FOR INFORMATION ON OUR UPCOMING SHEEP SCHOOL, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
Babydoll Southdown sheep are an ancient breed with sweet, teddy bear faces. Because of their diminutive size, Babydoll Southdowns make outstanding weeders for use in orchards and vineyards — they are only 24 inches tall when mature, and so can’t easily reach tree branches or trellised grapes. Their small hooves help break the soil surface without compacting it. They move easily up and down hills, and can get into a field or vineyard much earlier than machinery can. And not only do they provide an organic alternative to pesticides and expensive mowing operations, their recycled grass (manure) helps improve soil fertility as well. All this at a cost that is roughly half of doing the same jobs with fossil-fueled tractors and weed whackers.
We offer a leasing program for those wishing to use the sheep to manage grass in orchards or vineyards. They have spent time in some of the finest places:
· Fetzer’s Bonterra Vineyard
· Michel Schlumberger Vineyard
· Steamboat Springs Pear Orchard
· Puma Springs Vineyard
· Navarro Vineyard
· Montemaggiore Vineyard
· Limoneira Solar Orchard
· Skipstone Ranch Vineyards
· Calistoga Ranch
History of Babydoll Sheep
Babydoll Southdown sheep are the oldest known purebred sheep in the world. They originated on the South Down hills of Sussex County, England. By the early 1800′s Southdown sheep had been imported into the United States where they were crossed on domestic sheep to produce a larger animal, which are today’s domestic Southdowns.
In 1990, some of the last remaining original Southdown sheep were discovered in England. These are the predecessors of our flock.
Babydoll Southdown are usually white; however, there are also black (or brown) ones. They are easy to handle and are not aggressive. They are not wanderers and do not bother fences. Ewes are good mothers and often have twins and occasionally triplets.
Care for miniature Southdown’s is similar to that of other sheep, including sheering, vaccinating, foot trimming, and worming. Their wool is short stapled and fine with a 19-22 micron count, which puts it in the class of cashmere.