Babydoll Southdown Sheep
Click Here to visit the North American Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association and Registry
The characteristics of the head give each breed its individuality & uniqueness. The BABYDOLL Southdown is polled. Small  
loosely attached scurs are sometimes seen on rams . Solid scurs or horns are a disqualification. The HEAD is medium length and
moderately broad, but not so broad to be a birthing obstruction, and with medium length.
When Judging the HEAD (10 points)
Wide, level between the ears, with no sign of dark poll. Ears set level with the head neither drooping nor so upright to
be perpendicular to the ground and covered with some degree of wool.
The muzzle and face should be moderate in width to insure efficient grazing and moderate in length, straight to slightly dished
but not Roman.  The wide muzzle gives the Babydoll sheep its classic Smiling look.
When judging the FACE (2 points)
Muzzle and face should be moderate in width and length, with a straight or slightly dished nose.  Never a roman nose.
Tan to cinnamon brown to dark gray to brown with even colors on faces and legs on the  white sheep,  even colors
preferred but blended shades or mottled accepted.  Black muzzles and legs on Black/gray or spotted fleeced sheep.  
Some graying on nose of Black sheep with age.

1. WHITE WOOLED SHEEP, which is really an off white color
Sheep with off white fleece will have muzzle and leg hair of a Light tan to
Cinnamon brown to,  Mousey Grays to dark brown, even colors being
preferable., blends of shades are common but less desirable .


Sheep with  solid black to gray fleece,  will have Muzzle and Leg hair of
solid black that may show some graying with age . Black fleeces may fade
to shades of  dark gray as the sheep ages.  Face and leg color should be
similar to the wool color so Dark Fleece is preferred.  Black fleeces
generally sun burn  and will have a chocolate color on tips of fleece. Black
faced and legged sheep whose wool  is black at birth but which fades to
off white is undesirable and will be disqualified  in the show ring.
On an otherwise solid white or solid black sheep  if it has only one
contrasting colored spot in the wool that goes the length of the fiber  and
it is smaller then a grapefruit in size , this would be  considered a blemish
in the fleece , and  would be considered a fault in the show ring. A true
Spotted Sheep will have several contrasting colored areas in their fleece
where the color or lack of color remains in the fleece fiber from skin
outward in the adult animal. Some lambs maybe born with what appears
to be spots ,but which grow out & fade usually by 6 months of age.  
These sheep would Not be considered Spotted. Any pigmented color and
white spotting reflecting Jacob or any other breed influence that have
defined color margins marking the face or leg hair is a disqualification for

When judging the SKIN (10 points)
Of a delicate gray to bright pink on White and of dark tones on
black sheep.
Breed Standards of the Babydoll Southdown Sheep
from the NABSSAR Handbook and personal additions
The genetics of color markings in the Down breeds is poorly explained and the intensity of  color in the points ( face & legs)
does vary. It seems to be under pretty complicated & likely polygenetic control .
Thus the results of breeding Black  sheep to White sheep  or even Black sheep  to Black sheep sometimes gives a variety of
results in the coloration of the face and legs .
Resulting Examples :
-lambs with extremely mottled mixture of brown and tan in the hair on faces and legs. This color mixture is acceptable  but
not as desirable as solid coloring
-Lambs lacking any pigmented color in its face and legs, with faces and legs bright white  showing no tans or brown color at
all.  White sheep having  pure white faces and legs  is a disqualification and these sheep must be sold unregistered.
The neck is moderately long and upright, wide at the base and laid well into the shoulders.
When judging the NECK (5 points)
Wide at base, strong and well set on the shoulder.  No excessive wrinkles in Skin
When judging the SHOULDERS, CHEST & BACK (15 points)
Shoulder well laid in to the ribs and level to the back . Chest Deep, Back level from shoulder to tail with only a
slight slope of the croup.  Overall length Slightly longer then tall
The LOIN should be long, wide and thick.
The ribs should be deep and wide, thick through the heart girth & well sprung
When judging the LOIN  (5 points) Long, deep and wide
When judging the RIBS (5) Deep wide ,thick through the heart girth and well sprung
The hoof color should be black or gray and may have some white stripes. Solid white hoofs are a disqualification.
When judging the CARRIAGE (11 points)
LEGS, short, straight, well placed at corners, lower leg wool & hair color similar to muzzle color.
All measurements are at the highest point of the middle of the shoulder and perpendicular to
the ground on shorn sheep.
BABYDOLL SOUTHDOWN SHEEP should be from 18-24” tall.  
Most Babydoll Ewes fall into  19-23” range and most Rams 22-24” range.
Any Sheep  17-18” or  Rams 24-26” will be faulted but could still be useful in a well thought
out  breeding program .
Any Sheep less then 17” , Ewes over 25” and Rams over 26” is considered a disqualification
and should not be registered and can not be shown as a Babydoll Southdown.
(A mini horse measuring stick pictured to the left is ideal for measuring babydoll southdowns)
When judging the Height (15 points)
18"-24"  is ideal.  Heights from 17-18” and Ewes 24-25 “ and  Rams from 24-26” is
considered a fault & is discriminated against, but  Heights Above  25” for ewes, and
above 26" for rams  and any sheep below 17" are  disqualifying .

Total: 100 points in all sections of the babydoll southdown point system
Rams look more masculine and are usually larger than ewes. They should all be rectangular looking, on a moderate frame.
Ewes should have a broad well attached, but not pendulous udder with 2 teats. She should be capable of producing and raising
twins. With good care, many ewes will be productive for 8-10 years
Rams and ewes should move with freedom of gait and remain active and sound for a similar period of 8-10 years.
Properly managed Ewes and Rams should be easy keepers and maintain thrifty condition with out grain if on good pasture, with
exception of during lactation, & lambs in their first year.
When selecting replacement-breeding stock consider selecting for sheep with the genetics to produce animals with sound
conformation that provides easy keeping, and easy birthing abilities to their offspring. Breeding for undersized sheep often
produces poorly muscled and unthrifty lambs and breed integrity should be up-held above all.
(considered a fault)
"Discriminated against" means the animal meets the breed standard and can be
Registered but that it has a specific characteristic that is considered a fault and
which is not considered ideal when comparing it to the breed standard. In a well
thought out breeding program genetic variation will occur but a breeders goal is to
produce lambs of better quality than their parents always striving for that ideal  
Babydoll Southdown Sheep. Thus if a  Babydoll Southdown Sheep with a
discriminated against characteristic is bred to a Babydoll Southdown Sheep whose
strong points complements the others weakness, the match has the potential of
producing offspring without that fault.

• Sheep, less then 18” tall  but taller then 17’ , or  Rams
Greater then 24 but not larger then 26”
•  Excessively Wide Flat-Topped Shoulders
.Excessive wrinkling of skin
• Extremely Broad Heads
• Loosely Attached  or nubby Scurs
•  Bright Pink Nostrils (with no sign of pigmentation)
• Slick haired Ears
One contrasting colored spot smaller then the sized of a
grapefruit in fleece
Black face and legged sheep with very light gray fleece
Below is information that describes the Babydoll Southdown Sheep in detail with pictures included as examples. This web page
was made to help people with questions about the babydoll southdown breed and what the breed standards are. The breed
standards are from the NABSSAR handbook, and I have added additional information and pictures to this information try and
help describe some things in more detail than the handbook.
This website is still under construction so pictures and more
information will be added in time helping to describe certain things.
In each section a Scale of Points have also been
included to be used in helping to judge the overall conformation of the BABYDOLL and should be used by the serious breeder
when looking over sheep for purchase. This point system is also used when babydoll southdown sheep are judged during
showing so this will help people that are interested in getting into the show scene and how their sheep will be judged. When
using the point system the top number of points in each section is for ideal, deduct points for faults depending on the degree of
that fault.  Some sheep are stronger in some points that others. This should also be considered when choosing sheep for your
flock. When purchasing a ram choose a ram that will compliment your ewes and improve on weak points they may have. A
ram is an important purchase, he is half of all lambs produced. This will insure a more ideal and conformationally correct lamb
crop.  Different degrees of conformation, etc has been shown in pictures to explain from "ideal" to "average and acceptable" to
"unacceptable" traits. Many of the photos below are of sheared sheep. This makes it much easier to see conformation. Keep in
mind when viewing photos there are very few 'perfect' babydoll sheep and these photos show a wide range of babydoll sheep,
not just the 'ideal show quality' sheep.
All Sheep pictured below are within breed standards unless noted as such.
This ram shows a low ear set,
they are not level with poll
Correct Ears. You can see a
straight line across head
and across ears
(Does not meet Registration requirements)
‘Disqualifying’ means a specific characteristic of conformation or
breed type does not meet the breed standard for the Babydoll
Southdown breed. Sheep with disqualifying characteristics should
not be used in a pure bred breeding program nor can they be
registered as Babydoll Southdowns with NABSSAR.

. Sheep smaller then 17” or ewes larger then 25” ,
Rams larger then 26”
• Solid  1” or larger scurs or horns
• One or both Testicles not descended
• Incisor teeth not meeting dental pad
• Inverted eyelids
• Scrotal rupture
. White wooled sheep with black face and leg hair
•  Solid White hooves
• Pure White muzzle & leg hair
• Pronounced Roman nose
• Evidence of cross breeding
• Piebald colored
face and legs , distinctly two
colored, one pigmented one white colored areas
with distinct margins.
This ram could use more
wool on the ears.
Good head for a young ram.
This ewe shows a higher
ear set.
The classic "Babydoll" Smile
this breed is known for.
Markings on ram are demonstrating
measurements of:
Shoulder to last
, length of loin , and length of
hind saddle
. Length of
measurement from loin and hind
being slightly longer than
shoulder to last rib.
Shoulders should be well muscled, well laid in to the ribs and level with the back. The width at the shoulders should be less than
the width at the hips to facilitate easy lambing.  Excessively Flat & wide topped shoulders should be discriminated against.
This ewe is not slightly longer than tall, she has
more of a square shape and short coupled body.
This ewe is showing ideal shape, longer than tall in body,
good pasterns. Tail head is level with bottom of jaw.
Good front leg placement and good rear angulation.
Comparision of rears, showing different degrees of
deep, well muscling.
Profile showing a straight
Discriminations and Disqualifications
Short and Straight legs should stand
squarely at each corner with plenty
of space between the front legs.
The hindquarters should be wider than the forequarters and have good width between the hip bones. Rear legs should stand
wide but squarely under the sheep with some angulations of the stifle & hocks and slight angulations of the pasterns
The tail head should be in a line level to the chin when the sheep is standing in a natural alert stance.
When judging the Rump/CROUP & Tail (5 points)
Rump wide and  of medium length , with  a slight slope of the croup. Tail is large, and set on a line almost level with the
chin, when standing in a natural alert stance.
THIGHS and TWIST , ( area from tail to crotch)
Full, well let down, with a deep, wide twist and heavy muscling. Thighs and twist should show deep and heavy muscling.
When judging the HIND SADDLE (THIGHS AND TWIST)  (5)
I want to give a special Thanks to Diane Spisak (Sheepfields Babydolls) for helping me with this webpage!
Comparing front legs of two sheep, the leg to the
left has straight legs and correct pastern angle.
The sheep to the right has straight legs, but has
pasterns that are to long and low.
Nice Correct front
legs at a side view.
This lamb shows dark coloring
on face and legs.
Lamb to the left shows mixture of color
on legs. Color mixture is acceptable but
not desirable as solid coloring.
When breeding two black sheep together you can possibly get a recessive
pure white lamb which is not registrable in our Association. The twin on
the right is from black parents & shows some white hair in its legs and
face along with some darker colored hair and though less desirable then
a solid dark color it could be used cautiously in a breeding program. If it
had no dark hair at all it would not be registrable.
These lambs show very light
coloring on face and legs
The BACK is somewhat longer than the animal is tall, with more than one half the overall length in the hind saddle as
measured from the dock to the 13th rib. The Back should be level from shoulder to tail head with very little slope of the croup
Comparison: Shows differences in width of
thigh and deapth of twist.
Left -Best, Middle-Moderate, Right-Light
The Wool covering around the eyes and cheeks to the muzzle should be short and not so thick to ever cause the sheep to be
wool blind. Tear ducts should not be over woolly.
Example of common colors: Black, White and Gray.
Note gray sheep has black legs and muzzle.
Example of a ewe with a dark
spot above her right ewe, this
is considered a wool blemish,
this sheep is not considered
White Wooled sheep after a fresh
clipping and bath.
Ears are of medium thickness, moderate in length, level to the poll, proportionate to the head and preferably covered with wool.
Short rough hair is acceptable, slick haired ears are discriminated against. Gray, Black or brown-specked ear skin is common.
Nose and lip leather should be black, dark to light gray or blue and speckles are common. Solid bright pink with out any
pigmentation is discriminated against .Ears should set level with the head neither drooping nor so upright to be perpendicular to
the ground and covered with some degree of wool.
Eyes should large bright, brown to yellow.
When judging the EYES (2 points)Large, bright and prominent.  Yellow to brown in color.
Incisor teeth should meet the dental pad.
This ewe and ram lamb pictured above are showing very "true to type" all over conformation.
Nice length, level back. Straight and correct legs, Nice head set, etc....
Hooves of the babydoll sheep can vary a lot in color. The ideal hoof color is black or gray with no white on the hoof, as
pictured in the first two pictures on a black sheep and a white sheep. The following three pictures show different degrees
of striping from heavily striped to light striping. Many sheep have white hooves with striping and this is totally acceptable
as long as they are not solid white with no coloring at all.
Color of the hair on the muzzle on the off white fleeced sheep should be a shade from light tan to cinnamon brown to
dark gray brown with even colors preferred. Blends of similar shades are acceptable in the hair of the muzzle and legs as
long they are NOT some pigmented color with large white spots that have well defined margins or solid white and
lacking any pigmented color at all. The short colored hair on the face should ideally  cover the entire muzzle and extend
from the corners of the mouth to a rounded point  between the eyes on the adult sheep and the wool on the cheeks
forehead and around the eyes not be so long as to obstruct vision. The colored hair mixed with short wool of the legs
should extend to about the knees where the body wool meets the hair.
COLOR of the HAIR ON the  FACE and MUZZLE of a BLACK Wooled SHEEP
HAIR of the Face and Muzzle on a Black wooled  sheep  should be solid black. Scattered gray hairs may develop on
muzzles as the sheep ages.
The pictures above show varied degrees of coloring and pigmentation on the nose from dark to light. The solid color dark
muzzle is prefered as 'ideal'. But All other muzzles pictured are totally acceptable and within breed standards. You do not
want a sheep to have a 'bright' pink nose with no pigmentation on it what so ever.
For people new to the sheep world here
are two pictures showing a hoof before
trimming and after. Many people have
asked how to trim hooves, and were to
cut without getting to close to the quick
in the hoof and hopefully these pictures
will help them in trimming their sheep's
hooves. As a tip hooves are trimmed to
be level with the soft pad in the center
of the foot. Cutting below this soft pad
can cause bleeding and discomfort when
hoof is trimmed to short.
Example of "Laid in"  shoulders: Shoulders should blend
smoothly into the body  and not be higher then the level of
the back. the width at the shoulders should be less then the
width at the hips to facilitate easy birthing.
If you are revisiting this page remember to hit your 'Refresh' button so any new additions can be viewed.  
The 'ideal' ear set is the first picture to the far left above. Ears can vary in shape/size and pictures above show examples of the different ears that could be
seen, with comments on them.
 All ears pictured above are within breed standards. This is to help a person to know the ideal ear set to look for as 'best'.
Good example
of a sheep
standing square.
For those of you that have asked "How can I tell how old a sheep is by looking at their teeth?" Below is a chart that
may help you to learn by comparing this chart to your sheep's teeth, guess the age, then check yourself with their
registration papers to see correct ages and see how close you got to guessing ages. This is a good way to learn. Both
sheep pictured above are yearlings. Note the two larger teeth in front and lamb teeth on the sides.
Example of ewes with Narrow leg
placement.There are sheep out there with
much more narrow placement, but these
ewes could use improvement on this.
Ewe #1 has a nice tail set and croup. Note the nice level line from tail to bottom of jaw with the back line being the same
and her tail head being level with chin. Her slight slope of croup is correct.
Ewe #2 has a much lower tail set than desired and the line is below the normal chin line even if she was in a more relaxed
state. Note how much farther down the line is on ewe #2's tail head straight across compared to the top of ewe #1's back,
and comparing to the line on #1, ewe #2 is showing a much lower tail set. Also notice ewe #2's croup which is sloping
more than desired. Comparing croups and tail set ewe #1 is a much better ewe showing the best of the breed standard on
tail and croup than ewe #2.      
Correct tail set and croup
Low tail set and sloping croup
This nice ewe to the left
shows a deep chest and deep
body. She is a very maternal
looking ewe with a body type
capable of carrying multiple
lambs and with room in her
body cavity to consume
sufficient  groceries  to
maintain a multiple birth
I was fortunate to
receive this picture to
the left as an example
of a solid white
babydoll lamb for
people wondering
exactly what one looks
like.  This picture is a
Babydoll Lamb with
out any pigmentation
and at this time,
lamb does not fit the
breed standard and is
not registrable.
I will gladly welcome pictures that could be used on this website to help people learn. And I want to take the time to thank all that have
submitted photos so far. It is so hard to get photos of not so good conformation from others and I commend all of the people so far that have
sent in photos to use on this website, and to help people to 'see' exactly what something is. I need pictures of good, average, and not so good, to
show the differences in conformation, etc. No names will ever be posted, or given out to anyone on the pictures submitted, the photo will just
be used as a learning tool for all. Pictures are worth a thousand words to help people to learn. But that is very hard to do without help from
others. It is much easier to learn when one 'sees' something other than if they just read about it.... that is the main reason I have so many
photos on this website. And I could use many more photos to show varied conformation.
So please, if you have a good, average or not so good conformation or color photo for a section that doesn't have a photo yet, that could be used
to help in describing something and will help people learn, please send it my way..... Thanks,
When first learning to judge conformation it is much easier when a
sheep is sheared to see true angles. Wool growth can be deceiving and
make actual straight correct legs look crooked when they are not, as
you can see by the ewe above, pictured sheared and in full wool. The
thick wool on the upper legs tend to make legs look as if they bow in
when actually they are nice correct legs when seen sheared.
Example of same ewe Sheared and in Full Wool
FAULTS EXPLAINED: There are two types of "Faults" when judging the Babydoll Southdown. Conformation faults and Breed Type faults.
A good way to describe this is that Structural or Conformation type faults are generally more serious as they affect function or reproduction.
Breed type faults are more about looks, color, loose scurs, or spots. Faults can be described as very mild and hardly noticable faults to severe or
disqualifing faults, one reason for the point system and how it is used when judging a sheep for over all conformation and breed type. There are
very few "perfect" babydoll southdowns, most have their strong points and their weak points. Careful selection of breeding stock will improve the
breed as a whole.

Now you be the judge.....    
This ewe shows a very
slightly dished nose.
The front of the face should be straight or slightly dished, no roman noses.
This ewe does not have stripes,
this is just the lanolin on her
seen right after shearing.
These stripes easily wash off.
White hairs on the nose is
common in some dark colored
sheep, this is not considered a
spot as long as skin is still
dark and not pink colored
under the white hairs.
This picture is a good example of color variations and
differences on babydoll southdown legs. It shows leg colors
from very light tan to cinnamon to black.
This picture shows a babydoll southdown
with the mousey grey colored  markings
around the nose area.
This lamb is a good example of
a babydoll with cinnamon
markings on face and legs.
Wool of 1/2 to 3/8 blood (The term "Blood" Denotes fineness:"more blood" means finer wool) or 56 to 60
(spinning count) is preferred. Medium to Medium/Fine Crimp (The natural waviness in fibers). Average Staple
(length of fiber) 2.5-3 inches long. 24 to 31 Microns (average diameter of the wool fiber)
When judging the WOOL (10 points)
Of fine texture, tight with great density, and of sufficient length of staple, covering the whole of the body
Wool being down to the hocks and knees, and right up to the cheeks, with a full foretop, but not  covering the
eyes, or across the bridge of the nose.  Wool of ½ to 3/8 blood or 56 to 60’s is preferred
Picture #1  Fine fleece has a very tiny crimp in fiber.
Picture #4 This opened labled fleece  has pretty fine
crimp but on this sample of shoulder fleece the fibers
group up and fall open .
Picture #3 Medium fine a bit longer in staple and slightly
farther apart & larger crimp
Picture #2 Medium fine a bit longer in staple and slightly
farther apart & larger crimp
Fleece or  Wool quality has been evaluated in several  ways over the centuries.
Terms to understand :

* Staple length: The length of a 12 months growth of wool fiber not stretched.
* Crimp: Waves in the individual fiber, small waves close together are softer fleece. Waves further apart are  coarser.
*  The term 'Blood': Used to interpret fineness displayed in fractions.  
* Spin count: Measurement on a wool Skein.
* Microns: Measurement.

Most Old type Southdowns (white Babydoll Southdowns) are evaluated as 1/2 to 3/8 blood. 1/2 blood translates
to a  60 to 62 skein spin count and a fiber of 22.5 to 25  microns in diameter, with medium fine crimp and 2.5 to 3"
staple length. 3/8 blood translates to a 58 spin count and a  24.5to 26.5 micron with medium crimp and 2.5 to 3.5"
staple length.Many of our Black Babydolls are 1/4 blood which is coarser then white fleeces. 27-31 micron,
medium coarse crimp and 2.5 to 4" staple length.
Examples of Open Faces
Faces: Below are different examples of the types of faces seen on the Babydoll Southdown Sheep.
Overly Wooly Faces: Above are sheep that are showing different degrees of what is called "Wool Blind" were the wool
keeps growing around the eyes, until it totally covers the eyes and the sheep can no longer see. This is a fault that should be
worked on and a breeder should use breeding practices that discourages this problem. Sheep that have a tendency to become
wool blind do need to be trimmed regular around the eye area so the sheep can see well and not become 'blind'.
The Southdown is traditionally a premium meat breed and became popular because of its excellent muscling and flavorful meat. Sheep are always judged
by the quality of their muscling on a well structured frame as well as the quality of their wool  for spinning. The loin, which is where the chops come
from, should be long wide and deep. The rear legs which are the roasts or steaks should be well muscled and large.
The twist is the depth of muscling top to
bottom of the rear leg (Vertical Line #1) Also
evaluated is the size and roundness of the  
rear leg line (Horizontal Line #2). Green Lines
in pictures show were hands are placed by the
judge to determine Twist length. Hands are
placed at the top of the tail and at the crotch
(Green areas). You can see by the pictures the
different sized Twists for each sheep.
Example of wide shoulders
Click Here to visit the
North American Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association Website
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