A lot’s been happening on our farm since I posted a couple of weeks ago about four of our pregnant ewes we hoped would give us black Soay lambs this year. Without further ado, here’s the report on their lambs.
First came Heywood with a stunning set of twins, one medium charcoal grey and the other pitch black. Heywood, you will recall, was solid black as a lamb:
Four days later, Darby also produced a black ram lamb:
Not to be outdone, six days later Vieva produced our third black Soay ram lamb of the year:
Steve and our friend Ida, who you will hear more about in my next post, discuss the genetic implications of having black RBST Soay lambs in our flock, while Vieva’s ram pretty clearly would just as soon they get on with it so he can get back to work exploring his new world:
Truth to tell, we are scratching our heads a bit at these results. Only time will tell whether these lambs will remain solid black and whether they can be characterized genetically as self-colored or whether, like their mothers, they will slowly develop lighter places on various parts of their bodies. You can be sure we will track their growth very very carefully. At this point, we are just delighted to have these little Mendelian “experiments” racing around the play yard as though they were nothing special.
But wait, what about Cley, our fourth British ewe who was herself black at birth? Well, just to prove there’s seldom a dull moment when you are raising Soay sheep, here is her lamb, a beautiful light phase ewe who arrived on Mother’s Day:
Go figure … we are!