The Dorper sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from South Africa. It was developed in the 1930s by crossing Blackhead Persian and Dorset Horn sheep.
It was actually created through the efforts of South African Department of Agriculture for developing a meat sheep breed suitable to the more arid regions of South Africa.
Currently the Dorper sheep is the second most common sheep breed in the country, and it is also raised in some other countries as well.
Name of the breed ‘Dorper‘ is a coupling of the first syllables of the parent sheep breeds the Dorset and Persian.
Dorper Sheep Full Breed Information
The Dorper Sheep Breeders Society of South Africa was founded in 1950. Today the breed is raised mainly for meat production.
Read some more information about this South African sheep breed below.
The Dorper sheep are medium sized animals. They are mainly white in coloration with black face, but some animals can also be of black color.
The breed is actually well known for it’s thick, well muscled carcass and extended period of fertility.
They have wool in addition to hair covering their bodies, but they don’t need to be sheared. Both rams and ewes are usually polled. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Dorper sheep is a meat sheep breed. It is raised mainly for meat production.
The Dorper sheep are very hardy animals. They are well adapted to a variety of climatic and grazing conditions. They are also well suited to survive in the arid extensive regions of South Africa.
The ewes are highly fertile and have very good maternal instinct, combined with high growth rates and hardiness. The lambing percentage is around 150 percent in the native country, and also can reach 160 percent.
Today the breed is raised mainly for meat production. The lambs on average weight around 36 kg within their 100 days of age.
The Dorper sheep reputably do very well in various range and feeding conditions and are also suited to intensive feeding. It is actually an easy-care breed which requires minimal input of labor.
Today the breed is also available in many countries outside it’s native area. It has gained much popularity mainly because of it’s resiliency and hardiness. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and strong animals, well adapted to a variety of climatic and grazing conditions, well suited to survive in the arid extensive regions of South Africa, ewes are highly fertile and have good maternal instinct, high growth rate, lambs reach around 36 kg within their 100 days of age, easy to care for, requires minimal input of labor, very good for meat production|
|Climate Tolerance||Almost all climates|
|Color||Mainly white, and also black|
|Country/Place of Origin||South Africa|
Frequently Asked Questions
People ask many questions about Dorper sheep. Here we are trying to list the 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 raising Dorper sheep profitable?
Yes, Dorper is a highly productive breed of domestic sheep and raising them is highly profitable.
Is the Dorper breed of sheep easy to raise?
Yes, these sheep require less caring and other management and raising them is very easy.
What is the cost of Dorper sheep?
Exact price of a Dorper depends on numerous factors and it can vary from place to place. Purebred White Dorper ram lamb’s price is around or up to $450.
What are Dorper sheep good for?
The Dorpers are raised mainly for their meat production. They are highly regarded as a prime lamb producing sheep breed. They are fast maturing and they have the ability to produce high-quality carcass with excellent conformation and fat distribution.
Do Dorper sheep have wool?
The Dorper is a hair sheep breed and not often seen in the wool world. While they have a blend of hair and wool, and the wool comes from the undercoat that they then shed once a year (requiring no shearing).
Do Dorper sheep have to be sheared?
Yes, but they have minimal shearing needs. Shearing them once a year will be enough.
How long do Dorper lambs live?
Average lifespan of a Dorper lamb is between 10 and 12 years.
Do Dorpers need drenching?
No, the Dorpers do not need drenching or other treatments.
Can Dorper sheep handle cold weather?
Yes, the Dorpers are extremely cold and hot hardy sheep breeds. They generally do very well in both hot and cold weather.
Are Dorper sheep hard on fences?
Yes, the Dorpers are excellent escape artists and they are renowned for being hard on fences.
What age are Dorper lambs slaughtered?
The Dorper lambs generally reach marketing weight within their 6 months of age.
Do Dorper sheep eat weeds?
Yes, they are known for eating everything, including weeds.
Do Dorper sheep need their tails docked?
No, Dorpers do not require shearing, mulesing, crutching or tail docking.
What is the best feed for Dorper sheep?
Clean grass hay and other greens are considered best feed for the Dorpers.
How many times does a Dorper sheep give birth in a year?
The Dorper sheep generally give birth 3 times in 2 years.
Are Dorper lambs good meat?
How often do Dorpers have lambs?
The Dorpers generally produce lambs with a lambing intervals of only 8 months.
How long is a Dorper sheep pregnant for?
Average pregnancy period of a Dorper sheep is around 150 days.
At what age do Dorper sheep start breeding?
The Dorpers generally reach maturity faster. They reach breeding age within their 8 months of age.
What are the main characteristics of Dorper sheep?
The Dorper is a medium sized animals. It is mainly white in coloration with black face, but some animals can also be of black color. The breed is actually well known for it’s thick, well muscled carcass and extended period of fertility. They have wool in addition to hair covering their bodies, but they don’t need to be sheared. Both rams and ewes are usually polled.