…a note about babydoll color, plus 2020 lambing news

20200426_0930472020 lambing is almost complete. We have a nice group of babies, including 3 sets of healthy triplets! Ewes, rams, and wethers available. Pictures of available lambs are now up on the “Sheep for Sale” page.

Babydoll southdown sheep come in black and white (also called off-white). There are also a few spotted ones, which we don’t have in our flock and are not recognized by all babydoll registries. Within those colors, there is some variation. A white lamb is born with darker color on its legs and parts of its face, from light peach to all shades of grey and brown.

A black lamb is born the color of coal, then usually fades grayer to some degree as it ages, though the muzzle, ears, and legs stay black. The tips of its wool bleach in the sun, making it look brown unless it has been recently shorn.

Occasionally a “black factor white” lamb is born to a black and a white sheep bred to each other. These lambs have bright white leg and facial wool, do not meet the breed standard, and should not be registered. One of these lambs popped up in our flock several years ago, though I did not recognize it at the time – see pictures of Snowball’s triplets in my post “Lambs!” from 2017. Ideally, black is bred to black, and white to white, though each shepherd makes breeding decisions based on many factors and what is important in their flock.

I love the variety of colors I see when my lambs are born. I especially like to see nice solid dark or cinnamon colored legs in my white babies, like Gem, below right. For more on babydoll color, see the breed standards posted on the registry websites.20200427_103428