More letelle news

The body is right and so is the wool - fine wool on a good frame

Letelle History

In 1921-22 het Mnr T. P.  van der Walt het 35 groot gladdelyf Ooie  van Dawid Nel van Bergplaas, Barkly-Oos bekom is om as basis te dien vir sy projek.   Die ramme is toegelaat om pal by die ooie te loop.  Die groot uitgangspunt was om met die natuur te werk wat in SA uitsonderlike eise vir voortbestaan stel. Die ooie van hoofsaaklik die Rambouilette-tipe.

Kwotasie uit die “Letelle boek”

“Dit alleen sou nie welslae verseker het nie, maar die ingebore telersinstink het hier na vore getree.  In T.P van der Walt is dit saamgewerf met kennis, praktiese ondervinding, balans en geduld.”


Die projek is voorgetsit op die plaas Rusplaas in die Zastron distrik.   Na 25 jaar se konstruktiewe teling het hy eers sy skaap aan die publiek bekend gestel.    In die tyd ook dit goed gedink om sy skaap ‘n naam te gee.   Omdat op die plaas in die berg Koesberg was daar ou krale van Jan Letelle , ‘n Basotoe Kaptein van Koninklike afkoms wat in Mosesh se tyd in Zastron se wêreld gewoon het.  Die skaap Letelle te noem ‘n Egte Suid Afrikaanse se naam vir ‘n inheemse geteelde merino-tipe.

Op 24 Augustus, 1951 is die vereniging in Bloemfontein gestig.   In September 1953 is die handelsmerk toegestaan deur die Registateur van Handelsmerke en die woord Letelle en die kenmerk die Wynkelk is goedgekeur.

In 1921-22 Mr T.P. vd Walt aquired 35 large plain bodied ewes with fine wool from Mr Dawid Nel of Bergplaas, Barkly East, to serve as a nucleas for carrying out his plans.   Rams of the same quality and with the positive characteristics required for the ideal animal envisaged were mated with these ewes.  They were mainly of the Rambouillet type.

These 35 sheep and rams were taken to a farm in the Wepener district.

The rams were allowed to stay with the ewes all the time.

Here he applied line-breeding and in-breeding as well as strict selection for the qualities which he required for the end product to have.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LETELLE.  (quoted from the Letelle book)

We are  often  asked whether we have a standard of perfection.  We do not, for the following reasons:

i) It is not important once the stage has been reached which the purebred Letelle has attained, because we have the tangible example in the form of the purebred Letelle – a much clearer and truer picture than words could give.

ii) It stresses only the phenotype (outward form) and disregards entirely the most important elements, i.e.: usefulness, prepotency and purity of breed.  We cannot express it better than Hagedoorn:

“Whenever anybody has taken the trouble, however, to study the correlation between show points and economic value, this correlation has always been shown to be insignificant.  A Great deal of harm has resulted in setting up false standards of usefulness to breed up to, and sometimes it is very difficult to get back to a reasonable basis for selection. Boutflour has summed up the situation in the following way, as already stated.  Either there is a correspondence between show points and utility, or there is not.

If there is, it is clearly unnecessary to select for show points, for they will automatically follow if we select for REAL VALUE.  If there is no real casual connection between the two, it is evident that selecting for show points, when aiming at improvement of economically important points, IS LEADING US ASTRAY.”

The characteristics of the Letelle have been determined by years of in-breeding and selection.  The breeder (TP v d Walt) also aimed at fulfulling the economic requirements of his time because he wished to produce an effective farming sheep for his fellow-farmers throughout South Africa.


This DUAL-PURPOSE SHEEP HAS THE CARCASS which carries fine wool.


  Weights of Rams being prepared for exhibition at NAMPO in May 2011.

109.4 Kg ram born Aug 2008 – 109 Kg ram born Aug 2008.

118 Kg ram born Aug 2009 – 103.2 Kg ram born Aug 2009

Ewes weights. Born 2008 69.2Kg – Ewe 2007 75.2KG and

Born 2008 77 Kg


Some 5 month old lambs with these sheep weigh 62.8kg, (ram) 50.6Kg (ewe) 59.8kg (ram)



Another Super Sire. The one looks like the next


The body shape that T.P. vd Walt selected for is what Ian Walsch is looking for as the Optimal Sheep.   Ian Walsch has negotiated a contract for his New Zealand clients for supplying a million lambs for the abbatoirs.   He gets to look at a lot of sheep and knows what works.   The shoulder neck connection must be correct and sloping up to the head. (No U necks) The shoulders should be nice and round,  the shoulder blades not to far apart.  (not exaggerated )  Nice hind quarters which also makes for ease of lambing.   He was very excited this year to see what is coming out of the breeding.

Optimal Sheep. Correct in everyway

Front view


5mnth old lambs with some ewes being prepared for Nampo 2011

 Look carefully you might miss the lamb which is nearly as big as the ewes.  You have the food we grow.   

Enough Said for now.

Steffi holding a Ram and a Ewe very typical of the Letelle we have


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