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who's the daddy? - cute lamb photos  RSS feed

 
r ranson
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I woke up this morning and found this...
lamb.JPG
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new-lamb.JPG
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r ranson
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So, I completely got my dates wrong and I thought for sure they weren't pregnant.  Boy, did I get that wrong. 

As my ram left at the end of January, we could have lambs as late as early July.  Ohh, how exciting! 

Then again, my ram was black, 3 parts black welsh mountain and one part Icelandic with a very long and delicate face.  This baby girl looks suspiciously like Larry (our would be wether with one ball and is growing his own sack and was doing piggy back rides with the girls far more than our ram ever did).  She's got the broad face and aeroplane ears just like Larry.  Hmmm... I'll see if I can fetch some photos for comparison.  Now I'm curious who the father is.
 
r ranson
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Who's the daddy?

This is Larry,



and attached is the best photo I have of the ram.  He was a tiny, delicate boned creature.  The photo doesn't do his long, thin snout justice.

See how Larry's ears go out flat to the sides, whereas the ram's ears were very upright.
ram-and-larry.JPG
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Hester Winterbourne
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So far as I am aware blackness in sheep is recessive.  This means you should not get a white lamb from mating two black sheep.  Therefore I accuse Larry the so-called wether.  One ball is perfectly sufficient to make lambs with!

For future reference, Larry looks a bit big boned to be mating to your little black ewes...
 
Travis Johnson
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You never know with sheep what you will get with color.

I had an all white ram, mate with and all white ewe, and give twins: one is 100% white with not a blemish on her and another that was 100% black with not a blemish on her either! That was a curiosity, but since we witnessed the birth, there is no question what occurred and with whom! Both ended up being bottle-lambs so we ended up giving them names instead of numbers...Salt and Pepper.

We have a few more that could lamb, but most likely lambing season is over for us. It started late this year (January) and yet it was a really good one; a very low mortality rate this year, very robust lambs, and only 7 sheep that did not lamb out, so we are happy. We just put them out on pasture on Tuesday so things are a lot more quiet now with the work load.
 
Hester Winterbourne
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Travis Johnson wrote:You never know with sheep what you will get with color.

I had an all white ram, mate with and all white ewe, and give twins: one is 100% white with not a blemish on her and another that was 100% black with not a blemish on her either! That was a curiosity, but since we witnessed the birth, there is no question what occurred and with whom! Both ended up being bottle-lambs so we ended up giving them names instead of numbers...Salt and Pepper.


Ah but you see that happens because black is recessive.  So both parents were carrying a "black" gene but it didn't show up in them.  Only when a lamb of theirs happened to inherit both black genes did it show up as black fleece.  If you bred them hundreds of times, you would on average end up with 25% black lambs, but like flipping a coin, you could well breed ten lambs and none of them be black, so you would never know that the parents were carrying the black gene.  Your white lamb from the mating could be carrying it, or she might not.

But it can't happen the other way round, i.e. two black sheep have a white lamb, because if either of them had the gene for "white" it would dominate and they would be white.  If I'm right and black is a classic recessive gene.  Unless it was a point mutation.  But that lamb does look huge so my money is still on Larry!
 
r ranson
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I read that with the modern sheep breeds, the colour gene is mendelian (your standard single gene with a simple on/off switch - making for easy to recognise recessive and dominant traits), but with some of the older European breeds like the Finn descendants and Black Welsh Mountain, the colour is dependent on several different genetic factors, so it's not as simple as saying Black is receive.  At least that's what I read (in two different books).  I don't know enough about genetics to say if it's true, but it does match my personal experience.

We started with a Black Welsh Mountain and 3/4 Black Welsh Mountain 1/4 Southdown Ewes (all pitch black) and a black, Icelandic Ram.  About 1/4 came out all black, 1/2 patchy white and black, and 1/4 white (with black hooves). It was a small sample size, not enough to say there is a pattern, only to say that black isn't recessive in this flock.

 
Hester Winterbourne
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R Ranson wrote:
We started with a Black Welsh Mountain and 3/4 Black Welsh Mountain 1/4 Southdown Ewes (all pitch black) and a black, Icelandic Ram.  About 1/4 came out all black, 1/2 patchy white and black, and 1/4 white (with black hooves). It was a small sample size, not enough to say there is a pattern, only to say that black isn't recessive in this flock.



Hurrah for unpredictability!  I'm quite happy to be proved wrong!

But I still think Larry's the dad... he has a twinkle in his eye.
 
r ranson
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Hester Winterbourne wrote:

But I still think Larry's the dad... he has a twinkle in his eye.


I suspect the cigar he was puffing on yesterday might be a clue. 

Oh but seriously, this little lamb has all the best of his personality. 
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Way to go, Larry! 🎶Ewe make me feel like dancing...🎶 Hoot! Hoot!
 
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