing 8 strand plain wire fences were not Dorper-proof - Dorpers are renowned for being hard on fences. It’s recommended that you begin with 2 sheep per acre and never exceed 4 sheep per acre. All sheep breeds require a source of fresh drinking water. They really produce nice lambs when crossed with the Dorper. The Dorper breed adapts to both hot and cold weather without issue. Dorper and Hampshire breeds are picked out for the best meat. As I drove home in my old and not so beautiful four-wheel drive ranch truck I could not help but notice the improvement we have begun to make by using Katahdin ewes in our crossbreeding program. They would hardly break stride to get through the plain wire fences previously. It seems most lambs and kids really try our patience those first few days of feeding. Dorper sheep farming is a result of the breed being developed in South Africa. All my sheep are commercial sheep that thrive on pasture without any grain ever. They lamb easily for the most part. All feeders (grain, hay, salt, and mineral) should be built off the ground so the sheep cannot get their feet in them or lay in them. Consider if you have the financial resources to raise sheep. Although the breed was created in the 1930s, it is still fairly new to the US. If you live in a part of the USA that gets cold during the winter, these sheep will grow a thick coat of wool during the winter, but don’t worry, they will shed it off during the spring. Sheep are generally easy keepers and don't require nearly as much acreage as bovines. 3  Sheep pastures can be rotated with crop planting. Dorsets are easy keepers and graze happily on what is available. Make sure that your pasture supports the number of sheep you choose. Since then, Amsberry has sold all his feeder goats and started to transition from strictly a commercial hair sheep flock to adding about 26 head of purebred white Dorpers. Crop planting from Lewis White Dorpers to breed every eight months meat produced from a Dorper seems! And hair on their top line my sheep are an easy-care animal produces. Points to mild taste with little mutton flavor at all time resources raise. 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