Van Rooy Sheep

The Van Rooy sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from South Africa. It is also known as the Van Rooy White Persian, Van Rooy-Persie (Afrik) and White Persian. The breed was first developed in 1906 by J. C. Van Rooy.

The breed was named for J. C. Van Rooy, who was a South African Senator and farmer in the Bethulie district.

The Van Rooy sheep is actually a cross between indigenous Ronderib Afrikaner, Rambouillets and Blackhead Persian sheep. It is a fat-tailed sheep breed, and is generally kept for meat production.

The first Van Rooy embryos were imported into Australia in 1998. And rams have now been used as a foundation sires in White Dorper upgrading programs.

Genetics of this breed have also contributed to the development of the Australian White sheep breed. However, read more information about this breed below.

Van Rooy Sheep Characteristics

Van Rooy sheep are medium to large sized animals with entirely white body. They have drooping ears, and both rams and ewes are polled. Photo and info from and Wikipedia.


This is a meat sheep breed. It is raised mainly for meat production.

Special Notes

The Van Rooy sheep are strong and hardy animals. Today the breed is still raised mostly in the arid areas where survival and reproduction on natural grazing are essential for the economic production of meat.

Some farmers also take advantage of the hardiness of the Van Rooy ewe for crossbreeding with Droper, White Dorper Dohne Merino and others for producing a heavier slaughter lamb.

Milking abilities of the ewes coupled with their ability to utilize natural grazing in adverse conditions allow maximum production in the dryer areas. Currently the breed is relatively rare, even in South Africa.

But the breed has also been exported to Zimbabwe and Namibia. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Breed NameVan Rooy
Other NameAlso known as the Van Rooy White Persian, Van Rooy-Persie (Afrik) and White Persian
Breed PurposeMeat
Special NotesStrong and hardy, good for crossbreeding with other sheep breeds for producing a heavier slaughter lamb, good milking abilities, currently pretty rare even in South Africa
Breed SizeMedium
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Country/Place of OriginSouth Africa

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