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Prime SAMM Breeders Society of Australia


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Meat Merino Genetices with Australian Wool Tradition



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.

Primary characteristics:

  • Adaptability and hardiness -exceptional in dry conditions, non-selective grazers.
  • Excellent dual purpose breed - early maturing, 60:40 meat to wool sheep.                                          
  • Highly fertile, good mothering qualities.
  • Non-seasonal breeders

    Typical SAMM production figures:
  • Lambing percentages of 150% and higher are common
  • Non seasonal breeder lambing every 8 months
  • Ability of rearing multiple births
  • Gross feed conversion ratio 3.91:1 (in finishing lambs)
  • Excellent temperament and ideal for feed-lot practices
  • Ewes yielded up to 4.8 litres of milk per day
  • Lamb weight gains more than 350 g/day in extensive conditions, producing lean, heavy, prime grade carcases
  • Average wool micron of 21-23 free of kemp and coloured fibres
  • Average ewes produces 3.4 to 4.5kgs wool

    • Average ram produces 4.5 to 6kgs wool
    • Exceptional in dry conditions needing minimum supplementary feeding even in drought
    • Known for its will to live and strong constitution
    • Non selective grazer utilizing low quality roughage
    • Polled sheep although the ram occasionally may have a scur horn
    • No mulesing required

Prime Samm The Excellent dual purpose breed - early maturing, 60:40 meat to wool sheep.