We were often asked about grass fed lamb. We have Katahdin sheep and Dorper sheep and crosses of these. We have had a nice lambing season and can now offer fresh lamb cuts. Our sheep graze our well planted pasture and the result is tasty, low fat meat with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acid, CLA and Beta-carotene
Katahdin are hardy, adaptable, low maintenance sheep that produce superior lamb crops and lean, meaty carcasses. They do not produce a fleece and therefore do not require shearing. They are medium-sized and efficient, bred for utility and for production in a variety of management systems. Ewes have exceptional mothering ability and lamb easily; lambs are born vigorous and alert. The breed is ideal for pasture lambing and grass/foragebased management systems.
The Dorper is a South African mutton breed developed in the 1930's from the Dorset Horn and Blackheaded Persian. The breed was developed for the arid extensive regions of South Africa. One of the most fertile of sheep breeds that is hornless with good body length and a short light covering of hair and wool. The breed has the characteristic black head (Dorper) as well as white heads (White Dorper). Furthermore the breed shows exceptional adaptability, hardiness, reproduction rates and growth (reaching 36 kg [~80 lbs] at three and a half to four months) as well as good mothering abilities.
The Dorper breed was developed through the crossing of the Blackhead Persian ewe with the Dorset Horn and this resulted in the birth of some white Dorper lambs. The difference in color is therefor merely a matter of preference for each breeder. Black-headed breeders constitute about 85% of the members of the Dorper Sheep Breeders' Society of South Africa.
The Dorper breed is now numerically the second largest breed in South Africa and has spread to many countries throughout the world.
Mutton Production: The Dorper is primarily a mutton sheep and meets these requirements exceptionally well. The Dorper has a long breeding season which is not seasonally limited. A good manager can organize his program so that lambs can be dropped at any time of the year. The breed is fertile and the percentage of ewes that become pregnant in one mating season is relatively high. Lambing intervals can be eight months. Consequently under good forage conditions and with good management the Dorper ewe can lamb three times in two years. A lambing percentage of 150% can be reached under good conditions while in exceptional cases even 180% can be attained. Under extensive conditions a lambing percentage of 100% can be expected. In a flock containing a large number of maiden ewes, the lambing percentage will be in the region of 120% as these ewes usually drop single lambs. If it is assumed that the lambing percentage is 150% and that management is at such a level that ewes can lamb about three times in two years, a Dorper ewe will produce 2.25 lambs on an annual basis.
The Dorper lamb grows rapidly and attains a high weaning weight which again is an economically important characteristic in the breeding of mutton sheep. A live weight of about 36 kg can be reached by the Dorper lamb at the age of 3- 4 months. This ensures a high quality carcass of approximately 16 kg. This is associated with the inherent growth potential of the Dorper lamb and its ability to graze at an early age.
GOT SHEEP QUESTIONS
About sheep 101
a.. Basic Sheep Information
How long do sheep usually live?
b.. Separating the sheep from the goats
What's the difference between sheep and goats?
c.. Sheep, lambs, ewes, rams, and wethers
What's the difference between a sheep and a lamb?
Sheep 201 Index
a.. About Sheep 201
b.. Getting Started
Why do you want to raise sheep?
Meat, milk, or wool?
Sheep Breeds A-Z (Sheep 101)
Acquiring breeding stock
c.. Facilities and Equipment
Feeding and watering equipment