Hermaphrodite sheep ?

Is she a hermaphrodite?

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Chickapalooza

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Yesterday we bought a group of sheep and one I believe is a hermaphrodite. Chimera, as she has been dubbed, has female genitalia, pees squatting down, and has no interest in breeding other ewes, and yet she has large horns, a mane, and is bigger than all the other ewes we got. she is a painted desert sheep.
9C4CE1B8-6BEB-40B3-82CD-42C6AFCC2AFD.jpeg
chimera by herself
0E8A14A5-978D-4547-B25B-C83BC390D59B.jpeg
chimera next to ram
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chimera next to ewe
 

Chickapalooza

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Well she is certainly interesting. So what are you going to do with her?
Keep her for now. Depending upon how much it costs, we might get blood work done to get extra confirmation but she’s not normal. One of the suggestions I got was that it might be a hormonal imbalances but this feels too over the top to be it. She acts normal but does not look the part. Hermaphroditism is supposedly very rare in sheep so she’s pretty one of a kind.
 

NEWCOMER

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I have four sheep two ewes to rams...one of which is castrated.
...

I have never seen anything like this before. But if she can breed and is healthy l would keep her. Still, let me know what you end up doing with her!
 

farmerjan

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The ewe is not that much bigger than the one she is standing next to from the angle I am looking at. I'd like to see her next to several of the others for comparison. We have White Texas Dall sheep. Big horns like your Painted Mountain have. We have had a couple females with more extensive developed horns, and some extra "mane" hair - we call them bibs -
I would first see if she breeds. If so, then there is no big deal. If not, then it is time to either do testing or keep her as a "guardian/pasture ornament"....or cull her.
We tend to get better horns on the ram lambs out of the "better" horned females. We have 3 bloodlines that we are trying to "make" a better animal. One has fantastic horns and terrible feet, decent worm resistance; One line has mediocre horns and very good feet, fair worm resistance; One line has real good horns, decent feet, and terrible worm resistance. We are trying to breed the better worm/parasite resistance in with real good horns and good feet. Long process. Being in a "wetter" area than what these may be better suited to, the feet are important. But since we sell the rams to a hunting preserve, got to have good heads. And barber pole worms are the scourge here so we are trying to get them to be more resistant and not needing constant worming.
They are attractive sheep.
 

Ridgetop

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The ewe is not that much bigger than the one she is standing next to from the angle I am looking at. I'd like to see her next to several of the others for comparison. We have White Texas Dall sheep. Big horns like your Painted Mountain have. We have had a couple females with more extensive developed horns, and some extra "mane" hair - we call them bibs -
I would first see if she breeds. If so, then there is no big deal.
Like Farmerjan says, different sheep have different body types. She has a feminine appearance in body. Rams would have a much heavier thicker neck. They also have a different body shape. Can you get a picture of her with a true ram so we can see any similarities?

Since you are just going by her outward appearance - size, horns and mane, I would not anticipate hermaphroditism. Since you have not tried breeding her yet, that assumption is a bit premature. If after a year of constant exposure to the ram and breeding, she does not conceive, then you might consider that possibility.

Outward appearance is misleading I know nothing about painted desert sheep. Are you sure that your other ewe is not just on the small side? She is a pretty ewe and looks completely feminine to me.

Hermaphrodites are uncommon in any species I have seen 2 definite hermaphrodite goats in 35 years. I physically examined them to determine the condition. One belonged to my daughter and another to a different 4-Her. Both has vestigial penises inside the vulva. One had a testicle up in the body cavity. They were both culled for meat.

It is easy to check her to see if she is a hermaphrodite. She should have 2 sets of genitalia.

To examine her, you need to turn her up on her butt so you can examine her external sex organs closely. Although she has a vulva, pull the lips apart and often there will be a vestigial penis inside. Don't get kicked. Often a hermaphrodite will have a testicle on one or both sides that are up inside the body cavity. You will be able to feel one inside the groin area on either side of where the buck's penis would have been. It will feel like a large swollen gland. If there are no testicles to be felt, you can't find the vestigial penis, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY SHE WON'T BREED OR SETTLE then she might be a hermaphrodite. Then you can do the blood work. Since blood work will be expensive, I would go ahead and breed her and see if she produces lambs before doing any expensive tests.

The true test of hermaphroditism is the inability to breed, conceive, or produce young. Until then you have a very pretty ewe of good stature with a good set of horns. She should produce pretty lambs. And going by Farmerjan's experience - the horns on her ram lambs should be nice.
 

Wyndsong

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Yesterday we bought a group of sheep and one I believe is a hermaphrodite. Chimera, as she has been dubbed, has female genitalia, pees squatting down, and has no interest in breeding other ewes, and yet she has large horns, a mane, and is bigger than all the other ewes we got. she is a painted desert sheep.View attachment 85580chimera by herselfView attachment 85581 chimera next to ramView attachment 85582chimera next to ewe
Is she a cross breed? I'm looking at the Painted Desert Sheep Society website and they say that ewes that are cross breeds may get horns. Whatever she is, she's a beauty!! I may decide on getting this breed instead of the Katahdin when I'm ready for sheep!
 

farmerjan

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@OneFineAcre ; good to see you posting... how are things in your part of NC? Going to show any goats this year? Do you still have that one.... maybe "Zambia" ???? was her name.... She was getting up in age a bit but still was a real nice looking goat... and you know that I am not a big goat person... but she was nice....
Still got the "habit" kicked???? Been what 3 years?
 

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