Woodland Creek Soay Rams

Woodland Creek Soay Rams
Soay Sheep Ram Assortment

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A much better lambing result today

When I put my "black and white" Soay sheep breeding group together I noted that the ewe who lost her lamb yesterday (Thumper) was getting the ram's attention the day before her daughter, Athena. True to form, today Athena lambed. First, a photo of Athena, who is so far the most extensively white-spotted self-black NA Soay ewe I've produced, and seen in North America.
Woodland Creek Athena '08
She was mated with WC Yosemite, who was the second-most white-spotted NA Soay ram I've produced / seen. Here is his photo.
Woodland Creek Yosemite '08
Now based upon my theory of white spotting extension (increases with each generation when both parents express white spotting), I expected a pretty white-spotted lamb. When I went out at daybreak, sure enough Athena was in labor, and darned if she wasn't in the same spot, under a shed overhang, as her mother the previous morning. Given the disappearing lamb yesterday, I decided to move her along to the enclosed shed for lambing. She was in long labor (by my experience) - about 2 1/2 hours, and I started to get concerned. Finally a nose and two front feet showed, but Athena was getting pretty worn out, so (for better or worse) I did the James Herriott routine and helped out. Fortunately the little guy (a ram) was alive and so far seems to be doing fine. Presenting, Woodland Creek Bandit, a little ram.
Woodland Creek Bandit -r '10

Since it didn't seem like Athena (first time lambing) was getting the idea of being a mother, and her mother Thumper was pining for her loss, I put them all together to see if Thumper would adopt. Here is a 3-generation shot of Thumper, her 2008 lamb Athena, and Athena's '10 lamb Bandit.
Bandit-r '10, Athena '08, and Thumper '00
Thumper was over her loss and not interested, and eventually Athena got the idea and took to motherhood, so it seems things are on track for a good lambing.

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