Woodland Creek Soay Rams

Woodland Creek Soay Rams
Soay Sheep Ram Assortment

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July Soay Lamb - Another Black and White

Our late lambing season for 2007 continues. We had our second "Black and White" Soay lamb of 2007 on 5-Jul-07. This lamb (genetically, self-colored agouti, Aa/Aa, Dark phase at Brown (that is, black), BB/B?, with white spotting, Ss/Ss) had to be a Black & White since both self-colored and white spotting are recessive, and both parents were homozygous for these traits, hence the lamb had to be also.
The dam, Teed's Cinnamon, is a "3-spot" Black and White. She has a poll spot, a forehead spot, and a spot on the side of her neck. The sire is Woodland Creek Pepper, a 1-spot Black and White. He has a nice white poll spot (see blog entry below for his photo - he is also the sire of our prior Black & White 2007 lamb.
This lamb was a ram, and he has been named Woodland Creek Shoshone. Here he is at about 2 days old, with his dam Cinnamon.

At first, when I saw Shoshone from a distance, I was very surprised to not see more white showing. In fact, it didn't appear that he exhibited any white at all, which should not be, given the parents genetics. Upon close inspection, Shoshone does have white spotting, however, it is restricted to a total of 5 white hairs on the top of his head. One begins to wonder how few hairs reliably designate the presence of white spotting gene.

The other thing that is somewhat unusual, from our lambing experience, was the developed state of Shoshone's horns. Even from a distance, immediately after his birth, I could surmise he was a ram because his horn buds were already very evident (see the photo above - where he is one day old). It will be interesting to see whether this "precocious" horn development translates into any particularly notable features in the adult ram.

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