In 1906, Senator J. C. van Rooy, of the farm Koppieskraal inrnthe Bethulie district of South Africa, started his experiments to propagate arnbreed of sheep for slaughter lamb production: The requirements he set for thisrnbreed, were threefold:
1. The breed had to be strong and hardy to cope withrnregular droughts;
2. It had to be fertile in order to maintain a highrnpercentage of production;
3. It had to have an excellent conformation.
With these aims in mind he made use of a white "BlinkhaarrnAfrikaner" ram and eighty Rambouillet ewes. With the progeny of these thernprinciple of inbreeding, coupled with severe selection, was applied. Later on,rna polled Wensleydale ram was introduced in an effort to improve conformation.rnThe present day Van Rooy sheep is still run mostly in the arid areas wherernsurvival and reproduction on natural grazing are essential for the economicrnproduction of meat.