Questions and Answers

What is the difference between the Dorper (blackhead) and the White Dorper?

Both types originated from the original cross of the Blackheaded Persian and the Dorset Horn.  The Dorper (blackhead) is a direct descendent of that original cross while the White Dorper was stabilized with the infusion of the African Van Rooy breed.

Do all Dorper sheep shed their fleeces?

No - not all purebred Dorpers will shed their fleece.  Some will completely shed, some will shed about 50% (the fleece shedding half way up their sides) and some may only shed on their shoulders and flanks but they should all have clean bellies, breeches and down the underside of the neck and chest. Dorpers generally shed during spring and summer and they do not generally shed simultaneously. Cross bred Dorpers will shed depending on their percentage of Dorper genetics, the breed of ewe used to grade up from (Romney descendants in general are poorer shedders) and the shedding ability of the Dorper rams used during the upgrading process.

Do you need to pick up the wool from around the paddocks?

No – the fleece usually falls off in small pieces – it is like a horse or cattle beast losing its winter coat.  The fleece has no commercial value.

I have heard that Dorper sheep are easy care.  What does this mean?

Dorpers can be “easier care” with their ability to shed their fleece doing away with the hassle of having to find a shearer.  However like any animal they still require a certain amount of animal husbandry and cannot be just put in the paddock and left to their own devices.  They need fresh water, feed, both grass and hay for roughage and some sun/weather shelter.

Do they have issues with their feet?

Being desert sheep their feet do tend to grow faster than other traditional New Zealand breeds.  It may be necessary to trim their feet occasionally to keep them tidy.  The Dorper can also be susceptible to scald and footrot with the moist conditions in New Zealand so treatment may be required.  As the breed is becoming more established in NZ they are continuing to adapt to the environment and it is intended with further selective breeding the current feet problems will be a thing of the past. It is however preferable to avoid grazing Dorper sheep on wet paddocks and on long, lush grass.

Are Dorper sheep resistant to worms?

No - Dorpers are not worm resistant but do tend to have a higher tolerance to a worm burden.  Like any sheep breed, if they begin to scour they will require drenching - if they are showing signs of a worm burden they can rapidly lose condition and may die.

Do Dorper sheep get fly strike?

In general Dorpers don’t get fly struck but there has been incidents of fly strike particularly with the Aussie fly which lays its eggs on the shoulders.  With the Dorpers clean breech there isn’t much material available for the flies to lay their eggs so as a rule they don’t get struck around their behinds.

What markings should my Dorper (Black-headed) Sheep have?

To be registered as a stud sheep under the NZ Dorper Breed standards the Dorper should be a white sheep with black confined to the head and neck. In general a small black spot or patch (under 10x20cm) on the body is allowable. A white blaze on the head should not extend forward of the horn base on the head.

Dorper crossbred sheep will be black or black and white in colour. Generally the more Dorper genes the cross bred sheep has the more closely they will resemble a pure bred Dorper. All crossbred and purebred White Dorper sheep should be completely white. However a red gene in the breed can produce red, brown or orange markings on the sheep.

Will Dorpers breed all year around?

Dorper have the ability to breed all-year around, however getting ewes in lamb during spring is certainly more difficult. This trait allows Dorper ewes to have 3 sets of lambs in 2 years. This has obvious productivity benefits but does require ewes to be well fed and managed.

If I want to buy some Dorpers where do I go?

We recommend that you come and see us, our details can be found on the contacts us page.  If we don't have anything available we can put you in contact with other Dorper Breeder(s).  

What class of Dorpers should I buy – stud or commercial?

Your personal requirements can be discussed further if needed.  Note like all things you purchase you get what you pay for.

What do I need to do to register my sheep?

If you want to purchase quality sheep with the purpose of forming your own stud feel free to contact us and we will assist you with the process.

I bought some sheep and they have ‘papers’ with them?  Does this mean they are registered and stud quality?

Sheep must be purchased from a registered breeder ,may have to passed inspection and a transfer made through the NZSBA before they can be registered as a stud quality animal. ‘Papers’ only show the breeding pedigree of the animal and give no indication of quality or proof of registration as a stud animal.

Disclaimer:

The above questions and answers are meant as a guide only  – there will always be exceptions to the rules.  We will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

If you have any further questions please email Jo or Riki, details are on our contact us page

Questions and Answers

What is the difference between the Dorper (blackhead) and the White Dorper?

Both types originated from the original cross of the Blackheaded Persian and the Dorset Horn.  The Dorper (blackhead) is a direct descendent of that original cross while the White Dorper was stabilized with the infusion of the African Van Rooy breed.

Do all Dorper sheep shed their fleeces?

No - not all purebred Dorpers will shed their fleece.  Some will completely shed, some will shed about 50% (the fleece shedding half way up their sides) and some may only shed on their shoulders and flanks but they should all have clean bellies, breeches and down the underside of the neck and chest. Dorpers generally shed during spring and summer and they do not generally shed simultaneously. Cross bred Dorpers will shed depending on their percentage of Dorper genetics, the breed of ewe used to grade up from (Romney descendants in general are poorer shedders) and the shedding ability of the Dorper rams used during the upgrading process.

Do you need to pick up the wool from around the paddocks?

No – the fleece usually falls off in small pieces – it is like a horse or cattle beast losing its winter coat.  The fleece has no commercial value.

I have heard that Dorper sheep are easy care.  What does this mean?

Dorpers can be “easier care” with their ability to shed their fleece doing away with the hassle of having to find a shearer.  However like any animal they still require a certain amount of animal husbandry and cannot be just put in the paddock and left to their own devices.  They need fresh water, feed, both grass and hay for roughage and some sun/weather shelter.

Do they have issues with their feet?

Being desert sheep their feet do tend to grow faster than other traditional New Zealand breeds.  It may be necessary to trim their feet occasionally to keep them tidy.  The Dorper can also be susceptible to scald and footrot with the moist conditions in New Zealand so treatment may be required.  As the breed is becoming more established in NZ they are continuing to adapt to the environment and it is intended with further selective breeding the current feet problems will be a thing of the past. It is however preferable to avoid grazing Dorper sheep on wet paddocks and on long, lush grass.

Are Dorper sheep resistant to worms?

No - Dorpers are not worm resistant but do tend to have a higher tolerance to a worm burden.  Like any sheep breed, if they begin to scour they will require drenching - if they are showing signs of a worm burden they can rapidly lose condition and may die.

Do Dorper sheep get fly strike?

In general Dorpers don’t get fly struck but there has been incidents of fly strike particularly with the Aussie fly which lays its eggs on the shoulders.  With the Dorpers clean breech there isn’t much material available for the flies to lay their eggs so as a rule they don’t get struck around their behinds.

What markings should my Dorper (Black-headed) Sheep have?

To be registered as a stud sheep under the NZ Dorper Breed standards the Dorper should be a white sheep with black confined to the head and neck. In general a small black spot or patch (under 10x20cm) on the body is allowable. A white blaze on the head should not extend forward of the horn base on the head.

Dorper crossbred sheep will be black or black and white in colour. Generally the more Dorper genes the cross bred sheep has the more closely they will resemble a pure bred Dorper. All crossbred and purebred White Dorper sheep should be completely white. However a red gene in the breed can produce red, brown or orange markings on the sheep.

Will Dorpers breed all year around?

Dorper have the ability to breed all-year around, however getting ewes in lamb during spring is certainly more difficult. This trait allows Dorper ewes to have 3 sets of lambs in 2 years. This has obvious productivity benefits but does require ewes to be well fed and managed.

If I want to buy some Dorpers where do I go?

We recommend that you come and see us, our details can be found on the contacts us page.  If we don't have anything available we can put you in contact with other Dorper Breeder(s).  

What class of Dorpers should I buy – stud or commercial?

Your personal requirements can be discussed further if needed.  Note like all things you purchase you get what you pay for.

What do I need to do to register my sheep?

If you want to purchase quality sheep with the purpose of forming your own stud feel free to contact us and we will assist you with the process.

I bought some sheep and they have ‘papers’ with them?  Does this mean they are registered and stud quality?

Sheep must be purchased from a registered breeder ,may have to passed inspection and a transfer made through the NZSBA before they can be registered as a stud quality animal. ‘Papers’ only show the breeding pedigree of the animal and give no indication of quality or proof of registration as a stud animal.

Disclaimer:

The above questions and answers are meant as a guide only  – there will always be exceptions to the rules.  We will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

If you have any further questions please email Jo or Riki, details are on our
contact us page