Wednesday, March 12, 2008

spring lambs

Interesting. I hadn't thought much about spring's color. I was too busy trying to get food into her mouth. Her dam is a two year old, extremely small ewe. The grand-dam is one of my biggest ewes. Donna, the grand-dam is also one of my first ewes. Born 1999. So, is the size of her daughter, Butterfly, because she, Donna, is older? Butterfly is a twin. Is her size related to her dam being older, and competition for a lessed supply of milk?
The fact that Butterfly is so much smaller than her dam, and of her sire.....who was Minwawe strange. Now, her color: Spring looks black compared to her dam, Butterfly....who is Ag grey. Spring is not shiny black, and I have no other lambs to photograph her with. I did check her mouth, and although it is may not be black-black. She is the quietest lamb I have ever seen. Spring was jumping last night, so she is progressing. But when she wakes up, there is no sound.....she simply walks to the fountain and wags her tail. It is possible that Spring was early, her dam being so small may not have had room to gestate any longer.
Questions of color can usually be answered by repeated breeding tests. I don't plan to do repeated breedings. It will depend on grand-dam....Donna. Donna, is bred. If Donna has a live ewe lamb this year.....then Butterfly and Spring can go on together to another breeder. Because I had never kept a ewe lamb for Donna's old age....I kept Butterfly to keep her dam company in her older years. How often do you see dam and daughter walking and eating or sleeping together? If you haven't don't spend enough time with your sheep.
Modified color can be from one modifier or two. I am guessing that dark brown is caused by one. Mioget and Emsket are caused by two. Fawn appears to be a version of Mioget. Is it caused by one modifier, as opposed to two? You figure it out. I can add to the breedings of dark brown by two other test breeders.....dark brown runs in families. There is a difference between the warm colors of shetland black and dark brown.....those differences can only be determined by a breeder having experience with both. What is the difference between the color shaela and the grey color that some warm black/shetland blacks turn at about a year old? I don't know, you test for it. I'm still trying to decide if the facial eye circles that are irregular are caused by mirk-face and not really yuglet patches. Yuglet eye patches should be small and does that happen? What causes the white spots to unmask just a portion of the face?
Well, I may never know. Spring, is my 461st lamb born. You would think I would know everything by now....some breeders appear to know everything after very few lambs born or of reminds me of something else going on right now.


At 2:32 PM, Blogger Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Too funny...I've bred Shetlands and Shetland crosses for 11 years and I'm ALWAYS learning something new! If you're not thinking outside the box, how would you expect your breeding program to keep evolving? And of course some people have never heard of epistatis either...I'm thankful for long winters and plenty of time to self-educate via the net nowadays, that's for sure! Spring lambs, we are all waiting anxiously for your first lamb photos - off to the races again! YIPEEE!


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