The Dorper Breed was developed in South Africa through research and experiments with cross breeding. It was established in 1942 the Crosses between Dorset Horn rams and Blackhead Persian ewes produced the desired qualities.
A Breeder Society was established in July 1950 with the name Dorper for the newly developed breed.
Though the Dorper was developed for the more arid regions it is farmed successfully in extremes of climate from severe drought conditions through to cold wet and snowy conditions. The Dorper is a non selective grazer with an excellent feed conversion. It does not require shearing due to its shedding ability which varies from complete to some fibre remaining along the back.
No crutching or mulesing is required as it has a clean breach area. The Dorper has a long breeding season and both ewes and rams have high fertility rates. The Ewe has excellent milk production and easily rears twins with fast growth weights, has very good mothering qualities and does not graze far from her lamb.
The Dorper is becoming more popular in Australia for the production of Prime Lamb. The cuts provided from a slaughtered carcass are also becoming sought after in the restaurant trade. Export markets for dorper lamb on the hook or cold packed have opened up. As the Dorper skin has no wrinkles and a smooth grain it is used in quality leather products such as clothing and gloves.