The Totaranui Dorset Down flock is one of the largest in New Zealand with 600 breeding ewes. Sires from the flock have proven to be some of the best in the country as outlined in Meat and Wool’s Central Progeny Test results (2006/07) and other trials.
The breed originates from the Country of Dorset in England through the crossing of Southdown and local Dorset breeds. First brought to New Zealand in 1921 the breed did not last but was revitalised in 1947 with another import and has since found a firm niche.
Presently Dorset Down rams are in strong demand as terminal sires. Crossed with maternal flocks progeny benefit both from huge growth rates but also hybrid vigor (hybrid vigor is estimated to contribute to 5% to weaning weight and 10% to carcass weight – NZ Sheep Council figures).