Unique Lamb Colors

January 18, 2018

We just had the cutest little buddy born on the farm. He has very unique coloring - which reminded me of a little lamb born many years ago that had similar coloring.  This is Oak, born about a week ago to Princess Celestia. His twin brother is a standard black and white dorper looking ram.

From my experience, as he ages, that tan color will fade and be difficult to distinguish, but he's handsome all the same.

 

So I dug through my pictures to find other unique colors we have had over the years. We have had 243 lambs born on the farm, and aside from white, black and black and white - here are the few unique colorings we have seen over the years.

 

 Strawberry Shortcake was the first tri-color lamb we had ever had. She was born to Betty in 2011. Her sister, Blueberry Muffin was standard black and white. I really wanted to keep her to breed with her, but alas, her and her sister GREW HORNS! I did not want females with horns on the farm, so we did not breed with them. 

 

We've had two others with this stripey pattern, just recently. Han Solo and Ben Solo.

 Han Solo is pictured here with R2D2. R2's light brown coloring is also unique. It's not unheard of - we do have a ewe, Meg, who is this color. However, R2D2 did not come from her - but from Dancer, who is black and white. Han came from Sharon - my triplet maker - she is mostly black, as were her other two lambs in that batch.

 

This is Ben Solo, born to Princess Leia just back in December. He looks a lot like Han! (Han is not his father!)  The ram was likely C3PO who was almost all black.

 

 

Meg, our brown mama, did have a brown lamb this year, Cedar. I expect to see this coloring from her, for sure!

 

Let's take a look in the past...

 

 I think Curly Sue was our first light brown colored lamb. These colors do tend to fade as they age. She was born to Marcia in 2010.

 

 

 The Little Red Haired Girl (all brown) and Sally were born shortly after Curly Sue. They were born to Cindy. Sally had just a bit of brown on her face and ear.

 

This is Captain Caveman, who was born to Angel. He was born in 2011. We didn't see much color again until the last few years.

 

 Cindy had little Oola last year. We did keep here as a ewe. Her coloring has faded and she really just looks like she's a very light tan next to her white ewe friends. Oola did have a tan lamb this year, but it was born still and is not with us. Poor, Oola! I hope she has better luck next time. That reminds me that Juno and Sharon also had light brown colored lambs that did not survive for failure to thrive.  

 

 R5D4 was born a year ago, as well, to Angel.

 

 This is Padme (all black) and Queen Amidala, they were born a year ago to Hattie. Queen Amidala's light brown patches faded quite a bit as she got older.

 

 Obi Wan was born last year to Freckles, and he just had a little bit of brown markings on one ear and near his mouth.

 

 Poe was born to Sharon just in December, and only has a bit of tan on his face.

 

So it looks like the 2010 and 2011 lambs had a bit of a color infusion - the ram at that time is unknown - likely we had a few ram lambs that could have done the trick, but none of them would have been colored. We haven't really seen any unique colors again until 2017. Wow! Rams are picked more for their size and temperament than their color. We'll see how well Oak grows and behaves and maybe he'll get a chance to be a papa ram.

 

So all in all, out of 243 lambs, 18 lambs are showing unique and unexpected coloring. That's a little over 7% of all our lambs. Since we change rams each year, it's hard to track it back specifically to a certain ram or even breed of the ram. I do see some repeat performers - of course, we expect this from Meg as she is brown herself. But Cindy, Angel and Sharon have done this more than once. Cindy is no longer with us, but we do have Oola, her daughter - and Princess Celestia - who we started this article with, is Cindy's Granddaughter through Pebbles. So maybe we will continue to see unique coloring from some of our mamas!

 

 

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