About Our Southdown Babydoll Sheep
We’ve received lots of questions about our Southdown Babydoll sheep so I thought I would take a minute to tell you more about this lovely breed, why we chose them, and the plans for our Babydolls.
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Why Old English Southdown Babydoll Sheep
I want to preface saying that obviously were not sheep experts, but we’ve been dreaming about having a small hobby farm/homestead for years and years! Ed and I both grew up on small farms and it was something we both knew we wanted to get back to.
We both love animals and spent a lot of time discussing what we thought we’d enjoy and what would be a good fit for us to start out with. Some things we also considered were the size and layout of the farm and the equipment and costs of getting started.
We were both drawn to goats and sheep because of their manageable size, and we have also looked into Alpaca. I’m not saying that we won’t eventually add another type of animal to our farm, but after some research we felt sheep were a great place to start.
From there I looked into breeds of sheep and kept coming back to Babydolls. They are smaller in size with adults standing between 18-24 inches at the shoulder and weighing 75-120 lbs. Southdown Babydolls a heritage ancient breed that are known for being hardy. Babydolls are also known for being great companion animals as they have a friendly docile temperament and enjoy their people. Plus they’re just absolutely adorable! These are the qualities led us to the decision that they’d be a great fit here at the farm!
Our Babydoll Sheep
We wanted an animal we could love on and enjoy and that would be good little grass mowers 😉 Also Southdown Babydolls are also known for being great mothers and often birthing multiple lambs. Our lambs are very loved and will be our pets, but we will also be breeding them to sell.
Typically Babydolls breed in the fall and lamb in the spring. We won’t be breeding our Babydolls this Fall as it isn’t good to breed them too young. But do plan on breeding them in Fall 2021. Our ram lamb will be joining the flock soon!
*side not we will NOT be selling lambs for meat!
More Babydoll Facts and Info
To answer a few of the commonly asked questions:
Yes we will be leaving the ear tags in! Ear tags are important! Our lambs are registered Southdowns and the tag matches the their NABSSAR registry identification number. This number is important to the sheep for a few reasons. It is required by law to track the deadly disease Scrapies in flocks. That way it can be traced. This also makes it easy to track other veterinary related records. Also a registered sheep is valuable. A tag shows that the sheep is valuable and shouldn’t be slaughtered. Although of course I know ALL sheep are intrinsically valuable 😉 Our wether (castrated male) doesn’t have a tag because he obviously will not be producing lambs, but will be a companion to our ram while keeping him separated from the ewes to prevent unwanted breeding this Fall and any other time we choose not to.
Southdown’s have a wool coat and should be sheared once a year in the Spring. They have fleece that runs in the 19-22 micron range. I do plan on learning to shear them myself. I’m really excited to learn more about about their fiber and it’s possible uses and market.
I’ve had several people ask about predators and our sheep. We have certainly done all we can in the way of keeping our lambs safe. The pasture fencing runs tight to the ground and the wire holes getting smaller at the bottom. I lock the lambs in the barn at night and let them out each morning.
We also have 2 large dogs patrolling the property. We are still working with both of them behaviorally around the sheep. But Scout who you can meet HERE is showing signs that she may be a good flock guardian dog. Time will tell!
About Our Southdown Babydoll Sheep
I’m excited to share more information about Southdown Babydoll sheep as we go! This first week with them has been an absolute joy! They like routine so I’ve been establishing that with them this week. It includes coffee with them in the morning, an afternoon break with them, and some time in the evening before locking them up for the night. We’re establishing trust and have already come such a long way. They seem happy to see me and come right up and smell and nibble on me now! Never have I been around a more peaceful and inquisitive animal! I’m so glad we chose Babydolls!
I hope you’re enjoying them too! Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks for stopping by the blog today!