Babydoll Southdowns

Small Animal Barn Ideas

In our small animal barn will we hold our sheep, rabbits, and baby poultry.  Here are a few barns that I’ve seen that have the shape we are going for.  There will also be a silo to house the water tower right next to the barn.



And below is similar to how the inside of the barn will look.  Nice and cozy.  😀

Planning a Vineyard

We have a hillside picked out for our vineyard and below are some ideas and research we plan to use when we install the trellises, pick the type of grapes, and upkeep the vineyard.

Trellises and Setup

  • GenevaCurtainTrellisRows should never be closer together than the trellis is high.  (Common in MO is 10′)
  • In Missouri, spacing between vines in the row commonly varies from 6 to 8 feet.
  • Many areas of Missouri are windy and it is best to orient the rows so the prevail- ing winds blow down the row and not against it.
  • It is better to orient rows across hillsides or slope than to orient rows up and down to prevent erosion and for more efficient irriga- tion design.
  • Often it is mentioned that rows should be oriented north and south to better intercept the sunlight, but this is not as important a consideration in Missouri as slope and prevailing winds.
  • Geneva Double Curtain provides great support and sunlight to the vines.


  • Mars is a 1985 Arkansas release. It is a blue-black, seedless table grape with medium berry size and small, loose clusters.  Foliage and fruit are less susceptible to the major grape diseases but some spray program will be needed.
  • Sunbelt is a 1993 Arkansas release that has vine and fruit characteristics that are very similar to Concord.  Fruit of Concord can ripen unevenly during warm maturing seasons; Sunbelt is less prone to this. A good spray program is necessary to control disease with Black Rot being a major problem.
  • Catawba is a red grape for table fruit, juice and wine with large berry size and small, loose clusters. A good spray program is necessary to control disease with Black Rot and Downy Mildew being the major problems.  It is typically made into a sweet, blush wine or used in blending.
  • Niagara is a white grape for table use, juice and wine with large berry size and medium, loose clusters.   A good spray program is necessary to control disease with Black Rot being a major problem.
  • Reliance is a 1982 Arkansas release. It is a red, seedless table grape with medium berry size and medium to large, loose clus- ters.  A good spray program is necessary to control disease with Black Rot and Anthracnose being the major problems.

Natural Disease Prevention

  • Preventive sprays with a 1-part-milk to 5-parts-water solution can minimize powdery mildew.
  • Treat black rot with regular sprays with organic, copper-based fungicides, even if the variety is disease-tolerant. Microbial fungicides based on Bacillus subtilis (such as Serenade) can also offer significant protection.
  • Tulle netting can help protect plants from hungry birds.
  • To prevent black rot raise your grapes higher than 1.5 meters to prevent evaporation from the soil to reach leafs.
  • To prevent black rot dissolve 4 tsp. of baking soda into one gallon of water. Pour mixture into spray bottle. Spray over grapes and vines as soon as the fruit starts to grow. Use it once a week for the entire grape growing season.


Sheep for Weed and Grass Maintenance

  • Do not use sheep in blocks of young vines or blocks with a lot of replants. You can protect replant vines with vine guards, but ensure they cover the full height of the sheep’s reach i.e. 0.9 to 1.2 metres. You may have to stack one guard above another to cover this height. 
  • Using sheep in areas that may cause them stress is not recommended – this includes residential areas with dogs, near wineries with a lot of traffic/people moving around, or areas with inadequate shade. 
  • Be careful not to let sheep into areas that contain shrubs and plants that may be poisonous to them as ewes will eat anything when hungry.

Best Breed of Sheep for Vineyard Care


Babydoll Southdown Sheep

sheep vineyard

Romney Sheep

Sources: Growing Grapes in Missouri, Homemade Green Pest ControlA guide to using sheep for leaf-plucking in the vineyard