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Big Bend Farm - Dorper Sheep

Dorper ewe and lamb

DorperWeight Gain: Dorper lambs grow rapidly on the abundant supply of milk and their ability to graze at an early age. At an age of 3-4 months, a live weight of 80 pounds or greater can be achieved on pasture.

Carcass Quality: Dorper slaughter lambs are highly sought after both on hoof and the hook.

Hardiness: Non-selective grazing habits and their inherent hardiness have produced a meat sheep that is second to none under some very adverse conditions. Foraging habits appear to overlap those of goats more than many sheep breeds, as Dorpers will make extensive use of browsing.

Sheep in Winter at Big Bend Farm, VA

Range Utilization: Dorper sheep can be used to convert underutilized feed sources or grazing to high quality meat because of their strong non-selective grazing habits. They will forage widely and independently, therefore, are an excellent breed for fenced ranges.

Mothering Ability: Most Dorper sheep are pasture lambed so there have been years of natural selection for excellent mothering qualities. The ewes are fond of their lambs and produce large quantities of milk to raise quality twins.

Minimal Care: The Dorper requires minimal labor to manage. The coat is a mixture of wool and hair that is shed to varying degrees. In North America shedding appears to be somewhat dependent on season of birth, climatic conditions and genetic variation. After the first year shedding appears to be more complete. Dorpers respond to cold by growing a thicker covering.

Temperament: Dorpers are even-tempered sheep, which makes them easier to work. Due to their low set, bulk and determination, they can be interesting to set up. We have found them easily halter broke and rams easily trained to be caught in breeding pastures.