Many sheep farmers in South Africa have come to the conclusion that the answer for the slaughter lam producer is a Dormer ram. The question is however - Why Dormer?
The Dormer is well known for its high fertility, excellent mothering abilities, long breeding season and easy lambing. As a result of abovementioned characteristics the Dormer is one of the most efficient mutton sheep breeds in South Africa.
The following table reflects the results of a lambing season in the Southern Cape (92.07.14 - 92.12.31)
|EWES||NO. OF LAMBS||%|
Under extensive conditions multiple births, especially twins, often occur and depending on management and other conditions, a lambing percentage of 120 - 150 is the order of the day.
Dormer lambs over the years held their own at every show and slaughter lamb competition. During the last 10 years Dormer lambs have obtained several champion single lamb carcasses as well as champion groups at various shows throughout South Africa.
The efficiency of the breed has improved dramatically over the last decade mainly due to performance testing being compulsory for all breeders as well as the fact that minimum breed standards have been implemented for the breed.
The following data taken from 10 breeders reflect the growth potential of the Dormer lamb.
|EWE LAMBS||RAM LAMBS|
|Ave. WM = 34,04 kg||Ave. WM =36,04 kg|
|Ave. ADA = 272g||Ave. ADA= 275g|
|Data for 100 day indices for 1058 lambs||Data for 100 day indices for 945 lambs|
|SEMI INTENSIVE GROWTH TESTS (Phase D)|
|Intensive growth tests (Phase D)|
|Number of rams in test||25|
|Test period||90 days|
|Starting mass||34,43 kg|
|Final mass||65,46 kg|
|Ave. gain over test period||31,03 kg|
|Ave. daily gain (ADG)||345 g|
The most important methods used for marketing the breed are the following:
Show participation on a regular basis is encouraged. National championships are presented bi- annually while on average 4 to 5 regional and provincial shows are held annually.
The largest and most important shows in the country are identified where animals together with their performance records are displayed. Such exhibitions are further supported by way of statistics which serve a double purpose to introduce the breed in regions where it is relatively unknown. The growth and development of the breed is highlighted at displays and additional information is supplied in the form of promotion of pamphlets, newsletters and other promotional material.
Here the same principles are applied but in addition to these, lectures on relevant topics are delivered by experienced people. Practical demonstrations are conducted on animals with the emphasis on aspects such as functional efficiency and performance records, which also serves to practically illustrate the Dormer system.
Training is done on a continuous basis for breeders, selectors, junior selectors, as well as commercial breeders.
A symposium coinciding with the AGM, is presented annually for breeders as well as any interested people. Lectures are presented by specialists in the local industry as well as from overseas. The high standard of lectures and papers delivered at such symposiums greatly contributes to the fact that the Dormer is well known throughout South Africa and therefore attracts wide interest.
The Society is in constant contact with the media, especially the Agricultural Writers Association of SA in order to continually bring developments within the breed and results obtained from research to the attention of the industry.