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What are Babydoll Sheep?

Known for their smiling countenance and teddy bear appearance, this heritage breed’s docile nature and versatility has captured the interest and admiration of many. With roots tracing back to the South “Down” of Sussex County, England these sheep are coveted for their meat, wool, and grazing abilities. With a stature under 24 inches in height, hornless, and often less than a hundred pounds, these sheep are ideal for children, homesteading, and intensive scale farming.

Babydolls are content and calm creatures; they enjoy grazing and napping throughout the day. As herd animals, Babydoll sheep are most comfortable when in a flock and require the companionship of other sheep. When properly acclimated and bonded with, babydolls are affectionate to the shepherd who cares for them, willing to follow for fresh hay and often leaning in for more scratches and snuggles. Taking time to regularly interact and handle the sheep allows for easy training on halter or collar. The breed is considered low maintenance and hardy. With periodic hoof trimming, deworming, annual shearing, and some vaccinations, Babydolls live upwards of 12 years. As mothers, dams are attentive and maternal, and often produce one or two lambs during the spring season. They nourish their babies with milk and colostrum until the lambs transition fully to grazing or hay, usually 120 days. Babydoll rams or sires are often less aggressive than their larger counterparts, are prolific breeders, and very protective of the flock.

The Babydoll breed is a champion of grazing vineyards and orchards. Their stature encourages removal of weeds while respecting the fruiting zone of vines and fruiting trees. Babydolls are not known for being escape artists or for testing fencing, however sound fencing and a secure structure keeps predators out of paddocks. Babydolls are also easily trained on electric temporary fencing, making them easily mobile as they are moved to fresh paddocks.

The wool and meat of the Babydoll breed are great commodities. They produce an excellent carcass with good meat-to-bone ratio, and are perfect for self-sustainability (we currently do not utilize our sheep for meat production). Their wool is one of the finest of the British sheep lines, having similarities to cashmere with a micron from 23 to 29. (This fiber diameter, or micron, determines the value and quality of the wool.) Babydoll wool is medium to medium-fine, meaning the fibers are soft and durable. Knitted products have a cushiony feel, good elasticity, and are naturally breathable.

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