Olde English Southdown/ Babydoll history
• Breed can be traced back as far as 1341 in Sussex, when their wool was valued for fineness and quality. In 1780, John Ellman from Glyde, England, standardized the breed, found in large numbers in the South Downs near Lewes during the 19th century and first half of he 20th century. An estimated 200,000 ewes were kept on the eastern South Downs in 1813.
• Southdowns in England began to decline rapidly after World War I, a decline that continued through the Depression when wool prices were low. Today, the Southdown in England is on the watch list by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
• English Southdowns reached U.S. around 1800. They declined in the U.S. in the same pattern as in England. In addition. Farmers found that the small (18-24 inches at the shoulder) Southdowns could not satisfy consumer demand for larger meat cuts. U.S. breeders then developed American Southdowns, by breeding the original bloodlines to larger breeds of Southdowns from other countries.
• In 1986, breeder Robert Mock began a search for bloodlines that conformed to the original Olde English Southdowns. By 1990 he found a total of 350 Southdowns with the original bloodlines, many still carrying their original Southdown registration papers recognized in the United Kingdom. • In 1991, Mock closed his “Foundation Flock” registry and began to register lambs from the flock. By then the breed had become known as “babydoll” Southdowns and Mock’s registry was called,the Babydoll Sheep Registry.
• In 2003, a second registry was formed in the U.S. – The North American Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association and Registry (NABSSAR). Today the Olde English (Babydoll) breed sells well in the companion and 4-H markets and is valued in vineyards, sustainable agriculture and organic farming. English Southdown wool is favored among spinners and fiber artists. The fleece is said to be in the class of cashmere.
Our flock was started in 2013 with the purchase of three NABSSAR registered lambs from Kellane Farms (Black River Falls, WI)
• Kellane 0015 Tony NABSSAR 12497 (died in accident 2014)
• Gering's Farm Zeva NABSSAR 12384
• Gering's Farm Kiana (now Abby) NABSSAR 12383
• Winterhaven 001 Tony Too NABSSAR 13293 born to Zeva
• Winterhaven 002 Tim born to Abby. (later wethered)
• Gibbs, dual registered NABSSAR 13171, Olde English Registry 15629,off-white RR ram purchased from Babydoll Acres (Wautoma, WI).
• Rachel, NABSSAR, one-year-old black RR ewe purchased from Prairie Plum Farm, Mabel, Minnesota.
NOTE: Similarity of sheep names to characters on the television show NCIS is intentional. It's our favorite show.
If you would like to be included in our list of 2019 prospective buyers, please feel free to call me at 414-732-7320.