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, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Southdown_sheep&oldid=918235803, 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. Their body is wide, deep and refined. Not too long from eyes to nose, particularly rams. His work was continued by Jonas Webb of Babraham in Cambridgeshire, who developed the larger animal of today. The fleeces are considered medium-wool type with a fiber diameter of 23.5 to 29.0 microns and a numerical count of 54 to 60. Mature weights for rams range from 190 to 230 lb (86-104 kg); ewes weigh from 130 to 180 lb (59-81 kg). The Southdown is best suited for farm flock production. Shoulders neither too wide nor too narrow and top level with the back. Ribs well sprung. By 1922, the 359 pedigree flocks had shrunk to 245. Characteristics Details of Southdown Sheep: The Southdown Sheep are characterized by being fertile, precocious, with an important frequency of melliferous and they are excellent mothers. They are usually of white color with mouse colored faces.  At the time, their wool was second only to the Hereford sheep in fineness and quality.  Baby Doll breeders claim that their sheep are closer to the original English Southdown than are the commercial Southdown sheep being grown today. Eyes large and bright and clear of wool. When Mock and his associates were searching for the stock to start the new registry, only adult Babydoll sheep, two years and older, were accepted in the flock, so they could be judged against the original conformation standards as verified by a veterinarian. The Southdown raised by commercial growers today, is larger than the "traditional" Southdown of years past. It has been split into two sub-breeds. It is a medium to small sized breed with a gray to mouse-brown face and lower legs and is polled (hornless). The color of their body … One other factor that affected the original bloodlines was that the Southdown could not satisfy the consumer demand for larger meat cuts. During the interwar years, the United Kingdom was known for farm animal breeding, and pedigreed Southdowns were still being exported to most parts of the world, especially New Zealand. The 20th century brought the establishment of pedigree recording. After a four-year search, two small flocks totaling 26 sheep were located; however, this group was not able to provide a sustainable gene pool. However, many of the original attributes for which the original Southdowns were known were bred out. From mature ewes, fleece weights are between 5.0 and 8.0 lb ((2.5 - 3.6 kg) with a yield of 40% to 55%. . This divergence from the original breed standards was the beginning of what later became two distinct lines in the US. Sheep farming declined further after the war, although it is now being encouraged again through the designation of the downland as an environmentally sensitive area, and the restoration of arable land to sheepwalk. Learn how and when to remove this template message, http://www.newzealand.com/travel/media/press-releases/2009/7/food&wine_mini-sheep-mow-vineyard_press-release.cfm. In a pure Southdown flock, with adequate nutritional level, it is expected between 20 … This was significant in the development and mass production of the larger, leggier Southdown of today. North American Southdowns are also taller than their English counterparts. SOUTHDOWN SHEEP QUICK PROFILE OVERVIEW. Neither cow-hocked, nor knock-kneed.  The Southdown breed was originally bred by John Ellman of Glynde, near Lewes, East Sussex, about 200 years ago. [dubious – discuss] The downland soils are chalky and not naturally fertile, so the close-folding by the sheep on small areas manured and trod the soil. Southdown sheep were known as hardy and quick growing, and the quality of their meat was celebrated. During the Great Depression, a severe and prolonged fall in the prices of wool and cereals due to rising volumes of imports from the British Empire was accompanied by the Wet Years - a six-year period of cold, wet weather with little sun. In California and New Zealand By 1911, 359 registered Southdown flocks contained some 114,495 breeding ewes throughout Britain. 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. The Southdown is a small, dual-purpose English sheep, raised primarily for meat. 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. Neck wide at the base and well set on the shoulder. Subsequently, the process of registering lambs from this newly established foundation flock began. 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. In 1937, the number of exported Southdowns reached 459 head. In 1986, a breeder, Robert Mock, began a search for the sheep with bloodlines that conformed to the original Southdowns. 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. Folded flocks were no longer economical and smaller flocks averaged only 135 ewes apiece. 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". The Southdown breed is the oldest of the "down" sheep. It has been split into two sub-breeds. It originated from the native sheep of the region, which were improved beginning in the late 1700s and continuing through the 1830s. Skin pink. 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. Deep over the heart, but not too wide. With the gradual introduction of new crops such as field turnips, swedes, kohl rabi and other forage crops, the folding system took off, increasing in parallel with expanding human population. In the Second World War, the South Downs were commandeered for military training, only fringe farms being left to produce milk for the towns. A good Southdown should catch the eye with its alertness and balanced appearance, displaying the following characteristics: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Southdown Sheep Society, Meens Farm, Capps Lane, All Saints, Halesworth, Suffolk , IP19 0PD, United Kingdom, Articles of Association of the Southdown Sheep Society. Wide, level between the ears with no sign of horn. This meant wheat could be grown successfully the following year. In England, these small Southdowns grew in p… The staple length ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 inches (4-6 cm).. From then until 1939, the registered Southdown flocks numbered around 200. Each sheep's registration application was passed before a board of three members of the soon to be formed Olde English Southdown Registry. These small sheep were know for their extreme hardiness and produced meat with unmatched tenderness and flavor then any other breed of sheep. The system reached its zenith from about 1845 to 1880. Horn of hoof black. The original Southdown breed probably reached the United States in 1803. The American Southdowns were developed by breeding the original bloodlines to larger breeds of Southdowns from other countries to create a sheep that could compete with the other larger meat breeds in the US. They later declined in nearly the same pattern that had occurred in England. Southdown, breed of medium-wool, dark-faced, hornless sheep originating in the Sussex hills … Ears of medium size and covered with short wool. Nose dark, not pink. The principal reason for the large concentrations of Southdown sheep on downland farms over these centuries was their role in the maintenance of soil fertility. One of the oldest of the English breeds of sheep is the Southdown, originating on the South Down hills of Sussex County, England. Mock continued his extensive search, and by 1990, he was able to find a total of 350 of the Southdown sheep that had the original bloodlines, and many of them still carried their original Southdown registration papers recognized by the UK. [dubious – discuss] The large flocks grazed the open downs by day and at dusk they came down to the lower arable land for folding. Wool fine and dense and of even colour, not black, covering the whole body down to the hocks and knees. Not too long from eyes to nose, particularly rams. In the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, they were found in large numbers, especially in the South Downs near Lewes. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep. Gradually surrendering to basic arable farming changes, the Southdown became largely a grassland breed.
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