Photos galore of my new Damara sheep!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by username taken, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. username taken

    username taken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are the girls I got yesterday! I was supposed to get two ... but I picked seven out from the mobs and then couldnt decide on just two, so I took four! WARNING: lots and lots and lots of pics :greengrin:

    2 yr old F4 ewe - light brown and white, patches and spots

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    This ewe is probably my pick of the four. She's so tall and upstanding, she's really flashy - a real look at me type of girl. Beautiful long legs, and a long lean body. Beautiful strong head on her with a good roman nose. And brilliant colour to boot! She's still a baby and she's so framey and rangy I think she'll mature into a very big girl.

    5 yr old F4 ewe, almost solid white, some small light brown patches on legs and feet

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    This white ewe is also one that always catches your eye. She's definitely got a bit more frame than most of the others I didnt buy, she has a little more natural meat carriage than the average damara, but she still retains her femininity, those long legs and long, lean body.

    6 yr old F3 ewe - light brown, with patches of strawberry roan, white and cream

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    This ewe is a little differently made than the others. She's slightly smaller in frame, shorter in leg. She's not quite as tall and rangy, she is a little shorter and more boxy. She is definitely a solid built ewe with a fantastic amount of muscle, and a great eye muscle. She's very deep bodied. She's got a lovely range of colours and she's got WADDLES!

    8 yr old pure ewe - dark chocolate brown, black points, small spots, patches and flecks of white

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    This ewe is showing her age a little, but she has a sound mouth and is sure to produce many more lambs. She is a tall, long and lean built ewe, very feminine and structurally sound. She has a fantastic hair coat, and a good range of colour. She's just a touch smaller in frame score than the two young ewe, and roughly on par with the 6 yr old ewe. Her head is probably her biggest weakness - she could use better hooded eyes, a stronger nose and better ears.

    Here are their namesakes - the fat tails. They store their fat in this big wedge shaped tail instead of over the body. In good times they store it, in harder times like when she is suckling lambs, the fat deposits are used up. These ewes have some fat to their tails but they havent been experiencing really high level of nutrition because their tails would be a lot bigger. At the same time they havent been doing it very very hard because in that situation the tail disappears until it is literally pencil thin. Really fat tails can impede breeding, so you want to manage them and keep them at a healthy level. I am very happy with the stage these ewes are at.

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    These girls are due to lamb, anytime from today until 6 wks. The 2 yr old is uncertain, the other three the breeder was confident they are pregnant. They have itty bitty udders and their sides are reasonably filled out, although they dont tend to get wide because they usually only have tiny lambs and singles.

    Just some group shots

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  2. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    I enjoyed the pictures! I know nothing about the breed so I'll just say:

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  3. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Wow!!
    That breed has some unique characteristics.
    I like the coloring on the darker one.
    Good choices, and since I know nothing about goats(I mean sheep [​IMG]), is that a rare breed?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  4. cwc362

    cwc362 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ditto!! but even though it looks like a goat kinda- I think they said it was a sheep. [​IMG]
     
  5. username taken

    username taken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chickwhisper - they are sheep, not goats, although most people think they are goats [​IMG] They originated in Africa, most of the imports are from South Africa where the breed has been further developed. They are a hair breed which means they dont grow wool - just hair like a goat or smooth coated dog or cat. They grow a touch of fuzz in winter which they shed, these have got a bit of winter coat already as its getting pretty chilly here.

    I guess they would probably count as rare breed here in oz, just because they've only been in the country for a few years and the breed and industry and just now being established.

    I really like them because they are so different, striking and unique
     
  6. cwc362

    cwc362 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is the first time I've seen or heard of these. Wow!! Now I have to go to Wikipedia to look em up!!! Eggcellent pics by the way !! LOL
     
  7. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow...even I would mistake those for goats in the summer. However, the tails tipped me off.
    Man the tails are creepy though. I don't know why, but I find them disturbing.
    So these are a meat breed right? They don't seem to have much on them.
    They look so much like Nubian crosses with those ears.
    I'm sorry to say, they just look like sheep when you look 'em in the eye. The lights are not on. [​IMG] Sorry, they're beautiful, unique, and they're sheep.
     
  8. cwc362

    cwc362 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went to wikepedia and found their article. They are an interesting breed and very hardy from what I read- Here's the link if some of you guys like me had never heard of these sheep!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damara_(sheep)

    They sound very promising as a homestead breed!!
     
  9. username taken

    username taken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    FrizzleFreak, actually they are VERY VERY intelligent, unlike most sheep who dont have enough brains to save themselves lol They have a strong herding instinct and are so easy to move, they pack tight together and individuals dont try to break away from the mob. They actually stop and look for the gates, and if you dont pressure them too much, give them time to think, they will see the gate and walk through it, unlike normal sheep who would go past three or four times!

    They dont quite think like cattle or goats, a bit like horses, and what I think a gazelle would think like.

    Yes, they are a meat breed. They originated in the deserts, and are designed for really rough country and low nutritive levels, thats why they dont look beefy like other meat breeds. They are tall and rangy, allowing them to travel long distances for food and water, and they also browse alot like goats.

    cwc362 - I can see potential as a homesteading breed too. Basically I produce sheep and goats for homesteaders, lifestyle and hobby farmers, and the occasional pet. I specialise in that, and starter flocks for beginners.

    I see these as being good for this type of thing because of their unique appearance (lets face it, homestead type people want pretty animals!), their low maintenance care (homesteaders often dont want to have to do lots of drenching, shearing, vaccinating, tail docking etc), their ability to live on minimal feed (homesteaders often dont have improved pastures, these do well on weeds and browse). We do need to work on the meat carriage of the breed, but we must remember to retain the hardiness.

    Probably the biggest obstacle to overcome in breeding these for homesteading purposes is to develop a line that is very people orientated and friendly. Naturally, they are a somewhat flighty sheep. They are rather high headed and they tend to run everywhere, not walk. This is from a top South African breeder:

    The Damara survived a long and perilous migration through Africa with its predators and its pervading principle of survival of fittest. As a result of these circumstances, we inherited a fleet-footed and alert breed, reminiscent of the African gazelle.

    And I think it sums it up perfectly - they behave a bit like gazelle. These four of mine have settled down amazingly - after just one day I can walk near their pen and they are not panicking and running away, just standing there alert. I am confident that they will become quiet and friendly, and used to interacting with people on a daily basis. These particular ewes were run extensively and hadnt seen people for several months.​
     
  10. username taken

    username taken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You will get quite a few hits if you google 'damara sheep', and 'damara sheep south africa'. If you google 'damfattail' you will find the breeder who I purchased these off.
     

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