Babydoll’s are known for their sweet temperament, as they are friendly with an easy-going disposition, and have those teddy-bear-like smiling faces. They are peaceful and curious, as well as intelligent. Sheep are naturally a prey animal, so they are apprehensive about new situations and new people, but with time and patience, they become more trusting.
Babydoll’s are popular for their small stature - adult Babydoll Southdown sheep are 17″ to 24″ at the shoulder. These “miniature” sheep are actually the original Southdown breed from the South Downs region of England. They were imported into the US in the early 19th century.
Their life span is typically 12 to 16 years, and their wool is one of the finest wools of all the British breeds. It is short (typically 1.5 to 2.5 inches) and springy, soft and bouncy, but also strong, with a micron count typically ranging from 24 to 29. It is the perfect fiber for hand spinning!
Babydoll’s are easy-keepers and require only grass or good quality hay and a sheep mineral - (the loose mineral supplement should be specifically for sheep, without extra copper which can be toxic to sheep). About an acre per 5 head is all the pasture that is needed for Babydoll’s, along with a 3-sided shelter to protect the sheep from rain, sleet, snow, or wind and provide shade from the sun. Good predator-proof fencing is necessary and you might want to consider a Livestock Guardian Dog (not a herding dog).
Clean, fresh water should always be available and shepherds need to be willing to get outside twice a day to check on the sheep and to feed and water as necessary. Periodic hoof trimming, deworming, shearing and yearly vaccinations are standard care. (To give a rough idea of frequency: Shearing: 1 time a year; Hoofs inspected/trimmed: 3 times a year; Dewormed: approx. 3 times/year based on your conditions; CD&T vaccination: yearly in adults.) Since they are a flock animal, they should always be kept with at least one other babydoll sheep at all times.