For the 2018 season, 18 or more purebred Babydoll lambs are expected and I anticipate they will be approximately half off-white and half black. For you fiber farmers, I am expecting quite a selection of cross bred lambs, too: (2) black 3/4 Babydoll 1/4 Finn; (2-3) 3/4 Finn 1/4 Babydoll at least one brown – the others white; (3) 1/2 Babydoll 1/2 Finn black; plus – time will tell – as many as (4) white 1/2 Babydoll 1/2 Finn. I will be retaining up to 3 of these “Finn x Dolls” for my own fiber flock . If you are interested in lambs, submit your request, including your deposit of 50% of the purchase price, so you can be put on the list. Indicate gender and color desired – specific ewe/ram pairing if you have a preference. I’ll notify you when there is a possible match or matches – most likely by April 15th. Photos can be emailed for your inspection.
For expected lamb parentage see this link: http://prairieplumfarm.com/babydoll-sheep/2018-lamb-season-plans/
I will again be inviting repeat and potential lamb buyers to my Shearing Open House – tentatively March 17th. Yes, there will likely be a few lambs “on the ground”! You can see the animals with and without their fleeces, my facilities, and how we handle the animals and the fleeces for this major event in the year of shepherding.
Recommended starting flock composition:
Like many Babydoll breeders I know, I don’t recommend breeding the ewes their first season. (By contrast, Finn x Dolls are EXPECTED to lamb – even bear twins – their first season.) However, buying a ram right away means you will have another mower and won’t have to make another trip to pick up one animal. Just be ready to run separate flocklets from September through ~March. First year breeding results more frequently in difficult births and, reportedly, a dwarfing of the mother as she is still growing. (This did not happen with my LaNina, however, who got herself bred her first year.)
There are many combinations possible for non-related rams if you have or plan a mixed color flock – just a few if you are going all white or all colored. The wether keeps the ram company during the time (Sep 1 through Oct ?) when the breeding stock is kept separate to prevent winter lambing dates. The other benefits of wethers are: 1) they are the ultimate fiber animal without the variations in fiber thickness that can happen with the seasonal swings in hormones and activity seen in the rams and ewes, and 2) they tend to be the friendliest of the sheep and can be instrumental in leading the other flock members to locations of your choice.
New pricing for the 2018 season is listed below. I will discount the whole sale by 5% if 3 or more sheep are purchased by one buyer. This is because my efforts to get them segregated for inspection by the vet (if needed) and pick up are more efficient with multiple animals. Example: 2 ewe lambs, 1 ram and 1 wether = (500 + 500 + 350 + 200) x 95% = 1550 – 77.70 or 1472.50 for the perfect starter flock!
Ewe Lambs $ 500
Ram Lambs $ 350
Wethers $ 200
Deposits and Final Payments:
I will accept personal/farm checks for the initial deposit and these will be cashed when received. For the final balance, cash or cashier’s check is expected.
** Deposits can be submitted anytime and are what hold your place in line (= first come – first served policy). Indicate your choice of breed, gender, color, and, if you are particular, momma ewe for each animal desired. I apologize for the redundancy, but it is sometimes necessary.
Timing of availability:
The first lambs are expected around March 15th and those lambs will be ready to go to their new farms at around 8 weeks of age (~Mothers’ Day). I have extended the time I prefer to keep the lambs so the milk supply of the moms has reduced a bit, making drying them up at weaning less hard on them. I will make exceptions for 4Hers who need to have their lambs in their possession by an earlier date. Note however, that the weekend of Mothers’ day is the Shepherds Harvest fiber festival in Lake Elmo, MN, so I will be off farm those 2 days.
Condition of lambs at transfer:
At that time sheep will be current on their vaccinations, have their Scrapies ear tag, their hooves trimmed, their tails docked, and, if wethers are desired, be castrated. If the sheep will be taken across state lines, I will have a veterinarian-signed health certificate ready. The sheep will be registered with NABSSAR or FBA except for special cases – particularly wethers. Buyer will be responsible for contacting the breed associations to record the transfer of ownership and paying the transfer fee unless otherwise arranged and transfer fee paid – ($8/animal). The registration papers will be signed over at the time of animal pick up.
Miscellaneous but important!:
Buyer is responsible for transportation.
Any Finn X Doll (cross bred) sheep that is 50% or more Finnsheep is eligible for registration with the Finnsheep Breeders Association and intact animals will be registered as appropriate.
Individual lambs will only go to homes having other sheep for companionship. Otherwise, sheep will be sold in groups of 2 or more.
I reserve the right to refuse the sale of any animal to any person prior to purchase (deposit will be refunded).
I will only register animals meeting breed specifications. Non-registered (“grade”) animals will be offered at a discount or culled. In 5 years of lambing I have not had a single animal fail to meet breed specifications, but there is always a chance it can happen in the future.
All of my flock, except Maisey, has genotype RR at the Scrapies resistance gene locus 171. I will be conducting blood tests on Maisey’s lambs to determine genetics. Any intact QR offspring will be discounted $50. Wethers will still be $200as breeding value is not a factor.
All adult animals were tested in September 2014 and found to be free of OPP (Ovine Progressive Pneumonia.) However, 5 new animals of unknown status have been brought into the flock since then.