We finally got some rain here last week. The temperatures are still above normal, but they are somewhat less oppressive than they have been. I guess 90 (ish) degrees feels more tolerable after you have been living with 100 (ish) degrees for a while. Even the animals seem much more comfortable and the pastures look as though they will turn green once again.
I have been evaluating ram lambs, as well as taking a closer look at the ewe lambs that I am keeping. I need to make some decisions about which ones I will take to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival to show, and which of the ram lambs I need to sell. I have found a few surprises in my little lambies...good surprises, mostly.
I have a lot of sheep in my flock that carry modified color genetics, so I expect some surprises in color variation from time to time, but this year I have some crazy colors going on. The sire to most of these lambs was Firth of Fifth Avyt, who has a lot of modified genetics in his pedigree as well.
Remember these guys? Apollo and Thor.
When I parted the white spots on his fleece, I was surprised to find streaks of modified black underneath. Very strange.
Under the moorit spots ( moorit = brown for my non-sheepie readers), I found light mioget...that's not unusual, but.......
........under the white spots are variations of modified moorit.
This is what a sample of the white spots look like. White tips with shades of modified moorit in the middle and then back to white at the skin...it's like fleece Candy Corn...only non-edible....weird!
Now I was curious as to what some of the other lambs' fleeces were looking like.
Remember this guy? This is Pegasus, he was born with very straight fleece that looked like dog hair.
Well....not any more!
This is a sample of his fleece.
AND...it's a little hard to see in this picture, but he is modified as well, he will be Shaela. He only has a very small white spot on his chest, so I can't tell if he has the same color changes as the other lambs under the white. But his black is definitely changing.
Even his ears are kind of funky!
This is Athena, she was the last lamb born this year, so she is quite a bit smaller than some of the others.
So far there isn't much change under her moorit spots, but as I mentioned, she is younger by almost a month, and her fleece hasn't grown as much as the others yet.
But, there is a lot going on under her white spots!
I am certain that her fleece will change at the skin like the boys have, but it will be fun to see what it does.
So far those are the lambs with obvious changes, and those are all 'keepers'.
I have been watching this guy ( Helios) and he hasn't changed much. He looks slightly lighter at the skin, but there is not enough change in him yet to definitively say that he is modified. He is also out of Avyt. Helios is on my 'For Sale' page on this blog.
OK, so all you color genetics fanatics, what's the deal with the on again, off again color situation??
Side note; there are no ag genes at work here.
Discuss amongst yourselves...but hurry, I have to figure out what to register these babies as.
I will check some of the other lambs this week.