Southdown Sheep. This sheep was involved with crossbreeding to develop other breeds: The Southdown in Britain is recognised by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as a native breed, although today it is popular amongst the smaller scale breeders of sheep.[2]. Subsequently, the process of registering lambs from this newly established foundation flock began. In California and New Zealand, they are placed in vineyards to graze weeds because they are too short to reach the grapes on the vines. Email:, Southdown Sheep Society, Meens Farm, Capps Lane, All Saints, Halesworth, Suffolk , IP19 0PD, United Kingdom, Articles of Association of the Southdown Sheep Society, Pass on its superb conformation to its offspring, Thrive and maintain its flesh when other breeds would likely suffer, Be an ideal sheep for small or large flocks. These small sheep were know for their extreme hardiness and produced meat with unmatched tenderness and flavor then any other breed of sheep. Southdown sheep are commonly used to breed Canterbury lamb. It was exported to New Zealand and was used in the breeding of the Canterbury lamb. The Southdown has been placed on a watch list by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Their qualities are consistent generation after generation even in the crossbred animals. It also develops Shropshire sheep, Oxford, and Hampshire sheep. The Southdown is a small, dual-purpose English sheep, raised primarily for meat. This breed is known as a native breed recognized by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The Southdown is known as a terminal sire producing vigorous lambs with fast growth rates and outstanding carcase and eating quality. The original Southdown breed probably reached the United States in 1803. One of the oldest of the English breeds of sheep is the Southdown, originating on the South Down hills of Sussex County, England. The breed declined drastically in the 1960's as a result of its very small stature and lambing difficulties. Southdown, breed of medium-wool, dark-faced, hornless sheep originating in the Sussex hills of England. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep. The use of artificial fertilizers had gained ground, and the combine-drill, which sowed grain seeds and fertilizer together, rendered close-folding by sheep unnecessary. Uses. In 1986, a breeder, Robert Mock, began a search for the sheep with bloodlines that conformed to the original Southdowns. Special Notes. Much remained the same until the First World War, when the Southdown flocks declined with some rapidity, as shepherds and farm workers went off to war. Why use a Southdown? [citation needed]. They are adaptable to varied and wet climates. At that time, Mock started the first and original Olde English Southdown Registry to market this once meat breed to a completely new market for people looking for pets and 4H projects, and he started the "Babydoll" used by the members of the original registry, as well as the few spin-off Babydoll registries. Southdown, breed of medium-wool, dark-faced, hornless sheep originating in the Sussex hills … The Ba… In England, these small Southdowns grew in p… Contents. The system reached its zenith from about 1845 to 1880. In 1780, John Ellman realized the potential of these animals and set out to standardize the Southdown breed. They have been selected specifically for their smaller size of the original blood lines and a focus on wool and hobby breeding rather than commercial meat production. Official website of the most active Southdown Breed State Association in the United States, Official website of the American Southdown Breeders Association, Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep Registry, English Sheep web site Located in the UK talks about Southdowns in the US,, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2011, Articles with disputed statements from July 2011, Articles needing additional references from January 2016, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 September 2019, at 17:28. The Southdown was developed in Sussex, England in the late 1700's and early 1800's and exported to the US shortly thereafter. It also develops Shropshire sheep, Oxford, and Hampshire sheep. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep.. The oldest of all British breeds of sheep, it has an ideal body conformation for meat production. The fleeces are considered medium-wool type with a fiber diameter of 23.5 to 29.0 microns[5] and a numerical count of 54 to 60. They are small in stature and are easy to handle. Crossed on any breed of ewe the resulting lamb will have a carcass of fine conformation and high grade if marketed correctly. After this initial review and acceptance period, the "Foundation Flock" registry was closed in 1991. The Southdown is historically one of the most important of the British breeds of sheep, valued for fleece, meat, and for improvement of other breeds. Countries where this variety thrives more and more. The Southdown sheep are excellent meat producers. Southdown are an early maturing breed with good lambing ability and average milk production. The Southdown is a small, dual-purpose English sheep, raised primarily for meat. Samuel Marsden imported Southdowns to Australia soon after his arrival in 1793. Folded flocks were no longer economical and smaller flocks averaged only 135 ewes apiece. Thus, they are referred to as being “easy keepers.” They are excellent mothers and are known for having multiple births. In 1780 John Ellman, realized the potential of these animals and set … In 1813, Arthur Young estimated 200,000 ewes were kept on the eastern South Downs and commented, "the amazing number they keep is one of the most singular circumstances in the sheep husbandry of England". For this reason, they are often kept as pets, but they are also used in a variety of ways such as grass mowers and weed eaters in vineyards and orchards and 4H projects. One other factor that affected the original bloodlines was that the Southdown could not satisfy the consumer demand for larger meat cuts.

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