Genetics

catchall for all things genetic

Happy Birthday, Hank!

Happy Birthday, Hank!

We occasionally pause in our lives as Soay shepherds to celebrate notable anniversaries or milestones, this time the eighth birthday of our guardian llama Hank, and to recall how dumb, and dumbfounded, we were when he arrived on our farm. Let me explain. Shortly after we began our heritage sheep adventure, we fell heir to […]

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Soay lamb gender split, 2015 edition

Soay lamb gender split, 2015 edition

Regular readers will remember that I went through lambing last year in self-absorbed agony, tracking the percentage of ewe versus ram lambs on a daily basis, reporting weekly here, and generally fussing over something entirely out of my control. Talk about unproductive fretting! Did I learn my lesson? Nope. But this year the results started […]

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What will my Soay lambs look like when they grow up?

What will my Soay lambs look like when they grow up?

Kate, a first-time Soay breeder, called me excitedly the other day to announce the arrival of her very first British Soay lamb and sure enough, she wanted to know what the furry little creature will look like when it grows up. Has any new Soay breeder not wondered what her lambs will look like as […]

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Fun with skewbalds: extensive white spotting in Soay sheep

Fun with skewbalds: extensive white spotting in Soay sheep

The third in a series of posts about white spotting. Part I addressed a series of questions about the frequency of white spotting in Soay sheep, whether skewbald is “normal” in Soay, and whether breeders should try to get more or less white spotting in their flocks. Part II presented extensive lambing data in an […]

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White spotting in Soay sheep:  twinks and carrier status

White spotting in Soay sheep: twinks and carrier status

The second in a series of posts about white spotting. The first addressed a series of questions about the frequency of white spotting in Soay sheep, whether skewbald is “normal” in Soay, and whether breeders should try to get more or less white spotting in their flocks. Apology and Caution: following contains excessive amounts of […]

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White spotting in Soay sheep

White spotting in Soay sheep

Over the last few months, we have received a number of questions about white spotting, one of the most visible traits in British Soay sheep. I have to admit I never gave much thought to spotting until now; it was just there in our flock. But worried Soay sheep colleagues sooner or later worry me, […]

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