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About Southdown Babydolls

What are Olde English Southdown "Babydoll" Sheep?


"Babydolls" are classified as a miniature sheep, with their height being a maximum of 24" (2 ft) at the withers. Their trademark woolly "teddy bear" face seems to be stuck in a perma-smile. Their short legs, along with their small size allows them the ability to do well in smaller acreages.  Both ewes and rams are polled (have no horns) and are non-aggressive by nature. The ewes are excellent mothers, usually raising twins with ease. 


Because "Babydoll" Southdowns are an ancient, unimproved breed they are not prone to many of the modern sheep problems and are resistant to foot rot. We also find them a lot quieter than the larger breeds. 

Wonderful Pets:
These little "Babydoll" sheep make excellent companions for everyone, including the young, elderly, and disabled. Their gentle nature makes them a joy to own, and their smaller size makes them an excellent choice for 4-H projects. With daily interaction and some "treats" you can have them (literally) eating out of your hand in no time.


"Babydolls" lambs are slow to mature. Ewes should not be bred until they are 18 months old to lamb at 2 years old. Wethers (castrated rams) make excellent pets for those who do not want to breed. They can be a companion to a ram or a ewe. 
 
Wool
"Babydoll" fleece is a dense but still soft wool. It can run in the 19 to 22 micron range, which puts the fleece in the class of cashmere. Babydoll fleece also has more barbs per inch than any other wool type, making it ideal for blending with other fibers and felting.
 
Vineyards and Orchards:
Weeding trials have been sponsored and monitored, utilizing "Babydolls" as organic weeders. They have been used with great success in wine vineyards as well as fruit and berry bushes and orchards since they will not harm the fruits, girdle trunks of trees, or harm shrubs. They leave the grounds well groomed and fertilize the soil as they graze.


We use portable fencing to move the Babydolls around to 'mow' the lawns around the property. Note, however, that many ornamental plants and weeds can be toxic to sheep including; bracken ferns, Daphne, and foxglove. 
 
Companions:
"Babydoll" Southdowns are good companion animals for other non-aggressive livestock. Their calm, docile disposition has a soothing effect on other livestock, and they seem to just "get along" with any species we graze them with. They should not be kept with intact male llamas or alpacas who may attempt breeding with them. It is wise to introduce them gradually to other livestock by putting them in separate paddocks when they first arrive to their new home. This gives their new friends an opportunity to say hi without it being overwhelming to the Babydoll sheep.


Because of their strong flocking instinct, "Babydolls" should always have at least one sheep friend, as they do not do well as singles. They thrive on companionship and must be with their own kind or at least another breed of sheep. Due to this fact, lambs will only be sold in pairs if the buyer does not already have companions for their lamb.

      
Care:
"Babydolls" require the same care as other sheep breeds such as hoof trimming, worming, vaccinations, and yearly shearing. The handling facilities and feed are not as costly as with larger breeds. Shelter can be minimal, except at lambing time. Good fences are essential, more for protection from predators than containment since Babydolls do not challenge fences and do not wander far. 
Feed, salt and mineral blocks are important for good health but you must make sure you do not give any sheep too much copper. 

All of our "Babydolls" are registered with the Olde English "Babydoll" Miniature Southdown Sheep Registry. 

Southdown Babydolls: Text
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