Hotchkiss, Colorado Tel: (970) 773-6673
Western Woollies is a small family farm on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies. We strive to produce genetically sound, quality off-white and black registered Babydoll Southdown lambs in accordance with breed standards. Genetic resistance to scrapie is important to us and all of our lambs carry at least some resistance - many in fact have the double RR resistant genotype. We are members of both NABSSAR (North American Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association) and the Mock Registry of Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep. Our children have shown our Babydoll Sheep in 4H at our local county fair, always with great success. We truly enjoy our Babydoll Southdown sheep and know you will too. Please contact us for more information about our Babydoll Sheep and Babydoll lambs for sale. We love to talk sheep!
In 2009, we left our busy suburban life near Denver and came out west, looking for the “simple life”, a place to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures with our kids. We fell in love with an old, tall yellow farmhouse, a fixer-upper for sure, with a small unkept vineyard and a long fallow hay field. We immediately plunged headlong into the country way of life by harvesting grapes and acquiring chickens, ducks, horses, pigs, and lots of cats. We were full of the pioneering spirit and quickly learned about pounding T-posts, wiring pig panels, solar electric fencing, and irrigating with gated pipe. My husband and I actually danced for joy the first time we figured out how to get the irrigation water to flow on the hay field. I am sure our neighbors thought we were crazy, but they took pity on us silly city-folk and were quick to offered help and advice.
I was looking for a method of organic weed control and fertilization for the vineyard when I came across articles about Babydoll Southdown Sheep. It had always bothered me that the grass between the rows of vines seemed to go to waste, so I was excited that these short little sheep are able to eat weeds and grass under and between the rows of vines but are not tall enough to reach the grapes. The fact that they looked like fuzzy teddy bears and we could also sell their wool made them even more appealing.
As I set out on this new adventure of becoming a Babydoll sheep breeder, I knew I wanted to start my flock with genetically sound, quality animals. I found a wonderful sheep breeder in South Dakota. She has since become my friend and mentor and has taught me so much. She introduced me to the concept of Scrapie Resistance. Scrapie is a devastating disease in sheep and is always fatal, similar to Mad Cow disease in cattle. I started my first little scrapie resistant genetically based flock of Babydoll Southdown Sheep in April 2010: seven ewes, one ram, and 3 wethers. They became our pets, all with names and distinct personalities. In no time at all, these sweet little creatures had stolen our hearts.
Our life in the country has been full of rewards and challenges. In July 2010, we suffered a devastating setback due to a domestic dog attack. One Babydoll sheep was killed and four others were severely injured. With the help of friends and neighbors we managed to nurse the injured sheep back to health. One ewe, Rosie, walks on three legs now, but her will to live is a daily reminder of the resiliency of these little creatures. Soon after, we added a new member to our farm family, a Great Pyrenees dog, named Bear. He lived with the Babydoll sheep as a puppy but now guards the family and the entire farm as well. Not a single animal has been lost - not a chicken, sheep, or even a duck has been killed since his arrival.
In June 2011, I purchased our current main Babydoll ram, Zinfandel. We called him “Champ” because he was such a little guy, which I liked, since “vineyard weeders” need to stay on the smaller side. My daughter showed Champ at our local county fair and won Grand Champion for breeding sheep. In 2012, we had our first successful lambing season and even Rosie, the three-legged Babydoll ewe, became the proud momma of a beautiful little black ram lamb. I have begun learning the art of hand spinning and hope to market this wonderful wool in the near future. Life on the farm is full of endless work and we still have so much to learn, yet I wouldn't trade any of it. Every spring, there is nothing quite like watching the new Babydoll lambs sleeping peacefully or leaping in the air and playing. It is an expression of pure peace and joy and is one of those times that you have to stop whatever you are doing, laugh, and just soak it in. Ah, there it is, in moments like that, that I know we have found it…the simple life.