Losing Dark Pigment?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by YuccaFlatsRanch, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,649
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hill Country, Texas
    If you said the hair/wool changed color I'd say it could be your lamb. If it is the skin color, you've been switched.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,085
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Hardly we have wonderful black lambs that loose much of their skin colour as described. Frustrating for sure.
     

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,649
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hill Country, Texas
    Dark to all pink though?? I'd have tattoo'd the lambs ear when I bought him/her to be sure. All of my registered / registerable lambs are tattoo'd by 2 days old in the jug anyway. That way I know who is who - even years later. My tattoo tells me Mom, Dad, month and year born and who I though was best in that lambing.
     
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,781
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I would agree with Yucca Minnikin. Wool colour may fade or disappear but skin pigmentation definately does not. If your lamb was born with a black or brown nose, it should still have a black nose.

    May I ask if you paid for and accepted this lamb - I hope not because you have been ripped off.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  5. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    Thanks for the replies. You folks are really becoming great and valued friends!

    I paid big for the lamb, but did not take her.

    I am pleased with the one I chose to replace her, so I don't feel ripped off.

    I guess I need to learn more about tatooing>
    I'm going to do a search for old threads, and if there isn't info already here, I'll start a new thread for THAT topic.... :)
     
  6. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    My Bluefaced Leicesters do just the opposite. Some of the ones born pink or blotchy turn dark blue during their first year. Some of the color seems to be light sensitive, in that they get darker in the summer.

    Since the person replaced the lamb with one that you are happy with, I'd not make a big deal out of it. Gosh, you picked it out at birth, it changed, the seller replaced it with another one that you are happy with - what more is expected? I'd say you've found a good place to buy breeding stock.... not a place to avoid in the future! :shrug:

    Lisa at Somerhill
    www.somerhillfarm.com
     
  7. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    I wasn't planning to make an issue of it at all, other than the fact that I need to use it as a learning experience.

    I'd never seen a case of pigment vanishing in any other animal, with the exception of a dog I had whose black nose faded to liver over about a year's time.
    But in this case, a white sheep with dark black outlining the eyes and a dark nose changed 2 1/2 months later to nearly albino pink everywhere.
    I want to give the benefit of the doubt but I also wanted to know what others have experienced, so I asked.

    And I've just learned that I will not buy an umarked lamb next time, and then there will be no doubts.







     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,085
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Certainly mark or tag it, my disappearing pigment was on a Rideau Arcott Xbred lamb, 2 months in the sunny yard and it was a white/pink faced lamb. (and yeah all my lambs are tagged)
     
  9. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,649
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hill Country, Texas
    We use a 6 digit tatto pliers with the same type of letters and numbers used to tattoo rabbits. At about 2 days old, I dock tails and tattoo ears as well as other vet activities needed.

    First position is the first letter of Moms registered name. Second position is first letter of sires name. next positon is year number such as 6 for 2006. next two positions are month, and last positon is choice of rams (1,3,5) or ewes (0,2,4).

    A ram borne to Sugar Daddy and Xena, in January 2006 would be XS6011.
    His sister born would be XS6010. An additional sister would be XS6012.
     
  10. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,108
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Washington State
    I suspect that there may be breed differences that one may need to factor in. Minn, you're into icelandics, right? Here's a yahoo list that you can post the question to. Being that this was my first lambing year, I can't answer whether or not there may be pigment change, but certainly folks who've been raising them for years may have some insight. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/icelandicsheepfarmsNWUSA/

    Glad the breeder offered you another lamb. I always like to give folks the benefit of the doubt; could have been an honest mix up with a pair of similar looking lambs, she may have thought you'd asked for the one she presented you with :shrug: It's good that she had another that you're happy with!
     
  11. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    I agree that wool color can change but your right, the pigment your speaking of would darken, not lighten. I would be disapointed too, it can make all the difference in fitting a breed standard if the pigment is not on the nose and eyelids.
    I have learned a lesson from your post...mark an animal when purchased for identification...
    Glad it all worked out in the end!
     
  12. ShortSheep

    ShortSheep Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    Skin pigment can indeed change if the sheep has inherited the agouti allele (Ag) at the pattern locus. Black skin can fade to light grey, brown skin can fade to a light oatmeal color or pinkish color. The agouti trait is dominant to "non-fading" (Aa).
    You said the pigment was "dark"...dark black or dark brown? Any evidence of light muzzle, eye rings, or seasonal fluctuation in wool and face color in the sire and dame?
     
  13. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    I only have a photo of her in her first days, but it appears the pigment was
    dark brown, and the nose was not entirely dark.
    The dam is 2 years + and has black pigment, although it is not continuous around her eyes, it has breaks in it. She has dark spots here and there on her ears and head. These don't seem to fluctuate seasonally. Both dam and lamb have light hooves. I can't remember what the sire had, though.
     
  14. ShortSheep

    ShortSheep Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    Minn, could you share photos of both the lamb and the dame?