it was pretty easy to pick our first breed of livestock for the farm. Sheep.
We began with a set of 6 commercial assorted sheep, purchased from a neighbour farmer. Since then we have invested in pure bred as well as commercial sheep of various breeds.
We've got our happiest rams ever with Heithcliffe and Sidney, the registered, pure-bred Southdown Babydolls. This miniature breed of sheep is stocky and small in stature and has a fleece around the face that makes them look like their smiling! Babydolls can be brown, black and white in colour and thus mixed and mottled too.
Joining the flock in 2016 were Diana and Katherine (princesses for sure). And introducing Hermione, Victoria and Elizabeth. Registered lambs will be available in early summer 2018.
Coco, Crème Brule, Caramel and Jenelle have long fleeces but are tiny in stature. We have cross bred them with our Babydoll ram to keep them small but add other desired features (like the smile!) The Fleeces are most wonderful!
This breed of sheep is known for it's black face and legs with fluffy white fleece. As lambs they are very grey and mottled in colour and can hide in the shadows very easily. As they mature, the white comes in and they're striking and lovely. There have been a few come and go on our farm and we're the first call made when a bottle lamb comes up from a local breeder who loves the sheep but not the bottle work. Lucky there are not too many calls since they are a hearty breed and feed their own.
This was our first investment and our first bottle baby experience. Rocky Lane Farms with our friends Bob and Gayle have been a phone call away to help us with our shepherd questions from 2000. We have several of their purebred sheep gracing our barn and we love their good nature and solid size. They are known for multiple births, easy lambing and are very friendly and docile. Most of the lambs we take on the road are of this breed. They are very common in Ontario for sheep producers.
This breed reminds me of the movie BABE where the talking mama sheep coached the wee piggy into following his heart and entering the sheep dog trials. They have a clean face and bare legs with a huge woolly coat. Isabelle was the matriarch of our farm for over 10 years!