Dorpers (black head) and White Dorpers are high production meat sheep that do not require shearing. The Dorper breed of sheep originated from the crossing of the Dorset Horn with the Blackhead Persian. It was originally bred for the more arid regions of South Africa, due to the need for a sheep breed which could product a high quality carcass under extensive conditions.
Creation of the Dorper breed in the 1930s could be described as a great success. They were introduced into Australia from South Africa in the mid 1990s, and have adapted exceptionally well to a wide range of climatic conditions. A main aim in the development of the breed was hardiness, to ensure ability to survive and produce in a tough environment.
Following are some of the main characteristics evident in the low maintenance breed which thrives best in arid to semi-tropical areas:
- excellent feed utilisation and conversion;
- parasite resistant compared to some other sheep breeds;
- shearing not required;
- highly fertile regardless of seasonal conditions;
- excellent maternal qualities;
- lambs are vigorous, fast growing and early maturing;
- excellent carcass conformation and fat distribution.
All of these characteristics create an easy-care, highly productive breed of sheep!