By Mark Tupman, Productive Ecology
Ecovillage residents will be well familiar with our resident flock of Babydoll sheep by now. We (Sustainable Settlements) started the WEV flock around four years ago with some lambs purchased from Tanjar Babydoll stud, and later acquired a few more from the only other available supplier in WA to increase the numbers and widen the genetics a little.
Each year since, in what has become a highlight of the annual Ecovillage calendar, they drop another generation of lambs. This year, for the first time, we have had lambs from ewes that were born here. These lambs were also sired by a fine-looking purebred Babydoll ram. They took to lambing in the education precinct across the road from the houses in cluster 1C, and as some residents will attest, the sight of our shepherd trying to catch the quick young lambs that needed tending to was well worth witnessing.
Within a few generations, we should be turning out registered stock and there seems to be a good demand for purebred Babydoll sheep, so we envisage a good little business in due course.
They are great lawnmowers, turning grass and weeds into fertiliser, and are rotated around the property between the vineyard, future Ecovillage Commons land, and the agricultural lots as needed. Every spring, we get them into the yards, get a shearer to give them a haircut, tag the new lambs and generally take stock.