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Dorper Sheep

The breed was developed in South Africa in the 1930's by crossing Blackhead Persian ewes with a Dorset Horn ram. They were bred to produce a high quality carcass under harsh sub-Saharan conditions.

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The Blackhead Persian was selected for its non-selective grazing, coat shedding, hardiness and good mothering abilities. The Dorset Horn was selected for its rapid growth rates and carcass attributes. Together they produced the Dorper- a fixed breed type, giving a reliable reproduction of features and characteristics.

The breed was introduced into Australia in 1996 and has the potential to be developed for domestic and export meat markets.

Dorper Sheep are barrel shaped with short, dullish black or white hair on the head. A short, loose light covering of hair and wool (wool predominating on the forequarter) with a naturally clean kempt underline, is a typical breed standard. An even distribution of a thin layer of fat compliments the breed.

Dorpers can adapt to most grazing conditions. Purebred lambs will start to graze in the first few days after birth. F1 lambs after about two weeks. The ability to manage solely on pasture (even without hay) varies with breed, but Dorper sheep not only survive they thrive. They grow rapidly and attain a high weaning weight.

Dorpers fast growth rates allow for early marketing, with the potential to fill market supply shortfalls.

The Dorper are an economical breed saving costs associated with handling. The breed sheds its fleece avoiding the need for mustering for shearing, crutching and fly control.

The Dorper can breed continually, with no defined season. Their breeding intervals can be as short as 8 months or 3 times in 2 years. Running rams with ewes continuously is one option that may stimulate reproduction; however, it is also likely that ewes will adjust their fertility according to conditions.

Full blood registered stud rams and ewes are available direct from the property.

Quatre Saisons offers private selection of quality stud stock by appointment.

All full blood animals sold are presented unshorn so clients can fully asses the fleece shedding ability of the stock.

Our current ram ‘Piri’ is progeny sired by ‘Big Al’ Supreme Champion Exhibit at the National Dorper Championships at Dubbo in NSW in May 2007.

Additional Resoruces about Dorper Sheep

For more information on Dorper Sheep:

Dorper Sheep Society of Australia