Breed Standard

The standard for the Babydoll Southdown Sheep is based on the Southdown Sheep Society in England - the standard for the original sheep. The breed description for Babydoll Southdown Sheep Breeders Association & registry is as follows:

Head: Carried high. Wide and level between the ears with no sign of slug or dark poll in the whites. Not too long from the eyes to the nose.   

Face & Muzzle: Full, not too long from eyes to nose with a wide muzzle which gives the sheep its classic smiling look. Incisor teeth should meet dental pad. Covered with short fuzzy fleece and hair a shade from very light tan to brown to cinnamon to mousy gray color in the off-white fleeced sheep and black color in the black-fleeced sheep 

Nose & Lips: Dark; not pink. Speckles are common. 

Eyes: Large, bright, and prominent. Any wool covering in front of the eyes should be short so that at no time can the sheep be woolblind. Tear ducts should be free of wool.

Ears: Of medium size, level with head and covered with short wool 

Neck: Wide at the base and well set to the shoulder. Shoulders top level with the back. 

Shoulders: Well muscled, level with the back and flows smoothly into the ribs. Width at the shoulder should be less than width at the hips.  

Chest: Deep over the heart, but not too wide that it affects the square stance

Back: Level, somewhat longer than the animal is tall. 

Tail: Large and set almost level with the chin.  

Legs: A leg at each corner of the body, straight and full with dark hooves 

Hindquarters: Wider than the forequarters and carry good width to the hip bones. Rear legs are squarely under the sheep with a slight angle of the stifle and hocks. Rump is level and firm to handle.

Fleece: Should be dense and uniform over the entire body. No woolblindness or woolly tear ducts.   

Size: Must be 24" or under shorn, measured straight up the front leg to the highest point of the middle of the shoulder. Lambing without difficulty is one of the qualities therefore, ewes under 18" are discouraged. 

Wool: Of fine texture, great density, and of sufficient length of staple covering the whole of the body down to the hocks and knees and right up to the cheeks, with a foretop. 

Colors: White/off-white, black, black with white, dark gray, dark brown, spotted

As a general note: The ewe should be able to birth well naturally and should be well enough to raise twins, triplets if need be. The ewe should normally be active and productive under average care through her eighth year and often through her tenth year. Rams should be free from stiffness and remain active and vigorous for a similar length of time. Ewes and rams with proper management should require no grain in order to maintain a thrifty condition with the exception of lactating ewes and young, rapidly growing lambs. 

BSSBA Discrimination factors:

  • Slick ears
  • Solid pink tip of the nostril
  • White hooves
  • Solid scurs or horns 
  • Pronounced Roman-shaped nose
  • Excessive wrinkles on the body
  • Any evidence of crossbreeding
  • Inverted eyelids
  • Woolblindness
  • Rectal or vaginal prolapse
  • Incisor teeth not meeting dental pad correctly