Pedi Sheep

What is the history of Pedi Sheep?

Pedi sheep are native to South Africa. They are one of three of the Nguni type, along with Zulu and Swazi, they have been in the region since 200-400 AD.

They get their name and characteristics from having been raised primarily by the Bapedi people in the north of the country.

The Pedi club of South Africa was established in 1998 and applied to be recognized as a breed society in 2006 under the name Pedi Breeders’ Society of South Africa.

What are the characteristics of Pedi Sheep?

  • Pedi an easy sheep to farm with and produces good quality meat as well as a distinctive hair white, brown, and red.
  • Pedi sheep are naturally polled, primarily a veld sheep with a relatively fine frame.
  • The Pedi ewes are relatively small and feminine when compared to the Pedi rams, which are masculine and alert.
  • The breed is adapted to a harsh environment and can tolerate various stressful circumstances.
  • The breed can walk long distances and the diet consists of grass, bushes and leaves.
  • The Pedi is robust and has a large tolerance against the usual diseases and parasites.
  • The meat is tender and tasty.
  • Most of the fat is localized in the tail, which is typical a wedge shaped, fat tail, broad at the base and narrows carrot-like to the tip.
  • Pedi sheep mature at an early age and can be mated at an early age.
  • Ewes are excellent mothers.
  • No need to assist at lambing and have no lambing problems.
  • The Pedi sheep have a strong flocking instinct, domesticate well and are light on veld and water.
  • The Pedi breed has a good temperament, is easy to work with and intelligent. They’ll learn a routine quickly.
  • Pedi are not fussy eaters.
  • The Pedi’s distinctive fat tail is an important adaptive advantage.
  • Fat reserves stored in the tail can be used when they are needed, especially at lambing. The fat reserve in the tail often disappears at this time. “Modern European breeds don’t store fat and depend entirely on daily nutrition but a Pedi can fall back on its fat reserves if immediate nutrition is insufficient.
  • The hair is generally short with a cashmere type under-coat, especially in winter. Young sheep tend to have longer hair with more woolliness. They lose this as they get older.

What is the weight of mature Pedi Sheep?

Pedi ram is in the range of 60–75 kg and a mature ewe 40–50 kg.

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