Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pippi lambs

Pippi had a lovely set of ewe lambs on the morning of 4/14. A 7.5 lb white ewe with a lot of brown spotting (phaeomelanin) and a 7.5 lb. black/grey spotted ewe. Finn is the sire, so he throws spotting. The Phaeomelanin gene causes some color in the fleece, face and legs of white sheep. This gene allows the wool follicle to produce a pigment called Phaeomelanin which has been described as tan, yellow or sometimes red. It is seen frequently on the head, legs and tail of white sheep. When present it gives the fleece a cream or light tan appearance. If there is a lot of this Phaeomelanin pigmented fiber in the fleece. Lambs born with an abundance of this red fiber look rusty color at birth, however the pigment fades with age in the fleece. The head and leg continue to exhibit the red color. Pippi is a very protective mother, and the lambs look great!

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