|North American Babydoll Southdown Association and Registry|
Start your day with a SMILE...Own a BABYDOLL!
|Breed Standard (Print Version)|
In 1780, John Ellman from Glyde, England, took the local sheep known as Southdown and systematically selected, developed and standardized them into what we now recognize as the considerably improved Babydoll Southdown; a breed that was destined to make its name a presence in sheep farming across the world because of Master Breeder John Ellman's work. In her book, author Valerie Porter wrote, "John Ellman once said, that it was more difficult to maintain a good breed than to raise it to first class and he bequeathed to today's breeders the challenge of continuing what he began." The NABSSAR agrees with this philosophy and believes that today's breeders should maintain the integrity and work that Mr. Ellman began and continue to honor his work by keeping the Southdown conformation consistent - without crossbreeding or breeding lesser quality animals. Not every Babydoll Southdown lamb that is born should be allowed into a breeding program. Breeders must know what characteristics to look for and carefully choose their breeding stock. That is why we at NABSSAR believe that breeders should take the time to educate themselves by carefully reading and learning the breed standard.
When learning about the NABSSAR breed standard, a clear understanding of the difference between the terms: "Discriminated Against" and "Disqualifying" is important. These terms are defined as such:
Please note that when the terms fleece and wool are used, fleece refers to what is on the animal and wool is the product made from the fleece.
GENERAL CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF BABYDOLL SHEEP
Babydoll Southdown sheep are known for their docile dispositions. For this reason, they are often kept as pets, but they are also used in a variety of ways such as grass mowers and weed eaters in vineyards and orchards and 4H projects. They are small in stature and are easy to handle. Their small size and efficient metabolism requires less acreage per animal compared to other breeds of sheep. Thus, they are referred to as being "easy keepers." They are excellent mothers and are known for having multiple births. The Babydoll Southdown is known for its abundant carcass (relative to its size) and flavorful meat and is crossbred with lighter weight breeds of sheep to produce lambs of higher quality for market. They are also prized for their wool.
Wool has been evaluated several ways over the centuries. Here are some of the terms used when speaking about wool and its qualities:Staple length = The length of twelve months growth of fiber that is not stretched.
Crimp = Waves in the individual fiber. Fiber that has closer and smaller crimp (or waves) will be softer and fiber with crimp larger and farther apart will be coarser.
Blood = A way to interpret fineness of the wool. Usually displayed in fractions.
Spin count = Measurements of spun yarn on a wool skein.
Microns = A minute measurement.
Most old-type Southdowns - by this we mean the off-white Babydoll Southdowns - are evaluated as having wool that is 1/2 to 3/8 blood.
Many of the black Babydoll Southdowns are 1/4 blood, which means that they have coarser fleece than the off-white Southdowns. They usually have a 27 to 31 micron count, medium-coarse crimp and 2.5 to 4" staple length.Typically the off-white wool is more valuable because it can be dyed any color.
NOTE: When shown, Babydoll Southdowns should be shown in short fitted fleece.
BABYDOLL SOUTHDOWN COLORS
ACCEPTABLE FLEECE COLORS:
NOTE: A blemish is considered a fault, but the sheep can be registered. Sheep of either color that are born with one 4-inch or less area of a contrasting color anywhere on the body are considered to have a "blemish."
UNACCEPTABLE FLEECE COLORS:
Rams and ewes should move with freedom of gait and
remain active and sound for 8-10 years. Properly managed ewes and rams
be easy keepers and maintain thrifty condition without grain if kept
quality pasture or hay with the exception of ewes that are lactating
that are in their first six months of life. When selecting
stock, consider selecting for sheep with the genetics to produce sound
conformation that provides easy keeping and easy birthing abilities to
offspring. Breeding for undersized sheep often produces poorly muscled
unthrifty lambs. Breeding integrity is of utmost importance.
are two types of "Faults" when
judging the Babydoll Southdown,
CONFORMATION FAULTS and BREED TYPE FAULTS. A good way to
is that conformation or structural faults are generally more serious as
they affect function and reproduction. Breed type faults are
about looks, color, loose scurs, or spots. Faults can be
very mild and hardly noticeable to severe or disqualifying faults, one
reason for the point system and how it is used when judging a sheep for
overall conformation and breed type. There are very few
Babydoll Southdowns; most have their strong points and their weak
points. Careful selection of
breeding stock will
as a whole.
|HEAD (10)||Wide and level between the ears, with no sign of a dark poll. Ears set level with the head - neither drooping nor so upright to be perpendicular to the ground. Covered with some degree of fleece.|
|MUZZLE & FACE (2)||Color of the fleece and hair on the muzzle of an off-white fleeced sheep should be a shade from very light tan to brown to cinnamon to mousy gray with even colors preferred. Blends of similar shades are acceptable in the fleece and hair of the muzzle. Muzzles that lack pigmentation and are solid white are a breed disqualification. The short colored fleece and hair on the face should ideally cover the entire muzzle and extend from the corners of the mouth to a rounded point between the eyes on the adult sheep and the fleece on the cheeks, forehead and around the eyes should not be so long as to obstruct vision. Black muzzles on black/gray sheep. There may be some graying on the nose of black sheep with age.|
|EYES (2)||Large, bright and prominent. Yellow to brown in color.|
|NECK (5)||Wide at base, strong and well set on the shoulder.|
|CARRIAGE (11)||Legs - short, straight, and well placed at corners. Lower leg fleece color similar to muzzle color. The colored fleece of the legs should extend from the feet to about the knees where it meets the body fleece.|
& BACK (15)
|Shoulder well laid into the ribs and level to the back. Chest deep. Back level from shoulder to tail with only a slight slope of the croup. Overall body length slightly longer than tall.|
|LOIN (5)||Long, wide and thick.|
|RIBS (5)||Should be deep and wide, thick through the heart girth and well sprung.|
& TAIL (5)
|Rump wide and of medium length, with only a slight slope of the croup. Tail is large and set high on a line almost level with the chin when standing in a natural alert stance.|
(THIGHS & TWIST) (5)
|Full well-muscled hind saddle, well let down, with a deep wide muscling through the twist and legs.|
is ideal. A height from 17-18" and from 24-26" is considered a fault
and is discriminated against. Heights below 17" and above
|SKIN (10)||Of a delicate gray to bright pink on off-white sheep and of dark tones on black sheep.|
|FLEECE (10)||Of fine texture, tight with great density and of sufficient length of staple, covering the whole of the body. Fleece should go down the hocks and knees and right up to the cheeks with a full foretop but not around the eyes or across the bridge of the nose. Wool of 3/8 blood or 56 to 60-skein spin count or 24-28 microns in diameter is preferred. Solid color. No more than one blemish no larger than 4-inches on any area of the animal.|
& Page Updated 8/2012