vendredi 22 juin 2007

Colour Inheritance


Given that the breed standard allows for a number of different colours and at the recent show noisettes ( nut brown) and any other colour had their own class I was pondering the specifics of colour inheritance. White is dominannt surprising then that so few white Ouessant sheep seem to be available in Holland where there appears to be a slightly higher predominance of Browns with Blacks being the ever present largest colour variety. Here in France finding a good brown Ouessant seems to be a very hard thing to come by. I am told by a man in the know that there are now a number of greys around but as yet they are still a rare sight.

So I eagerly await the arrival of the new little boy whose parents are both white and have produced soley whites for the last few generations. Little Gwenaelles ( white ewe lamb) exact genetic inheritance remains to be determined but it seems that the next couple of years should bring some interesting colour combinations both nice to look at and definately of added interest to spinners. A good link to help understand the inheritance of colour and the genetic background is here Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders association of Australia.

I will also have to explore Rosies potential for producing colour variations she has an interesting colour fleece.

The Ouessant Sheep originates from the island of Ouessant, part of a tiny archipelago just off the north coast of Finistere, Brittany. The island of terror as it was known to some, was swept by the full force of the atlantic’s weather, the hardy sheep adapted to survive on poor grazing from salty clifftop meadows. It was the women of the island that raised the sheep, renowned for their black wool to weave into cloth known locally as berlinge and their meat with its sweet and delicate taste.

La race "Mouton d'Ouessant" est originaire de l’île d’’Ouessant qui fait parti d’un petit archipel au large du Finistère, Bretagne. L’île de l'épouvante comme c'était connu par certains était balayé par les intempéries de l’atlantique, ces moutons rustiques s'adaptaient à survivre sur les pâturages pauvres des falaises salées. C’était les femmes de l’île qui élevaient les moutons réputés pour leur laine noire à tisser « la berlinge » une étoffe régionale et leur viande avec un goût doux et délicat.

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