GENETIC DIVERSITY AND POPULATION STRUCTURE OF FOUR SOUTH AFRICAN SHEEP BREEDS . It takes 12 months for ram lambs and 14 months for ewes to reach an ideal slaughter weight of 30 kg (18 kg of meat). The Meatmaster was registered as a breed in 2007 and the Meatmaster Breed Society was established in 2008. The mutton & wool sheep farming business plan should include the costs of purchasing the breeding stock. 2.2 Sheep and goats. A. Afrikaner sheep; Afrino sheep; B. Blackhead Persian; D. Dohne Merino; Dorper; M. Meatmaster; P. Pedi sheep; S. South African Meat Merino ; V. Van Rooy sheep; Last edited on 15 April 2011, at 08:49. The name is derived from the Damara area of Namibia where the largest number of animals is found. Its numbers in New Zealand can probably be counted in dozens at the present time, but it is already noted for its hardiness and adaptability. Considered as one of the fastest-growing meat sheep breeds. Introduction. The Damara Herero, Namaqua and the Kam Karrin Hottentot tribes farmed and traded with what has become the Damara sheep of today. The breed is covered with a light cream fleece of wool with smooth, glossy hair, used for the manufacture of blankets. All animals were genotyped at 12 microsatellite loci. It goes without saying that the Dorper is one of the most popular sheep breeds in South Africa. The Ile de France can be used for their milk and is classified as a dairy sheep in the USA. The genetic diversity of South African sheep populations is considered complex having been shaped by multifaceted production systems [1, 2] resulting from a combination of indigenous, commercial and synthetic/composite breeds raised to suit, various and often, extreme production conditions where natural selection forces are at play.Coupled with this have been farmer driven … During the late 1960's, a request was made to the Department of Agriculture by the wool industry, via the South African Agricultural Union, to develop a white woolled breed for the extensive sheep grazing areas. This article will focus on sheep breeds used in South Africa for meat production only. In a study comparing the leather quality of nine sheep breeds, the leather from Damara sheep was found to be superior in strength, with a very fine grain with superior strength. It is a native South African breed. Examples of sheep breeds used in South Africa for meat and wool production include the Merino, Dohne Merino, South African Mutton Merino, Afrino Sheep and the Dormer. A South African breed of domestic sheep, the Dorper is a cross between Blackhead Persian and Dorset Horn sheep. The South African Meat Merino sheep is a breed of domestic sheep originating in South Africa. On average it gains around 200 g of weight. All Rights Reserved. L. Sandenbergh1,2, S.W.P. Afrikaner sheep are one of the oldest native sheep breeds in South Africa, along with sheep such as the Damara, Blackhead Persian, Pedi, and Zulu (Nguni). The breeders’ society currently has 48 members, which have a total of ± 20 000 Persian sheep among them. Dorper sheep are developed in South Africa to meet the mutton demands. Developed in South Africa, it arrived in New Zealand in 1998. The Afrino is a breed of sheep originating from South Africa. Both rams and ewes have horns. 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