Caring For Babydoll Sheep

You'll invest some good money for your sheep. Doesn't it make sense to be sure all of your care basics are covered? Below are the very minimums needed to successfully care for sheep for their lifetime (up to 14+ years).

Predator Protection

Please don't assume that predators are only in the country or only come out at night. We routinely have coyotes that cross our land at high noon, staring right over at the house. Stray dog packs, mountain lions, bears, coyotes all travel at will - day or night.

Aside from fencing, the best protection is in the form of Livestock Guardian Dogs.

Some people have had success with llamas and donkeys, but nothing beats mature, proven dogs. NOT PUPPIES.

Shelter

According to climate, sheep will need a minimum of a three sided "run-in" shed. In winter, you'll need to have a fully enclosed shed or barn.

Water / Shade

No matter the climate your sheep will need a constant source of fresh water and shade.

Food

Grain specifically for sheep with no copper can be used at weaning and to move your sheep (it's a great motivator).

Foot Care

Hooves should be inspected and trimmed every 3-4 months. You can get great videos on YouTube to show you how to trim them yourself.

Shearing

Shearing needs to be done at least once a year, depending on your climate.

Shearing takes practice and patience - or a professional shearer. Check the internet for shearers in your area. 

Alternatively, check with your local vet or high school Ag teacher for referrals.

NOTE: It's not as easy as it may look!

Hay and 
Fresh Forage

Don't waste money on "fancy" hay. Alfalfa can cause urinary calculi in rams and wethers. 

See what the common horse quality hay in your area is and make sure there's a ready supply when your natural grasses go dormant or are otherwise unavailable.

Veterinary Care

Find yourself a good livestock vet. She or he will be a great source of learning and advice while you learn to shepherd. They will also be there for emergencies should one occur.

Fencing

Fencing is one of the most expensive aspects to owning livestock. While you are planning new or upgrading fences, do it right the first time. Here's what we suggest based on experience:

Minimum 48" 2 x 4' no-climb fencing - either rolled or welded wire cattle panels attached to (at a minimum) t-posts.

Hot wire offset to the outside with a charge that packs a punch. This is needed at top and bottom because one of the most dangerous predators are dogs and dog packs. They tend to dig versus climb.