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April 29, 2013

Dorpers descend on fairgrounds

DUNCAN — The Mid-America Dorper Sheep Show and Sale returned Saturday to the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center and attracted individuals from many states — Texas, Indiana, Missouri and Virginia.

With them, about 250 head of dorper sheep. Their owners will tell you they are adaptable and different than most sheep.

Among those participating was Keeland Nix, who has been raising dorper sheep for about seven years. Nix is from Mountain Grove, Mo., but makes it a point to get to Duncan every year for the dorper sheep show and sale.

“I make about three consignment sales a year,” Nix said.

While there are a wide range of sheep that can be shown, bought or sold, Nix said dorper sheep are different than most. Dorpers started being imported from South Africa in the early 1990s, and since then, they have been a favorite at sales.

Nix said the use of the animal is somewhat different.

“They’re meat sheep only,” Nix said. “Other sheep can be sheered for their wool or used for meat. This is a shedding type of sheep.”

It’s because of the meat that the sheep are highly sought after he said. But his involvement in the dorper sheep industry is more of a family affair.

Nix said the sheep are neat animals with only a few drawbacks when it comes to raising them. He said, for the most part, the sheep require little work.

“They really are hardy and adaptable,” Nix said.

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