Babydolls in orchards
Tony and Belinda Somers from Somersrust Babydoll Sheep Stud have shared their experience of keeping Babydoll sheep in their organic pear and apple cider orchard in Elands NSW.
Babydolls in vineyards
With the right planning and infrastructure, Babydoll sheep can be a huge asset to vineyards, both in terms of monetary benefits and overall vineyard health.
The first Australian Babydolls
At our inaugural BSBA Babydoll Stud Tour on 27 November 2022, we were delighted to welcome Linda Power who was the first person to start developing a Babydoll sheep breed for Australia. Linda called her sheep Babydoll Southdowns. We now call them Babydolls to differentiate them from the larger, leaner type of Southdowns that have been developed in the last few decades in Australia.
Linda has given us permission to share her talk and photos on our website.
All Babydoll sheep have Southdown genetics and any one of them could be carrying the Gaucher Disease gene. Life for a lamb born with two copies of the Gaucher Disease gene is pretty grim and short. We don't want that to become commonplace in the Babydoll world.
The only way to find out if a sheep carries the Gaucher Disease gene is to DNA test and that is pretty easy to do - just a couple of drops of blood on a special collection card. Where both parents have been shown to be Gaucher Free, their lambs will also be Gaucher Free by pedigree.
Our breeders put their heads together to make a list of questions about Babydoll Sheep that are often asked...
keeping sheep 101
In Australia we are lucky to have a big sheep meat and wool industry. One of the benefits is the high quality, evidenced-based information provided by state agriculture departments and sheep industry bodies.
Here are some webinar recordings from SheepConnect NSW and other information that you might like to dip into when learning about all things sheep.
babydoll and southdown
What is the difference?
This seemingly simple question is tricky...
It short, in Australia a Babydoll sheep is a smaller type of Southdown with a woolly head. BSBA breeders are adding coloured wool, patterns, spots and stripes as part of creating a new Babydoll breed.
Buying Babydoll Sheep - choices
What are your goals?
You might choose to keep Babydoll Sheep for all sorts of reasons. For example, you might decide that you want them for meat or fibre, to breed and sell, to keep.as pets or as lawn mowers in the orchard or vineyard.
Why register sheep?
Breeders register sheep as a way of tracking pedigrees, genetics and purity of sheep type. Over time these registrations create flock histories that become a useful resource for all breeders. By registering and tracking our Babydolls we can gradually build our new Australian Babydoll breed. It is a form of quality control that reduces the chance of valuable genetics being wasted by not being tracked and consequently becoming unavailable to registered flocks in the future.
Finding Babydoll breeders