Dohne Merino Sheep: Characteristics, Uses, Origin

The Dohne Merino sheep is a breed of domestic sheep which was originated from South Africa. It is also called Dohne or El Dohne Merino. It is a pretty new breed and was actually developed in the late 1930s.

And the breed was developed by the South African Department of Agriculture. The Dohne Merino sheep was developed by interbreeding Peppin-style Merino ewes and German Mutton Merino rams.

The progeny were interbred and selected for high fertility, fine Merino wool under commercial rangeland conditions and also for rapid lamb growth rate.

The breeding program was initiated in 1939, and a society for the breed was formed in 1966. Selection has been done with the aid of performance and progeny testing and comprehensive production records since 1970.

And all the recorded animals are maintained in a computerized flock recording scheme.

Today it is raised mainly as a dual-purpose animal for both meat and wool production.

And currently it is one of the leading woolled sheep breeds in South Africa. And along with the availability of it’s native area, the breed is also available in Australia and New Zealand. Read some more information about this South African sheep breed below.

Dohne Merino Sheep Characteristics

The Dohne Merino sheep are medium to large sized animals. Their body color is mainly white. Both rams and ewes are usually polled, that means ‘they have no horns’.

As a medium to large sized animal, average live body weight of the mature Dohne Merino ewes is between 50 and 65 kg. And the mature ram’s average live body weight vary from 80 to 100 kg. Photo and info from Sheep 101 and Wikipedia.


The Dohne Merino sheep are dual purpose animals. They are raised for both meat and wool production.

Special Notes

The Dohne Merino sheep are very strong and hardy animals. They are especially well adapted to their local environments. The lambs grow relatively faster.

And they reach around 25 to 35 kg live body weight within their 100 days of age. The fleece production of these animals is between 3.5 and 5 kg per year.

Their wool is of pretty good quality with an average fiber diameter of 17 to 21 microns. However, review full breed profile of the Dohne Merino sheep in the chart below.

Breed NameDohne Merino
Other NameDhone, El Dhone Merino
Breed PurposeMeat and wool
Special NotesVery beautiful animals, striking appearance, especially well adapted to their local environments, lambs grow relatively faster, the lambs reach 25 to 35 kg live body weight within 100 days, 3.5 to 5 kg fleece production per year, 17 to 21 microns fiber diameter, very good for meat production
Breed SizeMedium to large
WeightMature rams live body weight is between 80 and 100kg, and the mature ewe’s body weight vary from 50 to 65 kg.
Climate ToleranceAlmost all climates
Country/Place of OriginSouth Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

People ask many questions about Dohne Merino sheep. Here we are listing most common questions about this sheep breed, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

Is Dohne Merino sheep farming profitable?

Yes, commercial production of these sheep is a very profitable business. You can start this business for making high profits.

How to start Dohne Merino sheep farming business?

Starting a sheep farming business with this sheep breed is relatively easy. You can start this business easily even if you are a beginner. First of all select a very good location, then make a house for your animals, purchase good quality animals, feed them with good quality food and always take good care of them.

What does Dohne Merino produce?

The Dohne Merino sheep is a dual purpose breed of domestic sheep. It is good for both meat and fine wool production.

What was the main reason for developing the synthetic Dohne Merino sheep breed?

In fact the very reason for developing the breed was to breed hardy and adaptable woolled sheep for the extremely harsh high rainfall and cold conditions of the Eastern Cape Sour veld areas.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top