Babydoll Southdown Sheep Characteristics, Wool, Meat Quality

The Southdown sheep breed came into existence in Sussex County, England's South Down (hills). These sheep were grown on English farmland for their tasty meat and quality wool. The South Downs were introduced to the United States in the early 1800s. Bigger meat carcasses were needed with the advent of refrigeration, so smaller sheep were crossed with larger sheep to yield a larger animal. They are the modern-day South Downs. In 1780, John Ellman of Glyde, England, took the indigenous Southdown sheep and carefully selected, established, and standardized them into what is now known as the Babydoll Southdown. Tiny flocks of the initial smaller South Downs were re-discovered in the 1990s and given the name Olde English Babydoll Miniature Sheep to distinguish them from the bigger modern breed.

    Babydoll Southdown Sheep Characteristics

    Babydoll sheep are famous creatures because of their gentle, but unique temperament. They're friendly, and they're not particularly big, so they're easy to handle. The muzzle and legs of Babydoll sheep are typically white or off-white, with a variety of colors from very light tan to brown, cinnamon to grey. Babydoll wool is curly and fluffy, and it must be sheared every spring. When fully matured, Babydolls stand between 18 and 24 inches tall. They range in weight from 60 to 125 lbs. The ewes and rams of the Babydoll breed are genetically polled, which means they are born without horns.

    Babydoll Southdown Sheep Characteristics, Wool, Meat Quality

    Babydoll Southdown Sheep Wool

    Southdown Babydoll fleece is one of the highest quality wool produced by any British breed. It's curly, gentle, and bouncy, with a relatively positive intrinsic temperament. The micron count usually varies from 23 to 29, allowing many people to wear it next to their skin without discomfort. It creates a yarn with a lot of flexibility and stretch ability when spun.

    It's also perfect for blending with angora or other slick fibers because it has more barbs per inch than other wool varieties. It has a limited capacity to wet felt, but it is perfect for needle felting. Socks, mittens, caps, blankets, and sweaters can all be made with Babydoll fur. 

    Babydoll Southdown Sheep Meat Quality

    Babydoll Southdown sheep breed produces delicious and soft meat. This breed is considered a quality meat producer. Historically, they were raised in British farmlands for their quality meat and curly fleece.

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