We have been raising Polled Dorset sheep for more than 30 years. We have chosen the "Foundation" type dorset for our breeding program. We feel that the traditional dorset has more of the true meat value that the breed was designed for and carries many of the dorset traits that the British shepherds worked decades to develop and make a true breed. Consistency is one of the hardest things to achieve. We breed for strong breed character throughout the flock, sheep that will perform the same year in and year out, from generation to generation. We strive to keep the foundational dorset multiple trait values: heavy muscling, early maturity, easy keeping, feed efficient and natural out of season lambing. We, at Ankeny Acres, are proud of our flock which show these traits.
Due to the emphasis on size in the USA we have gone south to Australia to get our out-cross genetics. Since 2006 we have used artificial insemination to infuse outstanding Dorset genetics into our flock. This has allowed us to maintain breed character and gives us strong new bloodlines. The Aussies have done a remarkable job with the Dorset breed. They have increased growth and size without losing the muscle and thickness. There are over 4000 Dorset Stud Farms in Australia. Seventy five percent of the meat lambs produced in Australia for the commercial lamb market are sired by Dorset rams. We, at Ankeny Acres, will be adding more Australian genetics to our flock this year.
Watch our website for genetic updates coming this fall.
Profit over Production
One of the biggest expenses of the livestock industry is feed. In the past we have dealt with the high intake livestock and decided that we needed to develop cattle and sheep that are easy keeping, low maintenance animals. We call them “Money Makers”. We maintain our ewes on 2.5-3 lbs of good hay per day when not on summer or fall pastures. When you are feeding $200-225 hay that creates significant savings. Like my friend Kit Pharo says, “What you don’t spend is profit." We believe in “profit” over production. A frequent comment we get from folks who buy our sheep,"We can’t believe how little it takes to maintain these ewes."
30+ Years and 35 States
We are not new to this business. We have been working at refining our dorset program for over 30 years. We have sold breeding stock into 35 states from the big island of Hawaii to Virginia, Texas to North Dakota and two Canadian Provinces. We say all that as proof that production oriented “Blue Collar” working sheep are desired. We are here to fill the need. Feel free to contact us about sheep for sale, our program or to just talk sheep.