Suitablity of Hardy, Non-native Forage-adapted Meat Sheep to North American Management Intensive Grazing System
Sheep can provide a profitable alternative in an intensive grazing operation where all family members can participate and spend quality time.
Objective: To study the Dorper breed of sheep, a hardy, meat-type developed in South Aftica. The Dorper, a non-seaonal breedeer, developed specifically for efficient pasture utilization, was compared to other more comon breeds currently being used. The study was conducted to examine performance of the Dorper in an intensive grazing setup. Rate of gain, back fat and ribeye measurements of Romanov Dorper and Romanov Dorset were compared.
Results: The mean adjusted 50-day weights and 100-day weights were not significantly different in the comparison, However, although both crosses were quite lean, back fat was significantly higher at the 0.001 level and ribeye area was significantly larger for the Dorper crosses.
Yearling Dorpers seemed to maintain condition on much less feed than other breeds of the same age.