RR NABSSAR and OEBR Registered Ram
We started with excellent quality rams and have continued to build upon that. In 2014, we brought in some new blood lines including two new rams. Scrapie resistance is important to us. Scrapie, as a disease, is on its way out in the sheep industry because reputable breeders have been purposely breeding for the resistant genotype. By design, all of our rams have the RR or most resistant genotype. As a result, all of our lambs will carry at least some genetic resistance to scrapie.
Even though Babydoll rams are small - ours average 24 inches tall at the shoulder - keeping a ram can be a little tricky and requires some patience and a little planning. Except during breeding season, our rams live with just boys and enjoy their rough-housing bachelor lifestyle. However, there is value in the old saying "never turn your back on a ram". Any ram may try to head-butt humans at times, especially during breeding season, when they are driven by hormones. For us, managing the rams has not been a problem because our rams are very tame and are easily haltered. They will walk on a lead rope, something they learned being paraded around by our children at our local County Fair. They are very friendly and love to be petted, but when off the lead rope, an unexpected strong head butt can knock even an adult down. When working in a pen with a ram, we carry a spray bottle of vinegar and water. One squirt is all it takes to stop even the most determined head butt or charge. We love our rams!
Hotchkiss, Colorado Tel: (970) 773-6673
Click on the arrow to the left to view photos of our Babydoll ewes.
(More pictures coming soon.)
RR NABSSAR Registered Ram
RR NABSSAR AND OEBR Registered Ram (Zinfandel)
We currently have 15 of these lovely girls. Each has their own distinct look and personality. This 2015 lambing season brought our first set of triplets, three little ewe lambs, two black and one off-white. Our own little "Oreo" cookie! The momma of the triplets is our Lilly and she is one of our best ewes. She loves to be petted and have her chin scratched but she is also the leader of the flock, the alpha female, so to speak. Lilly produced enough milk for all three lambs and all three are healthy and happy little chunky lambs.
Babydoll ewes are very docile and sweet. They make great mothers and often have twins. Babydoll ewes are normally a little smaller than the rams. Our ewes average about 23 inches tall at the shoulder. Babydolls are such "easy-keepers" that the hardest part about owning Babydolls is not letting them get too fat!
RR NABSSAR Registered Ram
Photo coming soon
Babydoll Southdown lambs are born jet black or off-white. Babydoll ewes are very attentive and wonderful mothers. Typically, our off-white ewes will have off-white lambs and our black ewes will have black lambs, but that is not always the case! Sometimes they have one of each color. The lambs weigh about 5 pounds at birth. They are born with their eyes open and are up on their feet nursing usually within 30 minutes. It is an amazing site to see and hear! Their first little sounds or cries are met with sweet little baa's from the momma as they get to know each other and the bonding process begins. They learn to recognize each other by smell and by sound.
Since Colorado nights can be very cold, we often put wool sweater sleeves on our newborn lambs to keep them warm for the first few days. Babydoll lambs are born with tails which we dock humanely a day or two after birth. This is done for health reasons and according to the breed standards. The lambs spend the first day or two with their momma's separated from the rest of the flock in a special pen called a jug. It allows the new family quality time together to continue the bonding process and gives the momma a chance to rest and enjoy a little TLC with lots of fresh hay and grain.
After a few days, the new family is introduced to the rest of the flock. It is not long before all the new lambs are running and playing together. Lambs are shy but also very curious about the world around them. Such a life! They leap and run and jump and climb on their mommas. The ewes are very patient with their own lambs, but they make it clear, in a firm but gentle way, that other lambs are not to steal a nip of their milk. The lambs nurse frequently and sleep curled up next to their siblings and their momma. The lambs love to mouth and taste the hay at feeding time, trying to copy the adults, but they grow quickly just on the rich milk from their momma. At a few weeks of age, they find the high protein lamb grain in the creep feed. This is a special little pen that only the lambs are small enough to get into. They continue to eat a little grain and a little hay but get most of their nutrition from milk for several weeks. However, by the time they are 10 to 12 weeks old, they are eating mostly hay and grain and they are easily weaned. Shortly after weaning, the lambs are ready to go their new homes.