Babydoll Southdown sheep originated in the South Downs of Sussex County, England. With their teddy bear faces, gentle personalities, and soft wool, they easily win the hearts of most of the people that meet them. Known for their hardiness and fine fleece, they were introduced to the United States in the early 19th century.
Both ewes and rams are born naturally polled, which means they do not have horns. When Babydolls reach adulthood, they are only about 18 to 24 inches tall. They are intensely curious and trusting though they can be very leery when they are first introduced. With their small size, and gentle personalities, they are very easy to handle and are often popular for 4-H projects, as well as fantastic companion animals. Babydolls do not need much space and generally only need about 1 acre of land for 5 ewes and their lambs. They often prefer to be outdoors, however do require shelter from wind, rain, snow, and summer sun. Often a 3-sided lean to is enough, apart from lambing season. Babydolls are very content to stay within the confines of their pasture and can be easily contained with small, low fences.
Despite a low escape risk, they are susceptible to predators and need to be protected from such. Care for babydolls is similar to that of other sheep. Routine vaccines, shearing, worming, and hoof trimming is required. However, this breed is more resistant to foot rot and other parasites. Daily care includes fresh water, one flake of high quality hay per sheep, free choice mineral and salt in loose form (sheep tend to break teeth on brick form). Grain is not needed, but is an excellent treat or training aid.
Babydolls are multipurpose sheep that are popular as organic weed eaters. They are often used in orchards and vineyards as they do not disturb the fruit, tree trunks, or shrubs. In addition, they naturally fertilize the soil as they slowly graze. Babydolls are usually white, however there is also a black recessive gene making that color a possibility, as well as spotted. Their fleece is sheared each spring and is in the 19 to 22-micron range, which is similar to that of cashmere. As such it can be worn next to the skin without being itchy and uncomfortable. Babydoll ewes make wonderful mothers, and often have twins or even triplets. They have a strong flocking instinct and like to stay together. They don't typically wander, usually returning to their paddock every evening.
Our Flock: We raise a small flock of Babydoll Southdown Sheep and are members of the BSSBA, OEBSSR, and NABBSAR registries. Our sheep are allowed to field graze and are fed a high-quality hay, along with free choice mineral. Vaccines are kept up to date and we participate in the Scrapie Eradication Program. In addition we proudly test our flock, and are negative for Johne's, Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), and Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP). Scroll down for pictures or