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Dorper  x Southdown Crosses

The Starter Flock

When it comes to our flock of sheep I would be lying if I said we picked out these breed of sheep specifically for our market and our farm. Truth be told Noah had taken a class at UNH where he learned to take care of sheep and wanted to add some to the farm as a result. We didn't know if there was a market for the meat and we certainly didn't know anything about what breeds we wanted to get or where to get them from. 

We found a small flock of breeders for sale by a local homestead. The flock was a retired group of 4-H show animals, but we intended to breed them.

Joe Diffy is our ram. He is a Dorper and is very tame as far as rams go. The Dorper breed was developed in South Africa, to finish on grass. They have been called the Angus of sheep as their meat is tender and flavorful. If you have read the Belted Galloway page you'll see that I would rather compare them to Belties for their ability to finish on grass, but that is another story. 

All of our ewes are Southdowns. Southdown sheep are a very old English breed that grow well on grass and produce a good quality wool. The lambs grow fast but not large. As I write this we have nine Southdown ewes in our flock and Joe mates with all of them.

The lambs that result from these mattings are beautiful, all black lambs. They are spunky and full of life. These lambs grow slowly but produce an excellent carcass. Although we stumbled onto this cross and these sheep we are extremely happy with the results. We plan to continue to breed our current flock and to raise their crosses while we learn how to best incorporate sheep into the farm management plan. 

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