At Wickedfood Earth we run a small breeding herd of indigenous Pedi sheep. The pedi sheep breed occured originally south of the Soutpansberg and are typical of indigenous sheep found throughout southern Africa. It is an easy sheep to farm with and produces a good quality meat as well as a distinctive hair hide.
According to Dr. Quentin Campbell (1996) there are 12 indigenous fat-tailed and fat-rumped sheep breeds in South Africa, including (the estimated numbers of the sheep in the RSA is given in brackets):
- Nguni (3 subgroups)
- Pedi (5 000),
- Zulu (3 000),
- Namaqua Afrikaner (2 000),
- Blinkhaar and Steekhaar Ronderib Afrikaner (8 000),
- Damara (100 000).
- Breeds which are indigenous to Africa, and found throughout the continent, include the four Persian types:
- Blackhead Persian (300 000),
- Redhead Persian (2 000),
- Black speckled Persian (2 000) and
- Red speckled Persian (100).
- Composite breeds developed mainly out of the Ronderib Afrikaner:
- van Rooy (50 000) and
- Bezuidenhout sheep (3 000).
The Pedi sheep is primarily a veld sheep with a relatively fine frame. The ewes are relatively small and feminine when compared to the rams, which are masculine and alert. The breed is adapted to a harsh environment and can tolerate various stressful circumstances. The breed can walk long distances and the diet consists of grass, bushes and leaves. The Pedi is robust and has a large tolerance against the usual diseases and parasites. The meat is tender and tasty. Most of the fat is localized in the tail, which is typical a wedge shaped, fat tail, broad at the base and narrows carrot-like to the tip.
For further reading on indigenous livestock breeds see: