Babydoll Southdowns are sheep of the early Southdown type seen in England in the 1800's through the early 1900's. They are 18” to 24” at the shoulder and display the Southdown characteristics spelled out in the breed standard.
The Southdown breed of sheep originated in the South “Downs” of Sussex County, England. They are one of the oldest of the Down breeds. English farms kept these sheep for the flavorful meat and fine fleece. In the early 1800’s these small, chunky Southdowns were imported to the United States.
By the 1960’s, producers and consumers desired larger carcasses, and the smaller sheep were crossed with larger New Zealand Southdown sheep to produce a larger Southdown. These larger animals make up the background of the American Southdowns of today not to be confused with the smaller Babydoll Southdowns. It is usually a surprise to folks to discover the Babydoll Southdown is not a miniaturized version of sheep, instead, the larger Southdowns were bred up from them.
Around 1990, small flocks of the original smaller type Southdowns were gathered up and labeled Olde English Babydoll Southdowns to differentiate them from the larger modern American Southdown, and a registry was formed to register these sheep - the Olde English Miniature Babydoll Southdown Sheep Registry (OEMBSSR). In 2003, the North American Babydoll Southdown Association and Registry (NABSSAR) was formed. All of my sheep are dual registered.
Currently people raise these docile sheep for their wool, as pets, for grazing orchards and vineyards, or as grass trimmers in pastures, and for their flavorful meat. The Babydoll Southdown breed is perfect for today's smaller acreage farms. Their diminutive size makes them the perfect sheep for children to start out with in 4-H. Today's breeders believe breed preservation is of utmost importance and strive to keep this wonderful breed of sheep from forever being lost.
I breed my sheep in the fall. Around that time, be sure and check the top of my home page for a link to a page showing the breeding pairs and pedigrees of the prospective lambs. Most of the lambs will be born in the months of April/May and will be weaned and ready to go to their new homes in July. See Purchasing a Lamb for more information.
My breeding goal is to produce lambs that:
- Meet the breed standard.
- Have excellent conformation.
- Have terrific personalities.
- Have good mothering instincts.
- Are parasite resistant.
- Have a coefficient of inbreeding of ≤ 4.5% for ≤ 10 generations of known ancestry (recommended is ≤ 12.5%).
- Are genotype RR or QR at codon 171.
When you purchase a lamb/sheep BRED by me:
- Your lamb/sheep was raised on a premise enrolled in the voluntary Scrapie Free Certification Program (SFCP) - Export Category.
- Your lamb/sheep's left ear will be tagged with a federally approved official Bergamascos' Babydoll Brigade SFCP Scrapie Tag.
- Your lamb/sheep was raised in a health tested/healthy flock. No OPP, no Johne's, no Soremouth (orf), no CL, no hoof issues.
- Your lamb/sheep's tail will be docked to a length of 2 to 3 inches.
- Your lamb/sheep's hooves will be trimmed.
- Your lamb/sheep's first CD/T vaccination and CD/T booster will have been administered.
- Your lamb/sheep will have a coefficient of inbreeding of ≤ 4.5% for ≤ 10 generations of known ancestry (recommended is ≤ 12.5%).
- Certificate of Registration (CoR) for the NABSSAR will be supplied (excluding unregistered wethers). A CoR for the OEMBSSR will be provided, if lamb qualifies, for an additional $15.00. If I have not received the CoRs back from the respective registries before pick-up day, a copy of the submitted applications will be provided to the buyer and the CoR will be mailed to buyer at a later date. Please note: This means the lambs are registered to me as the breeder. The buyers will be responsible for transferring their sheep into their names with the registry making them the new owner(s) of the sheep.
- You will receive an information packet.
- You will receive a bag of the brand of feed I have been using.
- You will be encouraged to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
Early spring is usually when I have my sheep sheared. Currently, I sell the fleece in the raw (wool in its natural condition; not refined or processed, also referred to as "greasy wool" or "wool in the grease") washed fleece, scoured fleece, and roving as well as handspun yarn. I also make a limited supply of a variety of unique, handmade items using 100% Babydoll Southdown wool. Visit my Shoppe to browse and purchase. PayPal is accepted for Shoppe items.
If you're looking for a renewable, natural fiber with the following qualities:
- biodegradable, eco-friendly;
- easy care, resists soiling;
- flame resistant;
- moisture absorbing by being able to wick away up to 30% of its own weight;
- multi-season because it insulates and breathes;
- resilient because it retains its shape, resists wrinkling and stretches;
- makes water repellent products;
browse my catalog of available products made from 100% Babydoll Southdown wool. Most of the process from fiber to finished product are completed here on the farm. I do have my scoured fleece made into the roving I sell by a mill.
We made the cover of the 2014, 2016, 2017,& the 2018 NABSSAR calendar!
During 2017, we were chosen to be the featured shepherd and flock by Pam Blasco & Virginia Scholomiti, from Shepherds Talk. They've put together a video tutorial on Babydoll Southdown sheep, the breed and the fiber.
Alix Wood, an author, illustrator, and artist, contacted me in 2016 about using some of my photos I take of my Babydolls, their wool, and the farm in a book she was writing about Babydoll sheep. How thrilling to have twenty-two photos I've taken be in a beautifully done, educational children's book. The book is available from Amazon.
Some news for the Bergamascos' Babydoll Brigade Farm! In November of 2018, I was told one of our rams we sold is the sire of embryos making their way to New Zealand. How exciting is that?
We are currently accepting reservations for our spring 2020 lambs.