An unique dual purpose breed, producing unequaled top quality medium to ultra-fine wool and marketable carcass from a wide spectrum of grazing / climatic conditions. Leader in Wool and Mutton Production
In 1789 the first Merinos were introduced to South Africa. Over time large scale farming with Merinos developed and the breed was improved by means of breeding and imports.
Economically viable Merino farming is practiced in virtually all parts of South Africa. The change in the wool and meat price ratio over time necessitates changes in breeding for the most economical type of Merino. Because of its vast gene pool worldwide, the Merino was able to adapt to these trends.
In 1937 Merino S.A. was founded and serves as the mutual forum for stud and commercial Merino farmers as well as the planner and mouthpiece of all Merino actions in South Africa. Functions include Merino breed development, quality control, promotion and administration.
The Merino is by far the largest sheep breed in South Africa with 12 million sheep and 2 500 farmers. It is a genuine dual purpose sheep producing quality mutton and wool.
Merino stud breeders supply flock farmers with excellent genetics by use of scientific breeding. The “Merino Plan” aids breeders to improve production and reproduction simultaneously.
“We now have Merinos which are bigger, plainer, hardier, more functionally efficient and more economically productive than ever before.” -John Stretton, Merino SA President, 2000-2005
Excellent dual purpose breed
Highly fertile with good mothering qualities
Hardiness and adaptability to all climates
The finest quality wool in the business
The most economic converter of feed to mutton and wool
Lambs carcass weight 16 – 24kg graded A3 – prime grade carcass
Annual production of 5kg fleece of 18 – 22 micron wool per ewe
It makes comfortable next-to-skin wear as it is much softer and more elastic than “ordinary” wool
Available in machine-washable garments with minimum ironing required
Ideal for sportswear as it absorbs unpleasant odours and does not smell like other fabrics
Natural product that is renewable and can be produced sustainably and is environmentally friendly
Merino wool is odourless, price competitive, has natural UV protection, warmth breathability and moisture management. it is machine washable and tumble dries perfectly.
Internationally renowned designer Akiral Isogawa, describes Merino wool as wonderful to work with: “It is a natural fibre and provides excellent breathability. The sheer nature of the fabrics feel luxuriously gentle against the skin.” His garments are sold in every major world fashion capital, held in the collections of major galleries and museums and are considered wearable art.
“Merino wool, without a doubt the most versatile fibre in the word, and natural fibre at that.” -Stuart Beverage, WFSMB
Researchers and manufacturers constantly develop new products and methods of processing wool. Wool is used in blending with other fabrics, manufacturing of medical applications, health garments, protective clothing and aerospace products.
Merino Lamb is genetically lean, succulent, rich in flavour, low in kilojoules and rich in protein, iron and vitamins. The fine grain alllows for meat of a delicate flavour and tender texture after cooking. Almost all cooking methods can be used with the different cuts including grilling, barbecuing, braising, stir frying, pan frying, roasting and stewing. Merino lamb is delicious served hot or cold and lends itself to being flavoured in many delightful ways.
“With our experience in the meat trade, we find that the Merino sheep and lamb have the best quality meat in the world.” -M L Bux, Director, Halan Meats, Durban
“Studies of the quality of meat were unanimous in that Merinos produce meat that rates highly in terms of flavour, tenderness and overall acceptability.” -International Journal of Sheep and Wool Science