Friday, October 24, 2008

A closer look at Franjean...

...after a clarification on poll/horn genetics. I erred in my comments two posts (can I claim jet lag and a head cold?) ago when I said that genetically both Braveheart and Franjean are the same (PP/pp). They ARE the same genetically, but it's written Pp, since they both carry one poll gene (P) and one horn gene (p). We know this because Franjean's sire is a full-poll (PP) - and Franjean has scurs; and Braveheart only has bone knobs but has thrown both scurs and full horns. There may be a gene locus that influences the size and type of scurs, but none of us know that for sure. Certainly Braveheart's little bone knobs are more visually appealing to those of us breeding for polled Shetlands, but both these rams can contribute to a polled breeding program. As Juliann said in her comment: "Us polled Shetland breeders are trying to breed for smooth polled rams, and we have to use 'half polled' (Pp) rams to get there. And many half polled rams have scurs of various shapes and sizes. Pp + Pp + 25% chance of getting PP. We need these scurred rams."

This morning I had a chance to take a closer look at Franjean. While his fleece is weathered and a bit harsh at the tips, the inside has a soft hand and the same lovely shade that Valentine used to be (and still is along her topline). Could he be a fawn gulmoget instead of a moorit gulmoget?

He has a very nice, typey tail - a big plus, but is not as wide or square in the rear as Braveheart - a bit of a minus. Braveheart has proven his ability to pass on good backends, though, so I'm not worried about getting off track there.

I'll have to run another contest next spring to see who comes closest to guessing correctly what this handsome ram gives me for lambs - that is, IF anyone lets him mount!

Inky says, "I'm not much impressed with him - yet."

That's it for now from . . .

6 comments:

Sharrie said...

Inky should be ashamed. One shouldn't treat a new boy with distain. You never know how he might turn out. He looks pretty cool to me. Glad you have returned to your home without incident.

Carol Bator said...

I don't think Franjean would really count as a Fawn color in the sense of being a modified moorit sheep. At least my computer makes him look like a moorit base with weathered tips and maybe some light fibers blended in with the dark fibers. Gulmogets do seem to make a pretty fleece that blends several shades. I think you will have several very cute lambs next spring. I am guessing 6 lambs, all born in April. Three girls and three boys. Any number of color and pattern combinations :)

Kathleen said...

I am just learning about sheep, but I know goats. With a goat, we wouldn't leave the scur in place because it's weak and breaks off, when the goat butts the fence or another goat or whatever. It often causes pain and bleeding. Is it different with sheep?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Carol, everyone might have to add how many gulmogets to their lamb guess to help determine the winner!

Kathleen, it really depends on the scurs. Braveheart's break off regularly, because they just sit on a bone knob. Franjean's are just as solid as a "normal"-horned ram's as far as I can tell; those big, "normal" horns break off sometimes, too!

Franna said...

Wow! Franjean has grown up since he left here just a few months ago. hmmmm, I thought his rear was a bit more square, though. How is he walking?

One, maybe two, of Bessie's 2008 lambs is modified, so Franjean could be Mm. He also has the light sides typical of many gulmogets.

So my guess is 6 lambs: 4 ewes, 2 rams and 4 gullies. :-)
- Franna

Juliann said...

He's built just like Ock. I do wish Ock had a wider hip, but...he has his good points to pass on, too.
A work in progress.
Ock is getting a steely grey color to his fleece overall. I'll have to send some fleece samples to Stephen to see if he thinks it's emsket or something...