An Update on Our Babydoll Southdown Sheep...
Hi Friends! We've had our Babydoll Southdown sheep for about five months now, so I thought I'd give you a little update. We've really enjoyed having sheep - they add personality to our mini farm, life to the barn, and are about the sweetest animals you could imagine.
They are helping us keep grass and foliage down in certain areas on our property, and I am thinking of ideas for how to use their cozy wool. But primarily, they are our pets. ;)
Because Babydoll Southdown sheep are small (full grown they are just 18 – 24 inches at the shoulders), they don’t require a huge area of land. Our sheep live in one of our barn stalls and have access to two-three outdoor paddock areas outside of the barn per day.
We also let them out to graze for an hour or two at a time on our property (pasture) but have to monitor them since only the paddocks currently have sheep fencing. It’s important to remember that sheep are near the bottom of the food chain and are a fairly easy target for predators. Not only do we have to be aware of coyotes and bobcats that sometimes come through our property, but also any dogs. Even the sweetest family dog’s instincts can kick in and cause it to attack a sheep. We choose to close our sheep into the barn each night for their protection.
This past week we had our lambs sheared for the first time. I took the picture below after the first sheep (Winston) was shorn. It's quite a difference in looks isn't it?! And it was very disconcerting to our other sheep who looks to be saying, "Help! There's an alien in my stall!" Or maybe, "Pleassse don't make me look like that..."
We had someone come out and shear our sheep for us. After having it done, we realized how important it is to find a good shearer. We are learning, little by little...
Without having sheep sheared their wool would continue to grow and could make them "wool-blind," where their wool grows so thick on their face, that they can no longer see. They can also have limited mobility if their wool gets too long. In addition, during the hot summer months, they are more prone to heat stress if they are not shorn.
We are having another long stretch of warm weather, and I'm sure our sheep are happy to have shed their wool sweaters...
Hope you are staying cool too!