Love My Breed: Babydoll Southdown Sheep

We asked Hobby Farms readers to tell us what they love about keeping Babydoll Southdown sheep. Check out what they had to say!

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by Hobby Farms HQMay 16, 2022
PHOTO: Michelle Schubert

We asked, and you answered. Here’s what Babydoll Southdown shepherds wrote in to tell us about their love for the breed!

What a Face!

Babydoll Southdown sheep have been the perfect addition to our hobby farm in Minnesota. When I started looking for sheep to add to our farm, I wanted to find a breed that would do well with kids and the Minnesota weather. I found the perfect fit for us with Babydoll Southdowns.

They’re peaceful, curious, smart and hardy. On our farm, I keep them together with our Nigerian Dwarf goats and miniature donkeys, and they all get along beautifully. Along with being fuel-efficient lawnmowers, we use their wool for various projects and crafts. Their wooly teddy bear face will always give you a smile! 

Courtney Bonnin, C2 Ridge Farm, White Rock, Minnesota

Babydoll Southdown Sheep
Courtney Bonnin, Linnae Carlson

Smarter Than You Think

Babydoll Southdown sheep are the cutest, friendliest, easiest to care for breed of sheep in the United States.  Sheep are smarter than most people think they are and deeply emotional animals that recognize and remember faces. They hide their feelings because they are defenseless but will reveal themselves to be surprisingly deep to a caring shepherd.

John Fitzpatrick, Rockstair Farm, Hemet, California

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Read more: Learn more about the adorable Babydoll Southdown sheep breed!


Easy-Keepers

Babydolls are easy-keepers. Most of the year, they can stay in good condition on grass or hay. They make excellent natural lawnmowers, and their short legs make it much easier to provide adequate fencing.  

Tammy Wall, Rosie’s Little Flock of Babydoll Southdowns, Central Oklahoma


Adorable!

Babydoll sheep are adorable, and they’re perfect for a hobby farm because they’re easier to work and smaller. 

We especially love our Babydoll Southdown sheep because they have the most entertaining, individual personalities! The mischievous one, the cuddler and the one that would do anything for a treat—their personalities are as unique as the family dog or cat. 

Beth Byard, Black Sparrow Ranch, McLoud, Oklahoma

Babydoll Southdown Sheep
Beth Byard

Small but Mighty

I love my purebred Babydoll Southdown sheep because it’s a smaller breed that makes it easier for me to handle, house and provide several pastures for rotating. They’re usually very docile and make great lawnmowers. These sheep are a nice all-around breed for beginners, but as with any animal, I strongly suggest a mentor if you are considering breeding. 

They grow a dense wool that requires yearly shearing, and the fleece can be used for a variety of things once you learn how to process it for your projects. The cute “smiles” aren’t so bad either! 

Susan Hurrell, Daybreak Farmstead, Upstate New York


Read more: Sheep & goats provide year-round value!


Orchard Sheep

We were looking for small sheep suitable for grazing in our orchard. As it turned out, Babydolls are the perfect orchard sheep—as long as you protect the trunks of your young trees!

They are short and squat with a low center of gravity, so they don’t like to stand on their hind legs much. So any branches above about 40 inches are quite safe from their browsing.

But even beyond being great in orchards and vineyards, we love them for so many other reasons! They are probably the most adorable sheep out there (especially the lambs), and they are such easy-keepers without a lot of the issues of larger and newer sheep breeds—the perfect beginner sheep breed!

Adam Dusen, Hundred Fruit Farm, Buckingham, Pennsylvania


They Do It All!

Babydolls do it all for a hobby farmer. Their milk is rich; it’s over half cream. It has the mildest flavor, and though only about two cups per milking is produced, it’s superior to others I’ve tasted. Their wool, though short stapled, is so soft and fine.

The meat of a Babydoll wether is unbeatable in the sheep breeds and better than even other sources of meat. The meat is literally unbeatable when you talk flavor, tenderness and leanness.  

Marylou Anderson, LT Livestock Hobby Farm, xDeSoto, Missouri

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of Hobby Farms magazine. Email us your thoughts (~250 words) and a photo of you and your livestock to hobbyfarms@hobbyfarms.com (subject line: I Love My Livestock!). We’ll publish our favorites in upcoming issues. 

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