This original Southdown Sheep breed originated in the South Down hills of Sussex county, England and are one of the oldest English breeds of sheep. At one point, this wonderful breed of sheep was thought to be extinct. Following World War II, a demand for larger cuts of meat led to the development and breeding of the larger sized Southdowns of today. Many of the breed characteristics of the original "miniature" Southdowns were lost. In 1986, Robert Mock began what turned out to be a 4 year search for any remaining original Southdowns that met the breed standard set in the 1780s. Fortunately, he discovered 2 small flocks totaling 26 sheep and following more extensive searching, discovered a total of 350 of these miniature sheep, enough to start a breeding program and sustain the breed. He named them "Olde English Babydoll Southdown" and started a registry for these sheep to keep the bloodlines pure.
Outstanding pets and companion animals - Their docile temperament make them ideal for 4H projects for childrem, the elderly, the disabled, petting zoos or just to have easy to care for livestock. Great companions for other non-aggressive livestock.
Fabulous wool - Babydoll fleece is in the 19-22 micron range, putting it in the same class as cashmere. The wool has more barbs per inch than any other wool, making it ideal for blending with other fibers. Excellent for the handspinner.
Organic Weeders - Babydolls are used in vineyards and orchards with great success since they will not harm the fruits, girdle tree trunks, or harm shrubs. They groom the grounds and fertilize the soil as they graze.
Care- Babydolls require the same care as other sheep breeds such as hoof trimming, worming, vaccinations and yearly shearing. Good fencing is necessary primarily to keep out predators more than containment since Babydolls do not challenge fences.
Babydolls are an ancient breed which means they are not prone to many modern sheep problems and are resistant to foot rot. They are hardy and do well in winter climates. A three-sided structure is usually all that is necessary to shield them from wind, rain and snow. During lambing season, and enclosed barn or shed is best. Their short legs and small size allow them to do well in small areas.
Both the ewes and rams are naturally polled (do not have horns) and are not aggressive by nature.
They have a strong flocking instinct and therefore, do not do well as singles. They require companionship and must be with other sheep or goats.