The Meatmaster sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from South Africa. It was developed from various hair sheep breeds in the early 1990s. It was created with the goat of improving the meat characteristics of African fat-tailed sheep breeds. Hardiness and suitability for desert life are were the main advantageous characteristics of the fat-tailed sheep. But those animals were slow to mature, and had a poor distribution of fat and lacked the muscling of the hind quarters of the European sheep breeds.
The Meatmaster sheep breed increased the amount of muscle and had a better distribution of fat. But it retained the hair (rather than wool) coat and other desirable traits such as a good flocking instinct and resistance to tick-borne diseases. When the Meatmaster sheep developed and tested, it’s demand was established.
The breed register was set up around the year 2000, and it was registered in 2007 and a breed society was set up the following year. Today, Meatmaster bloodlines may be a composite of any number of breeds, such as Van Rooy or South African Meat Merino, but must contain Damara breeding. Read some more information about this breed below.
Meatmaster Sheep Characteristics
The Meatmaster sheep are medium sized animal with various wool color. They can be either horned or polled. They are fat-tailed, meaning they lack wool which requires shearing.
Average live body weight of the mature ewes is between 60 and 70 kg. And the mature ram’s body weight vary from 85 to 105 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Meatmaster sheep are meat sheep breed. They are raised mainly for meat production.
The Meatmaster sheep are very hardy animals. The focus in breeding is mostly on meat production. The ewes have very good mothering instincts. Along with the availability in it’s native area, these animals have also been exported to Australia, Canada and Namibia. And they are now mainly found in all nine provinces of South Africa and they are especially valued in the northern bush veld areas. Review full breed profile of the Meatmaster sheep in the following chart.
Meatmaster Sheep | Breed Profile
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat|
|Special Notes||Very active animals, well adapted to native climate, the ewes have very good mothering instincts, highly valued for meat production|
|Breed Size||Medium to large|
|Weight||Rams weight vary between 85 and 105 kg, and the mature ewe’s weight vary from 60 to 70 kg|
|Horns||Yes or polled|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||South Africa|