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Some damara sheep pics - new pics!

Keren

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I'm still getting used to photobucket, I moved the original pics to a new album and didnt realise they wouldnt be seen here. So, thought I would replace the old pics, with the pics of the ewes I bought!

Gambler's Chance - 2 yr old F4 ewe - light brown and white, patches and spots















Madame Vegas - 5 yr old F4 ewe, almost solid white, some small light brown patches on legs and feet









Red Roulette - 6 yr old F3 ewe - light brown, with patches of strawberry roan, white and cream















Casino Queen - 8 yr old pure ewe - dark chocolate brown, black points, small spots, patches and flecks of white













Here are their namesakes - the fat tails.





Just some group shots







 

IluvABbeef

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Dumb question: Why aren't their tails docked? Every goat pic I've seen had docked tails. Is it a welfare issue in your area?

Just curious..
 

Keren

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Hey luvabbeef,

goats actually are born with short tails, so they dont need docking

these are sheep, even though they look like goats (I know I had to look twice when I first saw them) and most people think they are goats.

The damara is a hair sheep from South Africa, these have some wool because they've been bred up from merinos; the F1 and F2s need shearing, F3 and F4 are fully shedding and then the F5 is considered pure. They are also called a 'fattail' sheep because they build up a fat deposit in their tail - making for very lean carcasses. But their tail doesnt need docking, I guess because they dont have the wool so they dont get the accumulation of urine, dags etc that attracts the blowflies, so they dont get maggotty ...
 

aussie_cowgirl

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We always called them dumb-aras :lol2: there is a big farm that sells them here. I've never personally tried the meat though. I think they're classed with the likes of awassis (you know the fat tails they send to the middle east). Their main buyers are the middle east as well.

The lambs look like puppies.
 

aussie_cowgirl

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I like the white one you like and I really like that black girl. Nice meaty ewes. The black one looks a little older but I still like her.
 

Keren

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Yes, I like the white one as she seems a little heavier built that the other ewes - abit more bone to her, more muscle, just more substance and a solid ewe. One thing I DONT like about these sheep is they are so finely made. But I'm hoping in time I can breed some that are a bit thicker and better muscled. The white ewe does also seem to have some size in terms of frame score above the rest.

The black ewe caught my eye at first, but I'd like to see her in person since this photo isnt the greatest, to make sure she walks around properly. She seems somewhat awkward in this pic. And since I have to decide which ones I want them to hold for me from these pics, I'd rather not hold one I'm not sure of. So for now I'll just ask them to hold onto the white ewe for me, and I'll also get one or two of the geriatrics. They are out grazing on lake hume at the moment so the people are going to give me a call when they yard that mob to get the wethers out for slaughter, I'll pick up the white ewe and one or two others then. I'll have a look at the black ewe if she is still there.
 

K2011

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I don't know much about sheep but I must say I like their ears! lol
 

IluvABbeef

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Keren":2sxgyxmq said:
Hey luvabbeef,

goats actually are born with short tails, so they dont need docking

these are sheep, even though they look like goats (I know I had to look twice when I first saw them) and most people think they are goats.

The damara is a hair sheep from South Africa, these have some wool because they've been bred up from merinos; the F1 and F2s need shearing, F3 and F4 are fully shedding and then the F5 is considered pure. They are also called a 'fattail' sheep because they build up a fat deposit in their tail - making for very lean carcasses. But their tail doesnt need docking, I guess because they dont have the wool so they dont get the accumulation of urine, dags etc that attracts the blowflies, so they dont get maggotty ...

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: My bad...I looked at your post again and you said ewe, as in female sheep, not doe as in female goat. :oops: Thanks for the info anyway. :)
 

Keren

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Dont worry, most people think they are goats.

The first time I saw them in person, I'd seen pics but not a real one, it was a pen of about 60 F1s at the abbatoir. I had to look several times to decide whether they were sheep or goats ... someone who was with me asked if they were a cross between a sheep and a goat ... very freaky little animals.

I actually thought you might have just made a typo :D

Just found out, these sheep can get waddles, just like goats? How weird is that - I thought waddles were only a goat thing.
 

KNERSIE

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Keren":20wobnau said:
Yes, I like the white one as she seems a little heavier built that the other ewes - abit more bone to her, more muscle, just more substance and a solid ewe. One thing I DONT like about these sheep is they are so finely made. But I'm hoping in time I can breed some that are a bit thicker and better muscled. The white ewe does also seem to have some size in terms of frame score above the rest.

The black ewe caught my eye at first, but I'd like to see her in person since this photo isnt the greatest, to make sure she walks around properly. She seems somewhat awkward in this pic. And since I have to decide which ones I want them to hold for me from these pics, I'd rather not hold one I'm not sure of. So for now I'll just ask them to hold onto the white ewe for me, and I'll also get one or two of the geriatrics. They are out grazing on lake hume at the moment so the people are going to give me a call when they yard that mob to get the wethers out for slaughter, I'll pick up the white ewe and one or two others then. I'll have a look at the black ewe if she is still there.

Why not just go with Dorper if you want hardiness and muscle mass? Damara is native to the very sandy dessert areas of the Northern Cape (bushmanland and Kalahari) and Namibia, hence the light frame. The semi dessert areas with sweeter grazing is better suited to the dorper as damara cannot match the dorper for performance.
 

Keren

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KNERSIE":1xybsunk said:
Keren":1xybsunk said:
Yes, I like the white one as she seems a little heavier built that the other ewes - abit more bone to her, more muscle, just more substance and a solid ewe. One thing I DONT like about these sheep is they are so finely made. But I'm hoping in time I can breed some that are a bit thicker and better muscled. The white ewe does also seem to have some size in terms of frame score above the rest.

The black ewe caught my eye at first, but I'd like to see her in person since this photo isnt the greatest, to make sure she walks around properly. She seems somewhat awkward in this pic. And since I have to decide which ones I want them to hold for me from these pics, I'd rather not hold one I'm not sure of. So for now I'll just ask them to hold onto the white ewe for me, and I'll also get one or two of the geriatrics. They are out grazing on lake hume at the moment so the people are going to give me a call when they yard that mob to get the wethers out for slaughter, I'll pick up the white ewe and one or two others then. I'll have a look at the black ewe if she is still there.

Why not just go with Dorper if you want hardiness and muscle mass? Damara is native to the very sandy dessert areas of the Northern Cape (bushmanland and Kalahari) and Namibia, hence the light frame. The semi dessert areas with sweeter grazing is better suited to the dorper as damara cannot match the dorper for performance.

Knersie, I have had dorpers before and while they are brilliant carcase animals, and I loved the lambs I was turning off to slaughter, I HATED the temperament on them. They had no problems turning around in the yards and just barrelling straight through you. I've tried animals from a few different sources and not found much improvement. Also we've had fertility problems with the dorpers in the past, because they have been so developed for meat here some of the females are losing their femininity.

I tried the Van Rooy sheep but found they were really flighty, nervous creatures. Where the dorper would charge through you, the Van Rooy would take off in the opposite direction, through a fence if necessary. Granted there arent many people around with these sheep so I didnt have much of a chance to try out stock from different breeders, to see if there was a difference.

And I guess I just like these guys, they are so different ;-)
 

KNERSIE

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Then you've really messed dorpers up in Australia. They are by far the most fertile sheep breed here. Lambing % of 150% + is the norm with dorpers an they milk well enough to raise the multiples well. I agree some rams tend to become agressive with age, but other than footstomping I've never seen any form of agression from a ewe. My biggest problem with dorpers is that where the sun shines through they'll also also find a way through. Have you had experience with the black or white head dorpers? I'll be picking up another white ram in two weeks time after using black rams for quite a few years.

Van Rooy and damara are very similar except for the fat tail, I prefer more meat on them. Have you considered Meatmasters? If you don't mind the wool a dormer is probably the best sheep for easier environments
 

Keren

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KNERSIE":3vdcy15e said:
Then you've really messed dorpers up in Australia.

Truer words never were spoken.

The trends that have been going through the Aust. meat sheep industry lately are playing havoc with many good breeds. They are breeding for extremes ... extreme frame score and muscling, the Poll Dorsets that get to the shows lately are bigger than shetland ponies. Rams are needing two men to get them shorn. And they are eating like horses too. The Dorpers are just one of many breeds having fertility and femininity issues. Although they are not as bad as the merino lol Temperament has been swept under the rug.

KNERSIE":3vdcy15e said:
I agree some rams tend to become agressive with age, but other than footstomping I've never seen any form of agression from a ewe.

I've been on the receiving end of agression from both ewes and rams. Mainly when they are yarded, they just tend to turn around and run through you.

KNERSIE":3vdcy15e said:
My biggest problem with dorpers is that where the sun shines through they'll also also find a way through.

I found them to be hard on the fences too.

KNERSIE":3vdcy15e said:
Have you had experience with the black or white head dorpers?

Both, for some reason I always found the black head ones to do better, the lambs were heavier at weaning.

I ended up getting four damara ewes. I tried to pick out ewes that were a little bigger, sturdier made and showed better muscle than the others. But I also kept in mind what you said and looked for the ones that carried the extra meat while still conforming to that breed standard of long legs, long lean body. Of the four, three are very tall, long, leggy ewes while still being more solid than the others. The fourth one doesnt quite show that breed character, she's a framey ewe but is deeper bellied, slightly shorter bodied, more squat without the long, rangey look to her. But I couldnt pass her up when I looked over the top of her and she's so thick and wide over the top you could eat your dinner off her. Brilliant eye muscle. The ram they are joined to is a very long, tall and rangy ram but great muscling on him, so I think that should improve her lamb in that regard.

I've seen some damara dorper crosses and they looked like good sheep ... whether the temper is any better than the straight dorper I dont know.

I'm reasonably happy with the temper of these ewes ... they are flighty but they havent seen humans for months. I'll see if they tame down with feed and handling. The Van Rooys didnt. I was pleased that while the damaras were scared, they didnt jump out even when pressured and separated from others, whereas the Van Rooys did jump.
 

Keren

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Thought I'd put up pics of the ewes I bought.

Incidently, Aussie, there were several ewes that you would have liked for their muscle carriage and really good carcase attributes ... but when I looked at them compared to the others, I was a little suspicious that maybe they werent preggo like the others, and thats why they were showing better condition and muscling etc.
 

aussie_cowgirl

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That old black girl was a little too masculine then? Good pick though. I like the white girl.

I can definitely empathise on the big sheep thing. I had a lot to do with the Poll Dorset breed when I was younger and the rams just keep getting bigger. I remember about 5 years ago the biggest PD ram weighed in at 130kg. I think people forget breed/sex attributes. Bigger animals aren't always better. But I guess the pressure is always there from the industry, minimum weights etc. My Dad used to shear and got to the point where he couldn't shear a lot of the SAMM rams that were being bred around home. They were getting up around the 140+ kg mark which is ridiculous.

I like an animal that can carry themselves ;-) My taste in animals must be pretty simple :lol2:
 

Keren

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The black girl was in my first draft to look at more closely, but she didnt have the eye appeal of the others. I try and dissect them pretty good, but I also pay attention to first impressions, gut instinct and eye catching ability, and she just wasnt one to constantly catch your eye. That young brown/white ewe stood out in the crowd. She's the type that you just keep looking at in amongst the mob
 

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