....and two by two they entered the ranch

A Turkish livestock guard dog cannot do her work if she does not have livestock to care for and protect. Lillie gets restless, and consequently gets into trouble, when she's not given any responsibilities (just like us humans). She has been doing a wonderful job of protecting us from all the moles on the ranch, but she's also leaving us with some gaping holes in the pastures!  So we brought in some livestock to add to our menagerie.

Our first Dorper flock at their original home barn.

Our first Dorper flock at their original home barn.

What does an African/American, an Argentine/Brazilian/English, and a Turk require in a sheep?

That it be international! (We didn't really select them because they were international, but the fact that they are international was too fun not to play with it!) Dorper is a South African meat breed developed in the 1930's. They were developed out of the necessity to have an animal that could thrive in the hard South African climate that only receives 4-6 inches of rain per year. Dorper sheep are superb browsers and utilize the available material in a pasture much better than other breeds. The light hair coat sheds spontaneously, and is ideal to our hot summers.

Senter Ranch's first flock of Dorpers. The front ewe is the oldest and the first likely to have lambs

Senter Ranch's first flock of Dorpers. The front ewe is the oldest and the first likely to have lambs

Why did we bring in Dorpers?

I wanted an animal that I could handle without much difficulty, consequently sheep were an obvious choice.  I also wanted a animal that could produce meat quickly, consequently sheep were the obvious choice.

Dorpers tend to have a meatier carcass than other breeds, making them our preferred breed.

Then I tried Dorper lamb meat, and I was sold! I made African Cowboy (who grew up eating mutton and has a strong dislike for it) a meal with Dorper lamb subvertedly, and he liked it (don't tell him I did that though). It is tender, and buttery, and so easy to cook.

Still working on the electrical fencing setup

Still working on the electrical fencing setup

Two, possibly three, of the four ewes of our starter flock are bred. We expect our first lamb(s) by the end of the year, and hope a few more in the months to follow.

Lillie and her sheep! Notice we were still trying to figure out the electrical fencing situation!

Lillie and her sheep! Notice we were still trying to figure out the electrical fencing situation!

What does all this mean to you?

We want to provide the tastiest, healthiest, most nutrient dense meat for you and your family. We believe the Dorper lamb meat will meet all these requirements, on a consistent basis.


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