Breed StandardsThe grand master breeder, John Ellman took the wild sheep, and developed it into the Southdown that was destined to make its name presence in sheep farming across the world.
Breeding Standards and Practices: Author Valerie Porter writes, "John Ellman once said, that it was more difficult to maintain a good breed thanto raise it to first class and he bequeathed to today's breeders the challenge of continuing what he began."
NABSSAR believes as such, in maintaining the integrity and work that Ellman began and to honor his work by keeping the Southdown conformation without crossing or breeding runt to runt.
The General Character and Appearance of the BABYDOLL Sheep:
BABYDOLL Southdown sheep are known for easy handling and docile dispositions. They are Nurturing mothers. Their small size and easy keeping metabolism requires less acreage per animal compared to other breeds.
Babydoll Southdown's are primarily used as grass mowers, pets, as 4H, and show projects both in conformation and also in wool. The BABYDOLL Southdown is also known for its excellent carcass quality and flavorful meat and are often crossed on light breeds to produce lambs with better carcass characteristics for market
The characteristics of the head give each breed its individuality & uniqueness. The BABYDOLL Southdown is polled. The HEAD is medium length and moderately broad, but not so broad to be a birthing obstruction, and with medium length.
MUZZLE & FACE
The muzzle and face should be moderate in width to insure efficient grazing and moderate in length, straight to slightly dished but not Roman.
COLOR of the HAIR on the FACE and MUZZLE of an OLD WORLD OFF WHITE SHEEP
Color of the hair on the muzzle on Old World type off white sheep should be a shade from light tan to cinnamon brown to dark gray brown with even colors preferred. However, blends of similar shades are acceptable as long they are NOT some pigmented color with large white spots with defined margins or solid white.
COLOR of the HAIR ON FACE and MUZZLE of a BLACK SHEEP
HAIR of the Face and Muzzle on a Black or Two Toned Fleeced sheep should be solid black.
Wool covering in front of the eyes and cheeks to the muzzle should be short and not so thick to ever cause the sheep to be wool blind. Tear ducts should not be over wooly.
ACCEPTABLE COLOR VARIATIONS
1. OLD WORLD TYPE:
Sheep with off white fleece will have muzzle and leg hair of a brown color with even colors preferred.
a. Light tan to,
b. Cinnamon brown to,
c. Gray brown, even colors being preferable.
2. COLORED SHEEP:
Sheep with solid black to gray fleece, or spotted Black and White Fleece will have muzzle and Leg hair of solid black that may show some graying with age. Black fleeces may fade to shade of gray as the sheep ages.
a. Solid colors Black, Grays with solid colored faces and legs similar
to the color of their fleece.
b. Spotted two-toned fleece with a solid shade of black on faces and legs.
Any pigmented color and white spotting with defined margins marking the
face or legs is a disqualification.
ACCEPTABLE FLEECE COLORS
1. Old World Type off white,
2. Black which may fade to Gray
3. Black and White spotted
Ears are of medium thickness, moderate in length, level to the poll, proportionate to the head and preferably covered with wool. Short rough hair is acceptable, slick ears are discriminated against. Black or brown-specked ear skin is common. Nose and lip leather should be black, gray or blue and some speckles are common. Solid pink with out any pigmentation is discriminated against.
Eyes should large bright, brown to yellow.
Incisor teeth should meet the dental pad.
Neck, moderately long and upright, wide at the base and laid well into the shoulders, with skin free of wrinkles.
FOREQUARTERS, SHOULDERS, BACK AND LOIN
Shoulders should be well muscled, well laid in to the ribs and level with the back. The width at the shoulders should be less than the width at the hips to facilitate easy lambing. Flat & wide topped shoulders should be discriminated against.
The BACK is somewhat longer than the animal is tall, with more than one half the overall length in the hind saddle as measured from the dock to the 13th rib. The Back should be level front to rear.
The LOIN should be long, wide and thick.
The ribs should be deep and wide, thick through the heart girth & well sprung
HINDQUARTERS: FEET and LEGS
Short and Straight legs should stand squarely at each corner. Rear legs should stand wide but squarely under the sheep with some angulations of the hocks and slight angulations of the pasterns.
The hindquarters should be wider than the forequarters and have good width between the pin bones.
The rump should be wide and long
The tail carriage level to the chin.
THIGHS and TWIST
Thighs and twist should show deep and heavy muscling.
The hoof color should be black or gray and may have some white stripes. Solid white hoofs are a disqualification.
All measurements are at the shoulder and perpendicular to the ground on shorn sheep.
BABYDOLL SOUTHDOWN SHEEP should be from 18-24" tall.
Rams look more masculine and are usually larger than ewes. They should be rectangular looking, on a moderate frame. A sheep will be faulted for heights over 24" or shorter than 18 ".
Ewes should have a broad well attached, but not pendulous udder. She should be capable of producing and raising twins. With good care, many ewes will be productive for 8-10 years
Rams should move with freedom of gait and remain active and sound for a similar period. Properly managed Ewes and Rams should be easy keepers and maintain thrifty condition with out grain, with exception of during lactation, & lambs in their first 6 months.
When selecting replacement-breeding stock consider selecting for sheep with the genetics to produce animals with sound conformation that provides easy keeping, and easy birthing abilities to their offspring's. Breeding for undersized sheep often produces poorly muscled and unthrifty lambs and breed integrity should be up-held above all.
Under or Over Sized Sheep
Wide Flat-Topped Shoulders
Extremely Broad Heads
Loosely Attached Scurs
Solid scurs or horns
One or both Testicles not descended
Incisor teeth not meeting dental pad
White muzzle & leg hair
Pronounced Roman nose
Evidence of cross breeding
Piebald face and legs