2015 has been a good year with healthy interest in registered Babydoll breeding stock. The flock has been pared down to the essential numbers for my farm going into breeding season and winter. This season I will be using only one babydoll ram (Winslow), who is off-white, 18 months old and a proven ram. I anticipate 10 to 12 registerable lambs next spring – probably all off-white – from 6 ewes (Claire, Nina, and Sara (off-white) and Fergie, Penny, and Hattie (black)).
The experimenter in me has led to the purchase of a brown/badgerfaced Finn ram to breed just 3 of my ewes (Olivia, Tammy, and Abigail). As much as I love my Babydolls, this will introduce 4 traits they don’t possess: another color (brown), longer fiber, a sheen to their fleece (but may detract from the lovely springiness), and a greater probability of multiple births. With multiple births I may have fewer losses from problematic deliveries as twins are generally smaller than singles. My ewes are definitely of adequate condition to carry multiple lambs and nurse them successfully. I am also redoubling my efforts to prevent 2 of my ewe lambs (Adrien and Audrey) from being bred their first season. I will compare their growth and performance with Abigail, the one ewe lamb that will be bred. Finn crosses are also known for their exceptional vigor as lambs. Depending on the number born, some of the lambs may be available for sale, though I may need to wait until later in the summer to sell so I can evaluate what the fleece characteristics will be. I expect off-white and black lambs from these parings as brown is a recessive trait.