Our story: The Sheep.
When I was a small child, my brothers took over the FFA chapter's flock of Southdown sheep.
They were great sheep, The brothers won lots of champion trophies with them. I absolutely adored them. I spent hours in the field with them. Someone else took over that flock, and when my second brother then third brother got into FFA, They took charge of the chapter's Suffolk flock. I was not a big fan of that flock.
Both won all the classes with those sheep that were donated to the chapter by Floyd Cashman, but they just seemed to lack the personality those Southdowns had.
When my own 7 kids got into sheep, we got Suffolks. They were okay, but again, I missed seeing any with a personal appeal.
Fast forward to my "empty nest" season. I wanted a hobby farm. Just enough sheep, cattle, chickens and pigs to feed us and maybe our kids' families. I started researching.
I was blogging, and posting about the various breeds that worked nicely on hobby farms. And there they were, my heritage Southdowns, now called "Babydoll Southdowns"
Found a lady who sold them, and in 2009 I bought 2 ewes and a ram from her to start my own flock.
I was delighted to see those personalities once again. These sheep are just fun to have around. But they also have amazing conformation, the meat is absolutely delicious, and the grandkids love showing them.
We enjoyed them so much, our goal changed from just providing food for the table to working at providing good sheep to sell to others and simply do all we could to improve the breed.
In 2014 after a near death illness, my husband had to retire. Our income plummeted. We had to sell 14 head of sheep, mostly mature ewes. And that was just to keep food on the table and the electric bill paid. But they took care of us. We made it through the crisis, and time of eliminating bills for stuff we could live without.
We have since then been trying to rebuild our flock, and I can say today we are almost to that point where I can honestly say we are sheep people. We are now up to 30 ewes, 22 of them are top notch registered Babydoll Southdowns. I believe they are all show quality.
Our oldest grandson wanted the flock to be all black, I preferred the traditional off white. Our original ram was black. Several of Heather and Mary's lambs were black, but white was the dominate color.
In retrospect, I am very glad. Oldest grandson lost interest in sheep, and we ended up selling his sheep and only have a few black ewes left. My goal is to have a predominantly off white flock, with just a couple blacks to sell each year for the black market.
I am pleased with our progess, and pretty excited about our future in the sheep business.
We sold 15 head of sheep this year, and it didn't hurt at all. In 2014, I was worried about having to sell so many, but sheep are prolific. My goal is to have about 75 show quality ewes in my near future, and having great ewes and rams available for purchase in order to continue improving the breed.
Early morning grazing.
Our flock of Babydoll Southdown Sheep are just so much fun to have around.
They have the cutest little personalities, and are easy to lamb.
Our lambs have an amazingly delicious flavor.
But we seldom butcher them because we have mostly had ewe lambs.
We just enjoy having them grazing our little hobby farm.
We have continued to do well into 2015 showing our sheep at
our little county Fair
This is our little 2015 Ram Lamb, "The Duke Of Earl"
He was Champion Babydoll Southdown and Reserve Champion Over All Breeds.
He beat his Grandsire who had been Champion Over All Breeds for Three Years.
Earl and his half brother, Floyd sold just recently. Just contact us via Email if you are interested in purchasing a great little ram lamb in 2018!
Besides having theChampion and Reserve Champion BD Southdown Rams,
we also had the
Champion and Reserve Champion BD Southdown Ewes,
Champion and Reserve Champion Over All Breeds Ewe Pair,
Champion Over All Breeds Flock,
and Grace was the Champion Sheep Showman in her age group.
It was indeed a very good year for LT Livestock Hobby Farm!!!
Here are a few photos of the fair, but I don't have very good photos.
Next year, Terry, AKA Pappa AKA Choreboy is going to get some
good ones with our actual camera.
Asher and his ewe lamb, Cheddar
Australian Shepherds make excellent Companion dogs
for our Babydoll Southdown Sheep!
Champion Flock 2014 Dallas County Fair
In 2012, for the first time, we showed our little flock.
The grandchildren showed some of the sheep
at the Dallas County Fair
that summer, and they did an excellent job
their first time showing! They have shown them each year afterwards.
Earning some nice ribbons and plaques, including
Supreme Champion Flock and Supreme Champion Pair.
That first year we did quite well. Our Farm got the Supreme Pair of the show,
beating out all other breeds
with Noah's yearling Ewe, Carlyn
and our ewe lamb, Doreen
Jude age 4 was the Champion PeeWee Showman.
Grace got first place
showing our little ewe lamb, Doreen.
Issac got first place with his aged ewe, Aileen.
Jude got first place with Noah's yearling ewe, Carlyn.
Isaac's yearling ewe, Una was second place,
and Grace got third in the yearling class with Duffy.
Grace and Isaac got blue ribbons in showmanship.
Each year since, we have done about the same.
Best of all I think we all had a great time at
The Dallas County Missouri Fair!
Here are a few pictures of the county fair: