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|The Dorper sheep is a South African mutton
breed developed in the 1930's from the Dorset Horn
and Blackheaded Persian. The Dorper does well in
various range and feeding conditions and reacts very
favorably under intensive feeding conditions. The
Dorper is hardy and can thrive under range conditions
where other breeds can barely exist and the ewe can
raise a lamb of reasonable quality under fairly severe
conditions. 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 Dorper and White Dorper are considered to be two separate breeds due to genetic background and colour. The are maintained under separate registries. The Dorper has the characteristic black head and the White Dorper the characteristic white head.
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 is primarily a mutton sheep with a long breeding season which is not seasonally limited. The Dorper lamb grows rapidly and attains a high weaning weight; 36 kg can be reached by 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. The Dorper has the characteristic black head and the White Dorper the characteristic white head.