Sheep & Goats

Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest sheep and goat farming news and updates from South Africa and the rest of Africa.

From subsistence to commercial success for Meatmaster breeder

Ga-Mothapo farmer Thabana Mokgohloa grew up looking after his family’s livestock, and in 2009 took over the running of his parents’ farm. With his focus on maize and sheep, he has turned their subsistence farm into a commercial operation.

The Boer goat mentor who’s changing lives

Stud Boer goat breeder Desré Ferreira from Vryburg in North West provides a valuable support network to developing and commercial Boer goat farmers. She started mentoring a group of about 30 farmers a decade ago, and now supports 150.

Painted Persian sheep demand a handsome profit

The demand for multicoloured Persian sheep in the Middle East has helped Northern Cape breeder Koenie Kotzé endure the drought. Annelie Coleman reports on how he discovered this market.

Northern Cape sheep farmer’s lessons from the drought

The devastating drought in the Northern Cape that lasted from 2018 to 2020 taught award-winning new sheep farmer Etienne van Wyk many lessons about sustainable farming. Annelie Coleman visited him on his farm, Spes Bona, near Marydale.

Managing a sheep flock before, during and after drought

Prof Tertius Brand, a scientist in animal nutrition at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, shares advice on how to manage a sheep flock during and after a drought in order for farmers to regain the profitability of their operations.

High demand for Boer goat meat brings opportunity

André and Brenda Swanepoel started farming Boer goats as a part-time activity on their smallholding in Mpumalanga. In no time at all, they found themselves running a thriving commercial operation, thanks to an almost insatiable local demand for goat meat. Lindi Botha reports on the enterprise and its future.

Productive ewes: the bedrock of the Jordaan Merino stud

Andrew Jordaan Jr of Spekboomberg farm in Cradock in the Eastern Cape was named the Voermol National Sheep Farmer of the Year in 2018. Mike Burgess spoke to him about how he gets the most out of his ewes by leveraging both extensive and intensive production systems.

Breeding wireworm-resistant Meatmasters

Through rigorous selection, Meatmaster stud breeder Nico Grobler from North West has succeeded in significantly reducing wireworm infestation in his Kern Meatmaster flock. This has enabled him to run the stud successfully in an area highly susceptible to the parasite.

Onions to the rescue of a sheep farmer!

Diversifying to vegetable seed production has enabled Karoo sheep farmer PF Theron to reduce his climatic and production risks while greatly improving profitability. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he has managed this process.

Intensive sheep farm achieves 180% per year weaning rate

Sheep production has become a numbers game, with an operation’s profitability being largely dependent on the farmer’s ability to produce large numbers of sheep at low cost. Farm manager Dirk Liebenberg spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he achieves this goal.

Breeding top-performing Dohne Merino on 95ha

The Patience family started farming on 95ha of rented land in Saron in the Western Cape in the 1960s, beginning with just 10 sheep and a handful of cattle. Today, Therecia Patience and her son, Gary, are on the same land, and are systematically improving the genetics of their Dohne Merino sheep. They spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about their successful operation.

The fertility factor in mohair success

Eastern Cape mohair producer Paul Webber has twice won the prestigeous Daidoh Trophy Competition for the highest average price for a summer kid clip. Mike Burgess visited him on his farm to better understand his mohair production system.