Monday, January 24, 2011

New breed raises hopes of Texas sheep industry

Philip Glass, a longtime Texas rancher, leaned forward in his cowboy boots and gestured toward the arena, where about a half-dozen sheep trotted in circles. "This is a wonderful time in the sheep industry," said Glass, of Water Valley, near San Angelo. A relatively new breed of sheep, the Dorper, is partly behind Glass' optimism. On Saturday, the Stock Show hosted the largest-ever event for Dorper sheep in the United States, with about 270 of the animals being shown, as well as an auction. Developed in South Africa to survive that country's arid climate, Dorper sheep arrived in the United States about 15 years ago, and are now among the fastest-growing breeds. Texas is home to 65 percent of the country's Dorper population. Ask any rancher, and you'll get a long list of attributes: Dorper sheep can thrive in harsh climates. They can breed any time of year, unlike other sheep. They grow fast and produce a lot of meat. And they shed their wool each spring, so ranchers don't even have to pay professional shearers. That's a real plus, because wool prices are low these days, said Douglas Gillespie, executive secretary of the American Dorper Sheep Breeders' Society...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time to re-introduce 10-80. Without predator control the best sheep in the world will not help the producer.