Why is the Babydoll called a Southdown? Southdown is the breed but Babydoll is the name given to distinguish the size difference between the smaller type (Babydoll) and the taller type of Southdown refereed to as just Southdown.
What height should a Babydoll be?
Currently, our Australian stud book ASSBA does not have a height restriction on Southdowns but Babydolls registered with AABMGS must be under 61 cm measured at one year old and under 62 cm at 2 or more years.
Babydoll sheep diet? Our sheep graze on pasture grasses. During the summer months when the grass is at its driest our sheep are fed a mixture of local WA sheep pellets and turned out on hay feeders containing our farm-grown meadow hay rolls.
Why are Babydoll sheep used in vineyards and orchards?
Sheep love vines and orchard leaves and babydolls are no exception. What makes them so different is their height and short length, due to this combination these little sheep find it quite difficult to reach up as high as the taller sheep breeds.
Babydoll sheep gestation and how many lambs can they have? Our sheep have shown they range in gestation from 142-152 days with an average of 147 days. Babydoll ewes can have singles, twins or triplets.
Babydoll sheep uses? Babydolls are classed as a meat sheep and were originally developed to provide a substantial amount of meat on a small, easy-to-handle sheep.
How do you know that your ewes are pregnant? During the breeding season, our rams are fitted with a mating mark ram harness with coloured chalk attached. This lets us know which ewes have been mated so we can determine what date an individual ewe will lamb. Ewes come into oestrous every 17 days from March onward, so we change the rams crayon colour every 17 days and any ewes that fail to get re-marked with a new colour are assumed pregnant.
What do you use to measure their height? We use the Piccolo miniature horse measuring stick. It measures heights from 30 cm to 100 cm.
Do Babydolls have horns? No, they are naturally polled but they sometimes have small scurs.
How long do Babydoll Southdowns live? Babydolls have a life expectancy between 10-16 years.
Do Babydoll sheep make good pets? Yes, they have lovely temperaments and respond well to human interaction. Babydoll lambs make great pets for children.
Do we have any American Babydoll bloodlines in Australia ? No Although we have taken the name there is none of their genetics in the Australian Southdown flock.
Do we have any Olde English bloodlines in Australia ?
No this is also an American babydoll breed and we have none of this breeds genetics in the Australian Southdown flock.
What are these sheep registered as in the Australian stud book ASSBA? As the ASSBA flock book doesn't recognise the name "Babydoll" All Southdowns that qualify for registration with ASSBA are registered as a Southdown.
This is because of the way the wool is grown over the knees and the way the wool grows over the shoulders. This can give the impression of wonky front legs.
These photos show the same ewe Tanjar Little Spice as an unshorn lamb and as an older ewe after shearing. As you can see, her legs are a lot straighter and they have gotten further apart as she has matured.