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. They really produce nice lambs when crossed with the Dorper. Raising Dorpers continues to be a pleasure for Jennifer and I. I love lambing time. Originally bred in early 1940s, Dorper sheep are a cross from Dorset horned rams and Blackhead Persian ewes. 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. Sheep are generally easy keepers and don't require nearly as much acreage as bovines. Little or no hoof trimming is needed when on pasture, and our sheep only are drenched once or twice a year. In addition to good sheep fencing, run-in … Apart from a guide to raising sheep, a beginning sheep farmer likewise need equipment and expert help when starting their flock. The Dorper breed requires the same care as any other sheep breeds. Always know where your ram is when your in their pen. Raising quality Dorper Sheep for 20 years. Dorper sheep utilize bushes and shrubs to a greater extent for their feed than other sheep breeds such as the Merino-types do. Good common sense :) StrictlyQuotes from Australia on December 03, 2012: I agree, your article is very informative, I love your photos too they are just the most adorable looking sheep. We feel that our time must be used where it will improve our operation, rather than maintaining status quo. 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. Dorper sheep do not walk as much to select their food as other sheep do to find a suitable spot to graze. Your breeding sheep project can either be hand-fed or self-fed. As already mentioned, sheep farming is not simply about numbers. All my sheep are commercial sheep that thrive on pasture without any grain ever. 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. All sheep breeds require a source of fresh drinking water. The characteristics of fast growth, nonseasonal breeding, and mild tasting meat are easily attained by adding the Dorper sheep to a flock. Would you like to raise Dorper sheep, one of the fastest growing breeds in the United States and many other countries? The evidence points to mild taste with little mutton flavor at all. Tell us about the breed in the comments section below. Finances involved in setting up a sheep … 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. Most sheep require worming or parasite control. Since the Dorper has characteristics of both breeds, the hair sheep potential is across the spectrum on shedding versus needing to be sheared. 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. We are a Christian family here at Clark Farm. Extra assistance in that department is minimal. Because of their ability to adapt to both extremes of hot and cold weather, the breed requires very little. It seems most lambs and kids really try our patience those first few days of feeding. Breeders have introduced Dorper rams into other lines, such as Katahdin sheep and Texel, with good results. The market buyers were not impressed with the quality of the exports. We are a family owned farm here in Central Texas working to improve the Dorper genetics to help bring more quality to the marketplace. 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. Mature rams range in weight from 240 pounds to 275 pounds. People all over the United States north to south raise hair sheep and do well in warmer and colder environments. When the herd of sheep and goats was located I let the little lamb go and hoped for the best. The South African farmers began developing a new breed and were attempting to compete with the lambs exported from New Zealand. When you start raising sheep, you should start out slow. The run-in shed provides a windbreak and shelter from freezing rain and snow. 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. We measure prolificacy, weight … He is a native of Germany and lives in the US since 1995. Dorper sheep farming is a result of the breed being developed in South Africa. Your email address will not be published. Make sure that your pasture supports the number of sheep you choose. These droppers have 100% sheep proofed my existing fences at a fraction of the price of ring lock. The Dorper ewes range from 150 to 200 pounds mature weight. The meat is leaner and milder than imported lamb. Overview: The Dorper is a South African mutton breed developed in the 1930's from the Dorset Horn and Blackheaded Persian. This scenario is something all ranchers and farmers should realize when and if (A BIG IF) compensation is paid for damage caused by dogs. American Dorper Sheep Breeder Society members enjoy reduced fees, a quarterly magazine, free listing on the website, educational events and MORE >>>. He has been gaining weight and eating pelleted feed since he was a week old. Most estimates are about 10 sheep per acre. Dorper sheep originated in South Africa and were the result of crossing Dorset Horn with Blackheaded Persian sheep. Sheep will spend about 7 hours a day grazing. Amsberry sees a lot of advantages to raising hair sheep versus feeding goats. I must say this has been the most rewarding experience I have ever had with and orphan lamb or kid.Our Dorper flock has been very profitable, not just from the current breeder market perspective, but from the fact that we do not have to spend much time or money on them. I initially disliked this and presumed it was a fault of the breed. Raising Dorpers continues to be a pleasure for Jennifer and I. This can be provided by either a trough that is refilled frequently or a natural body of fresh water. Finances involved in setting up … I have been raising Katahdin sheep for 3 yrs. When you do decide to add more, you’ll more than likely have to make the proper accommodations.