Dohne sheep (Photo from Hall Family)
A Rare Breed of South African Origin
The Dohne, sometimes called the ‘Mutton Merino’ is said to have achieved the ‘holy grail’ of producing fast-growing lambs for slaughter, combined with the highest quality fine Merino wool. Developed in South Africa, it arrived in New Zealand in 1998. 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. As well as being kept as a pure breed, the Dohne will also be used to improve traditional breeds such as the Corriedale.
(The Dohne should not be confused with the SAMM, or South African Mutton Merino, which was used to produce the Dohne, and which is also present in New Zealand in very small numbers. The SAMM is not generally regarded as a distinct breed – but rather a variety of the Merino.)