WHAT IS PUREBRED AND FULLBLOOD ?
A "Fullblood" Dorper sheep's genetic background can be traced to sheep originally imported from South Africa.
A "Purebred" Dorper's genetics has beed upgraded from American stock. "Purebred" Dorpers are at least 93% or 15/16ths Dorper genetics. Upgrading was allowed in order to increase Dorper numbers after importation from South Africa was stopped due to the outbreak of hoof and mouth disease.
All our Purebred Dorpers have been registered with the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association
Dorpers have high fertility and maternal instinct, combined with high growth rates and hardiness. Dorper ewes will nourish their lambs under difficult conditions. When the ewes are left alone they will lamb easily, and will retain and look after their lambs. Dorper Mom's do not easily loose their lambs, even if they are handled soon after lambing. The mortality rate is low.
Lambing percentages of 150% are not uncommon and 180% can be achieved with good nutrition. In a flock containing a large number of maiden ewes, the lambing percentage will be in the region of 120% as these ewes usually drop single lambs.
Ewes begin cycling at 5 months of age and weigh 70 to 100kg. Lifespan of Dorpers are 10 to 12 years. Under good management a Dorper ewe should produce lambs for seven years or more.
Dorpers can breed any time of year. Lambing intervals of 8 months, three lamb crops every two years, is a common practice, although we only concentrate on one crop per year. Ewe lambs between 6-8 months may cycle, but better conception will be achieved at 9-12 months. Later bred ewes will also grow out better.
Dorper rams weigh around 90 to 100kg. Rams reach sexual maturity at an early age. Dorper rams have been observed to start working by five months. Ram lambs can frequently cover 20 -25 ewes in a 51 day exposure. Yearling rams can usually cover 50 ewes. Dorper rams do not have big horns, but some rams have scurs or small horns. Those with horns may have a stronger libido according to the American Dorper Sheep Breeder's Society.
We choose our rams well and are proud to say that they are calm and non aggressive animals. We use our Purebred rams on the Purebred ewes and our Commercial ewes.