Southdown sheep is recognized by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as a native breed. The lambs in addition to registering good weights at birth are characterized by having an excellent initial vigor which ensures a low neonatal mortality. This was significant in the development and mass production of the larger, leggier Southdown of today. They have quite unique types of... 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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. From then until 1939, the registered Southdown flocks numbered around 200. [citation needed] At the time, their wool was second only to the Hereford sheep in fineness and quality. 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. Its wool is narrow and is one of the best of all British breeds. [dubious – discuss] The large flocks grazed the open downs by day and at dusk they came down to the lower arable land for folding. Today the breed is popular among the small scale sheep breeders and raised mainly for meat production. The Southdown sheep is a very resistant breed of domestic sheep and is valued primarily for its lambs. The legs should be strong and well plump, long and muscular. These small sheep were known then for their extreme hardiness & produced meat with unmatched tenderness & flavor of any other breed of sheep. Subsequently, the process of registering lambs from this newly established foundation flock began. The original Southdown breed probably reached the United States in 1803. [3][4] Baby Doll breeders claim that their sheep are closer to the original English Southdown than are the commercial Southdown sheep being grown today. The Southdown Sheep often use for crossing with other species to produce more substantial lambs. Gradually surrendering to basic arable farming changes, the Southdown became largely a grassland breed. Mature weights for rams range from 190 to 230 lb (86-104 kg); ewes weigh from 130 to 180 lb (59-81 kg). After this initial review and acceptance period, the "Foundation Flock" registry was closed in 1991. Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep are one of the oldest of the English breeds of sheep, originating back in the 1700’s on the South Down hills of Sussex County, England. As a Reference: Wikipedia. As well as for producing excellent meat. The extremely short members, face, and extremities of pigmented limbs from dark brown to dark gray. 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. [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. The fleece is dense and free of black fibers. North American Southdowns are also taller than their English counterparts. Each sheep's registration application was passed before a board of three members of the soon to be formed Olde English Southdown Registry. 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. 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. On the other hand, the rams are very hard workers and prolific, being able to cover to field up to 50 bellies without difficulty. 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 fleece of secondary value does not exceed 20 kilos.