Canada Reopens Border to Sheep Imports
Good news for all the Babydoll breeders for 2010!
Canada has reopened the border for the import of sheep. It has been closed since the "Mad Cow" disease outbreak. There are currently ten Babydoll breeders in Canada. The largest of these breeders has a flock of ten that was just exported to Canada. We have not promoted our sheep in Canada for many years. The Registry has just placed an advertisement in Canada's "Small Farm Magazine." This gives access to the website and breeder listings to 50,000 readers. It is a bi-monthly magazine, and the advertising will appear in the March/April 2010 issue.
To place an individual advertisement or for a sample copy, write to:
Small Farm Canada
Muricio Bingham, Sales Manager
4623 Williams Head Road
Victoria, BC V9C 3Y7
Although Canada has many breeds of sheep that we do not have in the States, Babydolls are the only miniature sheep that fits the small acreage farmer.
To learn the requirements for exportation of sheep to Canada, call your State and U.S. Departments of Agriculture for details so that you are prepared if you receive a customer call from Canada.
There has been a renewed interest in the Babydolls for organic weeders in vineyards, fruit and nut orchards, and berry farms. People were up from Australia last spring and came out to visit with Mr. Mock, and they stated that there has been a lot of interest in both Australia and New Zealand (see Reuters article from New Zealand). The visitors said that there are only 45 genetically pure examples of the Original Southdown breed left in Australia. They plan to work with their government to see if it would be possible to import embryos and semen. Import of living stock has been prohibited there for years.
Babydolls are also used in California to weed the banks of rice paddies. Some breeders rent their sheep to the vineyards for the summer months to weed. The vineyards, orchards, etc. must have secure fencing against predators, must plant the grazing areas with field grass that the sheep will readily eat, and must not use pesticides. Stocking density is around 10 adult sheep per acre, and sheep are rotated between different areas. The sheep are usually corralled at night and are provided with mangers full of a good grade grass hay.