Afrikaner Sheep

The Afrikaner sheep is a fat tailed breed of sheep which was originated from South Africa. It is also known as Cape Fat Tail and it is one of the oldest native sheep breeds in South Africa. Other oldest sheep breeds include the Blackhead Persian, Zulu, Damara and Pedi.

Ancestors of the Afrikaner sheep were brought down from the middle east by the Khoikhoin people.

The breed is thought to be the first sheep breed imported to Australia, with the First Fleet in 1788 (but today is very rare in the country). Read some more information about this sheep breed below.

Afrikaner Sheep Characteristics

The Afrikaner sheep are medium to large sized animals. Their wool color is generally white with red or black face. They have long and fat tail which is an energy storage.

And the tail helps them for surviving long dry seasons. There are two varieties of this breed; the Ronderib Afrikaner and the Namaqua Afrikaner.

The Ronderib Afrikaner is one of the larger sized breeds of South African indigenous sheep. There are also two sub varieties of this breed.

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The Steekhaar Ronderib Afrikaner sheep have coarse hair, which has thought to be extinct. And the Blinkhaar Ronderib Afrikaner breed has soft, fine and shiny hair. The ribs of both varieties are oval in cross section rather than flat.

The Namaqua Afrikaner is a slender, lanky sheep with a fat tail, and is not particularly favored for modern lamb production.

These animals are generally white in color with a red or black head, and large fat tails. Both rams and ewes generally have horns. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


The Afrikaner sheep is a meat sheep breed. It is raised mainly for meat production.

Special Notes

The Afrikaner sheep are very hardy animals. They are known for their hardiness in extreme environmental conditions.

They have very good foraging ability and well known for their hardiness in desert conditions.

The ewes are highly prolific, and they have relatively high reproduction performance recorded under extensive conditions.

The ewes can be mated successfully at an early age, and they can be mated throughout the year. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Breed NameAfrikaner
Other NamesCape Fat Tail
Breed PurposeMeat
Special NotesHardy and strong animals, well adapted and do well in their native climate, known for their hardiness in extreme environmental conditions, very good foragers, have the ability to do well in desert conditions, the ewes are highly prolific, the ewes can be mated successfully at an early age, the ewes can be mated throughout the year
Breed SizeMedium to large
Climate ToleranceNative climates
ColorMainly white with red or black face
Country/Place of OriginSouth Africa

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