The third breed of sheep I purchased were my five beautiful Southdowns. I bought them in as ewe lambs in June 2017 however I recently sold them, as part of my downsizing project, on to a local smallholder, who is going to let them graze on his 4 acres that were once home to his horses.
Although I no longer have the Southdowns, they will always give me that warm feeling when I see them, simply because…
- They are gorgeous! They have beautiful fluffy faces, which has led to them being nick-named the “babydoll” sheep.
- They are easy to manage and carry out husbandry on because of their small size. When it came to checking the flock’s feet I would always choose the Southdowns to do over any other breed because they are light and easy to turn over. Compared to my Oxford Downs, who weighed around 100kg each, my Southdowns only weighed 70!
- They are a native breed, originating from way back in the 1300’s from Sussex (from the Southdowns funnily enough!).
- They are naturally polled (hornless), which means less harm comes to you and they are less likely to get stuck in fencing – win, win!
- As of 2016-17 they were on the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s watchlist however as of 2017-18 their numbers have increased and their popularity increased (mainly amongst smallholders) so much that they are no longer classed as a breed ‘at risk’ and instead are simply celebrated as being a native breed.
So can I get a round of applause for the beautiful sheep that are the Southdowns?