Anybody know the Genetics behind Wiltshire\Blackshire Coloration?

Lizzy733

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Hello All,

I've only just started flipping my flock over to shedding sheep, starting out with 3 Wiltshire ewe bottle babies and have just decided to add in 2 Blackshire ewe lambs as well.

Is there anyone here that has a firm understand of how the black coloration gene works? From my understanding, it sounds like a true black wiltshire is a sport of two white parents and super rare, while most on the market will be a diluted cross, explaining their sheds sometimes being less than perfect. I'm just assuming the girls we are getting would be in the latter category considering the scarcity that seems to surround a genuine black Wiltshire.

Does anyone know the genetics behind the black\white fleece and what percentages can be expected in offspring under various cross situations?

Ex: white\white x white\white producing 100% white lambs
Etc etc ..

Is there a recessive or dilute at play? Are there any discolorations in whites that may indicate a recessive black gene through leakage? I am a nerd at heart and really curious if we run these black girls with a white ram, what we can expect from the offspring and vice versa if we run a black ram over our white ewes.

If anyone is in the know on this, do share.
 

purplequeenvt

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I don’t know anything about Wiltshire/Blackshires, but in most breeds of sheep, the white gene is generally dominant over the black one. There are lots of other genetics involved though.

I have white and natural colored Border Leicesters. White is dominant to black, but all my white sheep are black carriers so while usually I get white lambs from white parents, I sometimes get a black one. With my black ewes, bred to a black ram I get probably 90% black lambs. Bred to a white ram, I get around 75% black.
 

Margali

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I've been researching this for my sheep. Thread https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/hair-sheep-color-genetics.43699 has all my resources.

In a nutshell BASE is the 4 color genetic loci: (Brown or black), (Aguouti ie pattern), (Spotting), (Extension). The white "pattern" is Aguouti loci is HIGHLY dominant. So finding two sheep that don't have that is hard.
 
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