Baby doll babies

It’s lambing season and we have babies in our vineyard! But these are no ordinary white, gangly, bouncy lambs: our Ecovillage Babydoll sheep push the cute factor to 11!

The Southdown breed, otherwise known as Babydoll or Teddy Bear sheep with a smile, are an adorable, docile and versatile breed that fits in well on many farms. They are an old breed but relatively new to Australia, and are good for everything: fine wool, excellent meat and milk production. Importantly, they’re so short and stumpy that they’re used for vineyard and orchard grazing as they can’t reach high and damage vines or canopies.

Newborn lambs in the Foxcliffe Vineyard at the Ecovillage.

The Ecovillage now has 28 sheep, including one new young ram from Tanjar Babydoll Southdowns in Pinjarra named Curtis, and 12 lambs so far this year. They are shorn once a year by a local hobby farm shearer, and they are very easy to handle.

We keep them for grazing in the future ECL land, Ag lots and the vineyard, where they manage and fertilise the pastures and minimise the need for mechanical slashing. Ours are trained to stay within a low one-wire portable electrical fence, so are easily moved around the Ecovillage to their next grazing cell. They’re yet another example of Permaculture in action at the Ecovillage.

You can read more about this breed here