It is said that the woolly face of a Babydoll Sheep will always make you smile. This statement proved to be true when we visited a flock of Southdown Babydoll Sheep at Two Chimneys Farm in Falmouth this month.
Janice Siegle has been keeping a flock of Babydolls for about 10 years. The flock swells, and is culled, to varying numbers. On our visit, there were 10 happy ewes and 1 ram. Janice has had her fleeces spun into yarn in various weights over the years. This year she chose to spin most of it into a single-ply, super bulky at Bartlettyarns in Harmony.
If you have ever contemplated raising sheep, you may want to consider starting with this breed, especially if you are not sure of the amount of fleece you will want to process. This breed is a noticeably small animal (producing a smaller amount of fiber), and it is a particularly good one to have around children. This breed tends to be docile and the ewes are good mothers. And according to the Olde English "Babydoll" Registry, because they are an ancient breed, they are not prone to many of the problems of modern breeds. If the fleece quality is what is most important to you, the micron count (determines softness) of this breed is generally near the cashmere range.
Why did Janice choose this breed? "They are the original sheep breed. The breed is ancient. I choose the breed because I fell in love with their smiles. They don't have horns and are only shorn once yearly. Their fiber length is on the shorter side. The yarn is great for blankets, mittens, scarfs and hats. All simple projects I thought I could complete. They are sweet comical animals and always make me laugh. Great guard animals! Anyone coming down my driveway gets 'bleeped'! "