Woodland Creek Soay Rams

Woodland Creek Soay Rams
Soay Sheep Ram Assortment

Thursday, April 12, 2007

First lamb of 2007 born at Woodland Creek!

I thought this day was never going to come. All my Soay sheep breeder colleagues have seemingly been having lambs for months. Finally, this morning when I went out at 6:30 to feed the 3 orphan lambs we collected over this last weekend, out stepped Happy Valley Maddie - a smooth, hairy coated dark 'mahogany' NA Soay, and at her heels... a self-colored (that is, solid) black lamb! What a surprise.
Most know that I am breeding for blacks, however Maddie was not considered a contender. Although way back in her pedigree is she has Butu, out of Westwood Zeus, whom I consider to be certainly the origin of much of the s-c black in the PNW NA Soays, I know of know evidence for several preceding generations that they actually passed on hidden s-c black. I must say though, that my speculative hypothesis - that very dark wild pattern NA Soays have a high likelihood of carrying one copy of the recessive s-c agouti gene - is borne out by this birth. (Also supported by Atlas, Basalt, Bella, Fedan, and others).
At any rate - here they are: (Click on photo to enlarge).

The little guy's name immediately popped into my head - Cherokee. (Yes, I know there has been or is a prior Soay in the PNW named Cherokee, but this is MY Cherokee). Woodland Creek Cherokee's sire is the self-colored black ram Deer Park Hjemstad's Thor. You can look up all pedigrees on the OFP if you are interested in such things.

I put Maddie and Cherokee off in a little fresh pasture by themselves, but then let the 3 orphan lambs join them. Who knows, maybe Maddie will adopt one of them. Judging by the size of Maddie's udder (that is, huge) she could easily feed another lamb. Cherokee is eating fine and playing already.

Here are the 3 "weekend orphans" meeting their new playmate.

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