A Rare Breed of South African Origin
An extremely recent arrival from South Africa is the Dorper, billed as the ultimate mutton breed. Hardy and adaptable to a wide range of conditions, it is noted for its fertility – and like the » Dorset Horn which was one of its progenitors, it can lamb twice yearly, producing lambs with an extremely fast growth rate. It is also possessed of a self-shedding fleece.
Dorpers were developed in South Africa in the 1950s and come in two varieties – the black-headed (Dorset Horn x Persian) and white-headed (Dorset Horn x van Rooey). Embryos of purebred Dorpers were imported from Australia in February 2001 and purebred Dorper rams are also used as terminal sires – producing fine first-cross lambs.
The Rare Breeds Conservation Society thanks Grant Latimer of Cornwall Park Stud for assistance with this page.