Spring has finally arrived here in western Pennsylvania!
Daffodils are beginning to bloom and lambing season is finished. For the most part this year’s lambing season went smoothly.
But there was one big surprise.
An unusual Badger Face ewe lamb was born about 10 days ago.
The ewe lamb is a twin out of two registered Border Cheviot parents. Her sister is white and her mother is one of my oldest ewes.
It’s recessive genetic throwback.
In Border Cheviots there is a recessive gene for black. Sometimes purebred Border Cheviot lambs will be born with a black patch or born completely black.
But an extreme reverse Badger Face?
In over 25 years of breeding Border Cheviots I’ve never seen anything like her before.
In fact when I first saw her, I was left completely speechless and dumbfounded.
My new Badger Face Cheviot lamb is marked similar to that of a Torwen Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep.
Badger Face Welsh Mountain sheep are from Wales, United Kingdom, and come in two distinct types: the Torddu and Torwen.
The Torddu variety is mostly white with a distinctive black underbelly and black eye stripes.
The Torwen is the opposite. They are mostly black with a white or beige colored belly and smaller white eye stripes. The Torddu type is about three times more common than the Torwen and is known as the Badger Face.
Sadly my little Badger Face lamb is being picked on by a couple of the adult ewes.
Because of her coloring she’s not recognized as a natural part of the flock.
Believe it or not sheep do notice color and distinctions. In fact given a choice, sheep prefer to mate with other sheep of their own face color. More than just people are racist.
Her mother is protecting her and doing a pretty good job of keeping her away from the main flock.
Hopefully some of the adult ewes will grow to accept her and she won’t become too over shy.
Just yesterday I noticed she was jumping and playing with some of the other lambs.
So there is hope that all will be well for her.
Because I’m keeping her.