Friday, June 13, 2008

Learning new genes-- for Horns and Modified color

Hi everyone,
I am one lazy blogger -- or one busy shepherd, this spring. You'd think I didn't have sheep to sell, I've been so reluctant to post information! I DO, so if you need sheep or lambs, email me!
But right now, I'm puzzling on colors and horn types that cropped up in this years' lamb crop.

One handsome lad, the first born, who has a modified (fawn? mioget?)golden color --
He is a twin out of Justalitl Sarah, my fawn ewe-- but the dad was not my mioget ram, FirthofFifth don Telmo Bourbon-- he was my best fleece/tiny horn guy, Little Red Oak Mullein.
So what gives? I wonder. 'Splain to me these horn genetics and these modifieds. . . because it sure looks like he's got the tiniest little horns coming I ever saw in a 7-week old ram. I knew his dad had tiny horns-- and I still don't know if they are "scurs" or just "teacup" horns or "aberrant" horns-- they should teach a class. I know, I AM a member of the Yahoo group about Polled Genetics, and I'm doing my best to "get" it.

Soooo.... here's a picture of several rammies last April, woefully unclothed after shearing. This is AFTER they remembered each other without their fleeces, and were on speaking terms again. ;-) There's a lot of head-butting until then. You can see Mr. Mighty Horns, LRO Alex; a nice brown (moorit) boy with normal enough horns, and third, Mullein, the guy with the not-so-hot but maybe that's good- horns. His right (our left) horn broke the tip off when he was younger.

I throw in this post-shearing picture to show the difference between a mature moorit ewe, in the middle, Sheltering Pines Ferah, contrasted with the mature fawn ewe, Justalitl Sarah, on right. Really pale color at the skin. And some light hairs on her nose-tip, something I've seen on another modified ewe Kim Nikolai brought me, Bramble Bess.

Finally, I just cave for these little white lambs I got this year. This is Little Red Oak Elwood, out of Bramble Elsie and LRO Mullein. He's handsome, don't you think?

See you next week, when I really , really need to talk about which sheep need new homes!