After an extensive review of prime lamb and low maintenance sheep breeds, discussions with butchers, consumers, analysis of the profit drivers for a livestock enterprise and consideration to own farm environment, White Dorpers and Dorpers were most suited to our mixed farming enterprise. Adaptability to changing seasons and sustainability were key considerations. We found some key advantages of the White Dorper and Dorper to be:
Early Growth and Reproductive Maturity
- Fast growth to allow early sale of Prime Lamb
- Early reproductive maturity of ewes. First cross ewes have lambs as 12 month old sheep, so no free loaders in the mob. See Effective Lambing Rate below.
- Naturally high twinning rate
- Excellent natural maternal instinct, so twins are raised
- Good milk production
- Lambs graze very early and have a very strong will to live
- Strong instinct to “flock” when faced with vermin
- Non seasonal breeders to give continuity of year round Prime Lamb production
What is your Effective Lambing Rate? i.e. Total lambs / Total ewes on farm (including the non pregnant hoggets).
- Non selective grazing and able to do well in a range of different types and quality of feed
- No mulesing
- Clean points, breach and belly reducing grass seed and flystrike
- Sheep naturally shed their fleece, reducing need for shearing
- Require less feed to maintain condition
- Sheep present well in sale yards
- Naturally lean carcass, favoured by processors High carcass yield as a % of live weight
- High lean meat yield in the carcass
- Fine textured meat for better taste and tenderness
- Rapidly improves carcass quality in a crossbred breeding program
Dorper or White Dorper White Dorper
Dorper or White Dorper White Dorpers are being used for the commercial prime lamb and low maintenance commercial ewe flock. The White Dorpers seem to have a slightly better temperament at an early age, however the difference between the two resolves when the sheep are handled quietly. Temperament in all sheep is being selected for, so we expect this initial difference to reduce over time.