The AFRINO Sheep Breeders' Society was established on the 5 February 1980, at a meeting held on the Carnarvon Experimental Station. At the meeting the standards for the AFRINO sheep breed were drawn up. The primary goals of the Society today, are to maintain the breed standards, and to to promote benefits of the AFRINO sheep breed to both established and prospective stock farmers.
The Society also runs the "Veldram" project from which the benchmark for the AFRINO sheep breed is set.
In all breeds which have to produce and reproduce under adverse or sub-optimum environments, hardiness and adaptability are of paramount importance.
Selection of breeding sires and dams takes place under the same conditions tham those in which their offspring have to produce and reproduce. Another reson being that wool production is only 3 - 4 % of it's body weight.
In AFRINO sheep 80% of income is generated through meat production and 20% through wool production. The main selection objective is therefore to increase lifetime weight of lamb produced per ewe.
In the selection program, emphasis is placed not only on the quantity of lambs produced, but also on their quality. Therefore, lifetime total weight of lamb produced per ewe is the main selection objective. AFRINO ewes have outstanding mothering abilities and even in flocks where 500 - 600 ewes are lambing, bottle-fed lambs will rarely be found. Lambing difficulties are extremely rare.
The AFRINO sheep breed is known for its high quality meat with an even fat distribution over the carcass. Lambs do not accumulate fat at an early age and can therefore be marketed at a later stage and a higher body weight.Average marketing age is 7 -8 months under extensive conditions. Under feedlot or favourable conditions, lambs reach marketing weight as early as three months of age.
The AFRINO sheep produces Merino type wool, with a fibre diameter ranging from 18 to 22 micron. During selection, much emphasis is placed on wool quality (micron, crimp definition, clean yield), while care is taken not to decrease the amount of wool produced.
Where it all began.
Defining the Breed.
Stats and Averages.