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Kindergarten Farm

Babydoll Southdown Sheep and Miniature Horses

Babydoll Southdown Sheep

Our family has been raising registered Old English Southdown Babydoll sheep for over twenty years. Our goals are high quality wool, meat, and conformity to the breed standard as the original Southdown.  We have sheared, carded, spun, knit & woven their wool, milked them and made various cheeses, and butcher lambs for our freezers each year.  We sell breeding stock to help other producers start or strengthen their flocks.

Our flock was established by Janette in the mid-90s with a pair of sheep which were part of the foundation flock when the classic-style Southdowns were renamed Babydolls and established as a breed.  It is now managed by Janette and Bill’s son’s family, and lambing happens at our place, 5 miles west of the home farm.   The flock has really grown on us, both literally and figuratively, since the shepherding torch was passed to us a few years back.  We have come to appreciate what healthy, beautiful animals they are, and what an ideal breed of sheep the Babydolls are for our family.

We are members of both the North American Babydoll Southdown Sheep Registry (NABSSAR) and the Olde English Babydoll Registry (OEBR):

NABSSAR
Olde English Babydoll Registry

We expect to have both black and white lambs available each year.  Lambing will be in April; weaning in July.

*Update 5-23-17: Lambing season in 2017 went well.  Buyers have spoken for all but 2 of our available ewes.  We also have a few wethers for sale.*rachel-snowball

 

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Miniature Horses

Okay, this guy’s a Clydesdale and a little tall for the miniature registries.  But miniature horses are still horses.  The original breeding stock came from the ‘pit’ ponies or Shetland ponies used the coal mines in Wales and England.  Their descendants still exhibit impressive strength for their size, and our ponies often surprise people with what they can pull and carry.

Janette raises registered miniature horses, and uses them to introduce children to the joy of riding, driving, grooming, and handling ponies.  Many of her animals have been to the county fair, summer camp for handicapped children, nursing homes, and farm education events for elementary students.  They are 28-36 inches tall, and gentle and friendly.
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Spring Training

Time to earn some of that hay you’ve been eating all winter, we told the horses!  Several groups of children have been out to the home farm for riding lessons, and I (Laura) borrowed a couple to work with at our place.  Golden Cloud (“GC”) has been getting used to the idea of pulling a cart.  Janette is gearing up for ARC’s summer camp for handicapped kids; this year she’s celebrating 20 years of bringing horses to camp for that fun-loving crowd.

Lambing Update

 

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Snowball’s triplets at 5 weeks

Lambing went smoothly, for which we are thankful.  All our ewes lambed without assistance and are raising their own lambs – no bottle babies.  It was the year of triplets. 3 ewes had them, though Snowball is the only triplet mama whose babies all made it.  (Ginger’s 3rd was stillborn, and one of Rose’s got on the wrong side of the fence from his mama – management lesson we’ll keep in mind for next time; like we did for Snowball, triplets need a small pen at first so the ewe can keep track of them all!)  The lambs are 4-6 weeks old and acting very energetic!  One ewe lamb and several wethers are still available.

 

Lambs!

Snowball gave us an exciting start to lambing season with our first ever set of triplets.  She is doing a great job, and they are thriving.  As of April 18, 5 rams and 4 ewes have been born; more are due any day.  Two ewes are available, as well as a few wethers.  Rams without buyers are being wethered as we go, so if you’re looking for a ram, let us know and we’ll keep one intact for you.

Shearing

It’s the time of year for throwing off last year’s wool, transitioning from hay to lush green grass, and anxiously awaiting new lambs.  This is Flopsy, pre- and post-shearing.

New Flock Ram

Brutus, our new ram: his deep, well-muscled body and level topline are some of the things we like about him.  He is dual registered, codon RR, and will become part of our breeding program in fall 2017.

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