Willowbank title

Damara Sheep

Damara Sheep

WILLOWBANK FARM STUD

Damara ewe and lamb

The Damara stud was founded in 2006. It was based on an initial two rams and three ewes, to which other animals from different importations have been added. It was registered with the New Zealand Sheepbreeders' Association in 2010. We see a huge potential for these sheep genetics in the future of agriculture, and are committed to continuing to develop a flock based on the best of New Zealand's genetics. Global warming and lifestyle farming will push this breed and its composites into the future.

We are happy where possible to meet intending purchaser's requirements, but recommend any early enquiries.

WHAT ARE THEY?

Damaras are a breed of sheep that migrated down from North Africa, and ended up in Namibia. They were largely unknown until in the late 1950s and early '60s, when they came to the attention of South African researchers. They are what is known as a 'fat-tail' variety of sheep, but are probably better described as being 'fat-rumped.' They are a 'hair sheep,' growing only a short woolly coat in the winter, which is shed in the spring. They come in a wide range of colours, and most have unique coat patterns.

Damara lamb

WHERE ARE THEY FOUND?

Damaras are now widely found in South Africa, where in the short time they have been farmed, they have gained an enormous popularity. They have been exported to a number of countries and have done particularly well in Australia. Although they are well suited to arid conditions, they are also found in a range of other habitats ranging from minus 20 degrees of cold and snow in Canada, through to high rainfall tropical forests in New Guinea. The sheep in New Zealand have been imported as embryos, from various Studs in Australia.

DAMARAS IN NEW ZEALAND

Although Damaras have been in New Zealand for a number of years, they are still considered very rare. They have been exported to places such as New Caledonia, and there has been an increasing interest over the last few years. There has been little regulated or recorded breeding, but recently flocks have registered with the New Zealand Sheepbreeders' Association, which will see the establishment of a sounder genetic base for the breed.

WHY HAVE THEM?

Damara ram

Enquiries to: mike@willowbank.co.nz

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2011