South African Mutton Merinos (SAMMs) Originally known as the German Mutton Merino, the first ten ewes and a ram were imported to South Africa from Germany in 1932 by the Department of Agriculture for a breeding programme. Through selection for a better wool quality and conformation, the uniqueness of the South African breed was recognised in 1971 when the breed name was changed to the SA Mutton Merino. Approximately 60 percent of South African sheep are Merino, which produce high yields of fine wool.
DescriptionThe SA Mutton Merino is a dual purpose mutton-wool sheep (60:40 mutton to wool), originally bred for its high adaptability to all farming regions in South Africa. The breed was developed to produce a slaughter lamb at an early age as well as a good quality wool. Lambing percentages in excess of 150% are common and the ewes have ample milk to raise the healthy well-grown lambs. The SA Mutton Merino is a polled breed with the rams having mature masses of 100-110 kg (~220-245 lbs) and the ewes having mature masses of 70-80 kg (~155-175 lbs). Well cared for sheep in show condition will exceed these weights considerably.