|Kitzan Sheep - Suffolks and SAMM's
(South African Meat Merinos)
SAMMs were imported into South Africa by the Department of Agriculture from 1936 to 1974 from Germany where the
Deutsche Fliesch Merino is a common meat sheep of Germany, Austria, and Poland. In South Africa, the name was
translated as Duits Vleis Merinoand then into English as German Mutton Merino. In 1974, the South African Breed
Society changed the name to the South African Mutton Merino.
When imported into Australia in 1996, Western Australian SAMM breeders registered the name Prime SAMM, as the
Australian usage of the word "'Mutton" relates to a description of extremely old and inedible sheepmeat. The
translation used in Australia is "South African Meat Merino." The SAMM is bred specifically to produce a slaughter
lamb at an early age (35 kg/77 lbs. at 100 days of age), while still being able to produce good volumes (4 kg/8.8 lbs)
of medium to strong wool. The South African Meat Merino is a unique South African white wooled meat sheep which
is considered to be a dual purpose breed. It was developed from a small nucleus of German Merino sheep and has
adapted to most environmental conditions of South Africa. They were bred specifically to produce a slaughter lamb
at an early age, 35 kg at 100 days, but still being able to produce good volumes of medium to strong wool. Lambing
percentages are in excess of 150%, with the ewes producing ample milk. The South African Meat Merino is a polled
The breed is able to utilize low quality roughage. Its grazing habits limit energy consumption and better utilization
efficiency is maintained allowing for increased meat and wool production.
The Breed excels under all climatical conditions. The breed carries a 21 - 23 micron fleece.
Cross breeding practises with other white face breeds of sheep are common utilizing the conformation, hardiness,
fertility and adaptability of the SA Meat Merino. Producers often cross breed with Rambouillet and Targhee to
improve prolificacy and carcass quality.
The Meat Merino is a medium-sized sheep, a good forager, hardy and able to withstand in climate weather.
The lambs at birth were small (8-10# birth weight), extremely vigorous, taking just minutes to get up to nurse (we
have lambed when it is 0 to -20 F at nights). These lambs have a high tolerance to pneumonia and were quick to
start on feed. They look like Rambouillet lambs when born but within two weeks you could see the meat merino
blood in them! All the lambs are open faced with dark pigmentation around their eyes.
|2006 Meat Merino Weither Lambs.
These lambs competed against over 120+ head of lambs at our local county fair.
The lamb of the left won the light weight division (110-115 pounds) and the lamb on
the right won the heavy division (135-145#) and was named overall champion. These
lambs where not special or hand feed or exercised.