About Us

►     About us     ◄

Our Aims

1. To protect the heritage and preserve the future of the Original Babydoll sheep in Australia

2. To encourage and promote the ownership and breeding of the Babydoll sheep

3. To establish a network of communication for owners and breeders of Babydoll Sheep

4. To develop and maintain the Breed Standard and Showing Guidelines


The Formation of the Babydoll Sheep Association of Australia.


There are relatively few owners of Babydoll sheep in Australia, with the breed being quite rare. Recently there seems to have been a revival of the Babydoll with more people moving to smallholdings and looking for smaller farm stock and/or stock which is easy to manage due to smaller size and there are now waiting lists of people wishing to purchase Babydolls.


However, due to a lack of a breed standard, prospective purchasers of Babydolls in Australia have had little information on what to look for when purchasing Babydolls, and this sometimes leads to disappointment if the Babydoll has been sold by a breeder who is breeding sheep not true to type. Consequently people have ended up with sheep much larger in size and thus not suitable for the desired outcome. There was also a lack of general information about Babydolls and breeders were working in isolation from each other. This made it difficult to locate stock for sale.


In 2017, these issues were identified and a group of Babydoll breeders formed the Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association of Australia Inc. (OEBSSAA).


The Association was formally incorporated in 2017. A Facebook page was also developed where members could share information and ask for advice. One of the things identified by our Members as sadly lacking was the ability for the Babydoll sheep to be found in the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders (ASSBA) Flock Book, as we were listed in with the Southdowns and unless you knew what bloodlines to look for, Babydolls could not be found easily amongst the taller Modern Southdowns. It was also apparent that the Southdown had evolved so much to meet the modern meat market that the Babydoll sheep no longer fitted the Southdown Breed Description, so we approached ASSBA for a separate listing.  


Fast forward a couple of years and we have finally been accepted into the Flock Book, as a separate listing, but our name required a change to satisfy both ASSBA and Southdown Australia. And so the Babydoll Sheep Association of Australia Inc (BSAA) was formed.


Shane Foster

President

My wife, Loren and I run Redwaters stud, along with our two “future farmers;" Pippa and Peyton, in the beautiful Adelaide Hills in South Australia.


Redwaters is also home to 10ha of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines in which we run our Babydolls. They are extremely efficient mowers and weeders as well as natural, four-legged fertilizers.


We have been breeding Babydolls since 2019 and started with Hillgrove and Gully Green bloodlines. We currently have 29 Babydolls, including our rams, ewes, lambs and grazing wethers.

Our main market for our Babydolls is for the vineyards and we hope to be able to help other vineyard owners reduce the need for slashing and spraying by introducing Babydolls to their own enterprises.


Janice Evans

Vice-President

My name is Janice Evans, and together with my husband, Chris Evans, own the historic and renowned Babyboll Stud, “Hillgrove.” Chris and I farm at Moama, NSW on our 454ha property.


In 2015 we came across Babydoll Sheep and decided to purchase three ewes and a ram from Murray and Judy Peart, the then owners of Hillgrove stud, and aimed to breed the Babydolls alongside our dorper sheep.


In 2018, Murray and Judy Peart retired and we were offered the opportunity by Murray and Judy to purchase the whole Hillgrove Stud. Our aim now is to increase the number of Hillgrove ewes available and to be actively involved in preserving the unique Babydoll characteristics. There are so few full-blood Babydolls in Australia that it's vital that our breeding program is successful and continues into the future. To do this we use embryo transfer and artificial insemination and in 2019, exported Hillgrove embryos to the European Union (EU). We have had enquiries from New Zealand and South Africa for embryos.


I firmly believe in and support the BSAA as a great resource as it aims to preserve the unique Babydoll characteristics, allows Australian Babydoll breeders to network, seek information and buy and sell new stock.  

Sue Curliss

Secretary

Hi, I’m Sue and I am the Secretary of the BSAA. Geoff and I run Sugargum Farm, in Elaine, a very small town, (read General Store and Pub) between Ballarat and Geelong in Victoria. We have had Babydolls for quite a number of years now and absolutely love their docile natures and teddy bear faces. I guess that is something we all have in common! We started off with six ewes plus one ram and we are now up to over fifty, both purebred and crossbred. Yep, they are as addictive as potato chips!


As a Babydoll breeder I became increasingly disappointed that it was so hard to find any other breeders and equally difficult for interested people to find Babydolls. Our website was getting lots of hits and we were receiving lots of enquiries, but we were still trying to breed up our flock. After going to Shows and checking out the Southdowns, it became very apparent that our Babydoll Southdowns were quite different to the modern version, but we were all listed together. So, I set out to try and change this and found some more breeders, equally passionate and equally like-minded in the resolve to get Babydolls noticed as a Breed. And so began our Babydoll Association.


As well as being Secretary of this Association, I am also the Assistant Editor for Australian Sheep Magazine, which showcases Heritage sheep, another cause for which I am passionate. So between the two and the farm, my life is fairly full of all things “sheep”.


I look forward to working with you all in promoting and enjoying our Babydolls and educating new owners to the joys of these wonderful, little sheep.

Geoff Martin

Treasurer

My name is Geoff Martin and in my professional life I am an accountant specialising in business management which is how I came to be nominated for and accepted the position of Treasurer of the Babydoll Association.


My first involvement with sheep was as a young boy visiting my grandfather’s merino stud in the Monaro region on the NSW/Victoria border. My father did not carry on the family farming tradition and became a school teacher instead so my interest in sheep was not rekindled until moving to Tasmania as an adult and acquiring some stud Corriedales which worked out quite well as my first wool cheque recovered the full cost of the purchase of the sheep. I continued with these until moving to Victoria and sometime later we bought a number of English Leicesters whose fleece we had processed into yarn which we marketed privately.

My partner, Sue and I developed an interest in the smaller breeds and now run Babydoll Southdowns, Miniature Cheviots and Elliottdales on our property at Elaine situated between Ballarat & Geelong.

Chris Evans

Committee Member

My name is Chris Evans, and along with my wife Janice, I farm at Moama, NSW. 


We purchased a couple of Babydoll ewes and a ram from Murray and Judy Peart from Hillgrove Stud at Greenhill in Victoria in 2015 and in 2018 Murray and Judy offered us the opportunity to purchase the whole Hillgrove Stud and Janice and I have been managing this stud since. We have developed a strong interest and passion for these Babydolls and aim to preserve the original features of this type of Southdown. I really enjoy the practical, hands-on work with the Babydolls.


I am a Committee member of the BSAA so that I can better support the BSAA in its important work of increasing awareness of and working for Babydoll sheep and their owners in Australia. 


Sue Lawrence

Committee Member


Sue and her family moved to ‘Antipodes’, a 32ac vineyard in the Coal Valley of Tasmania in 2009. Starting with two lustrous English Leicester ewes from ‘Wanstead Park’, they soon realised that a big breed of sheep was not ideal for running in a vineyard! Using Hillgrove rams, Sue has developed the Antipodes Babydoll Stud; the flock being inspected and registered in 2019. These sheep have proved themselves ideal for a small property. Easy on fences, lethal on weeds, easy doers and easier on the back!


PS: yes, the little tacker tucked into my vest to get him warm and dry did survive!

Jock Calder

Committee Member 

Hullo,

The Calder family have been keeping Babydoll sheep for several years. We have a small property at Longwood in the Adelaide Hills and are also working a property at Lake Plains near Lake Alexandrina at the end of the mighty Murray.


Our Babydolls are used in the vineyard at Lake Plains. They are a joy to work with, calm and eager to follow the jiggling bucket of sheep nuts as we move them from paddock to the vineyard block.


I enjoy the breed and believe they have a part to play in keeping our agriculture on a strong path to diversity.