Meatmaster Sheep

What is the history of Meatmaster Sheep?

The Meatmaster is a composite sheep breed developed in South Africa. In the early 1990s from various hair sheep breeds, the Meatmaster was created with the goal of improving the meat characteristics of African fat-tailed sheep breeds.

A group of South African farmers experienced the tremendous advantages of fat-tailed hair breeds regarding fertility, resistance to various diseases, resistance to external and internal parasites, and durability and survival skills in times of extreme drought, herding instinct to protect the herd from predators and good strong teeth ensuring a long lifespan.

They also realised that not only in South Africa but world wide these breeds lacked two vital components preventing them becoming highly sought after economic meat producers. That was fat localisation with poor distribution and lack of muscling leading to flat sidedness and late maturity.

The new breed was tested, and demand was established, before the breed register was set up around the year 2000.

The breed was registered in 2007 and a breed society was set up the following year.

Today, Meatmaster bloodlines may be a composite of any number of breeds, such as Dormer, Wiltshire Horn, Ile de France, Van Rooy or South African Meat Merino, but must contain Damara breeding. Meatmasters have been exported to Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Australia, America, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana.

What are the characteristics of Meatmaster Sheep?

Meatmasters are fat-tailed hair sheep come in a diverse array of colors, and may be either horned or polled. The focus in breeding is mostly on meat production, but they are also very hardy and with good mothering instincts. Meatmaster lambs slaughtered at 5 months of age at 38 kg will yield a market acceptable carcass of 17.5 kg.

What is the weight of mature Meatmaster Sheep?

Meatmaster rams weigh from 85 to 105 kg and ewes 60-70 kg.

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