Why Damara Sheep?
We have never been tempted by all the enthusiasms that have flashed like comets across the desperate rural landscape - things such as aloe vera, ostriches, emus, deer and exotic cattle and
sheep breeds. Some people made money out of these but, to us, most seemed to have one or more problems:
We were immediately attracted to Damara Sheep when we first heard of them on "Landline" in 1998. We contacted the importers in Western Australia, flew across to meet the people and see the
sheep, and were one of the first in Queensland to commit to the breed. We are members of the Damara Sheep Breeders' Society of Australia Inc (Stud Number 14), and the Damara Growers Group.
no large consumer end market - enthusiasts selling to enthusiasts.
radically new management skills and facilities needed.
prices dependent on restricted supply, rather than on growing demand.
What attracted us to Damaras was:
they can be used immediately to convert Australia's huge and sometimes unprofitable Merino flocks to low maintenance meat sheep. The crossbred "Damino" rams have been exported live at
premium prices and the ewes have gone into further upgrading.
the meat is the favoured food in the hungry Middle East and should also find ready markets in Asia and North America. Saudi Arabia alone imports an estimated 6 million fat tail sheep
per year. The meat is juicy, lightly marbled and flavoursome, without the strong smell of mutton disliked by many consumers. Live export of Damara-Merino cross sheep is already
established from Western Australia where Damara numbers are greatest. Pure Damara will be even more attractive once we breed up sufficient numbers.
Damaras are like the Brahmans, which saved our northern beef industry. They are low cost survivors. As hair sheep they don't need shearing. Their fat tail is like the camel's hump - a
store of fat reserves laid down in good times for use in the drought. They have smooth clean rear ends, unattractive to blow flies. They don't need shearing, crutching or docking. They
are agile and alert, and stick together in herds for mutual protection against predators. And they are very fertile, all-season breeders. Lambing percentages average from 110% to 130%.
Damara ewes can have their first lamb by the time they are one year old.
The Damara is noted for its high value skin ("glove" quality). Damaras come in all
colours, and flocks are quite pretty.
Damara fat tail meat sheep.
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