Choosing the Right Breed
If you are to be involved with sheep for the first time or are considering a change of breed, it is of utmost importance that you choose a breed that has potential but is also easy to manage. Take a close look at your locality and the land on which you keep your livestock, and any other farming/recreational facilities with which you are involved. It is imperative that your sheep fit your requirements whether they be location, economic or personal preference as to type.
If you require a sheep to fit in with your dairy system or for the full utilisation of buildings or pasture then look no further. The Dorset Horn & Poll Dorset Sheep is an obvious choice for virtually any sheep enterprise large or small as it is so adaptable and will dovetail into any existing system.
Lambing can take place at any time of year to suit your requirements due to the frequent breeding characteristic of both the ewes and the rams. The lambs are early maturing and require little extra feeding to obtain "finished weights".
Obtaining Good Foundation Stock
The Annual May Fair is the premier Dorset Horn & Poll Dorset Sale when a large selection of top quality rams and ewes are available. Located in Dorset each year, the Fair takes place in May over a two day period with the Show on the first day and the Sale on the second day and provides the spectator with a view of the best stock available. All the sheep entered in the Show are subsequently sold through the ring on the second day.
Many of the Association's breeders are involved in Registered Health Schemes for Maedi Visna and Scrapie Monitored Negative Accreditation and are able to provide stock for the home or export market.
On the sale field stock is sold from the pen, and pedigree, registered, pure bred and crossbred stock of a high standard is always available.
Other recognised Breed Sales take place at Exeter, Liskeard, Taunton and Stratford-on-Avon during the summer months.
It is advisable to buy registered stock from a registered breeder to create your own registered flock as this is a stipulation of membership. The Breed Secretary will be pleased to supply a list of registered breeders in your area on request.