Miniature Sheep Cross

HerdNerd#42

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Hello backyard herders!
I have been a genetics nerd for a while, I mostly dealt with coat color genetics in equines. Now I'm interested in miniature sheep, especially Baydoll Southdowns. I would like to know what size the lambs will be when you cross miniature sheep breeds to larger ones, then if the halfbreds are crossed back be together. My goal is to understand if the smallness of the babydoll is a simple dominant/recessive trait or if its governed by multiple genes. Any scientific papers on the subject would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 

ohiogoatgirl

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In my experience it depends on the animals. If you bred a 100# and a 200# the offspring would be around 150#-ish. Sometimes it's a single and the mom has a lot of milk so the offspring is closer to 200#. Sometimes it's a twin and the mom isn't that milky and they are 150 or below adult weight.

Aside from just weight the biggest difference is body type. I have shetlands and shetland-cormo cross. The 50/50 cross ram was hefty from the cormo side and had little ears like a shetland. He didn't look very shetland. A shearer once argued with me he couldn't possibly be anything except a rambouillet cross.
The 50/50 cross ewe was very much a mix of breeds. She was shetland shaped body with the slender legs, angular face, little ears. However, bigger than a pure shetland and heavier fleece. She was like a shetland plus.
The 75 shetland/25 cormo offspring were also 'shetland plus' but a little lighter weight. There was definitely a difference depending on the moms though. The more difference in parents, the wider variety of offspring. You could get the slim shetland body but tall like a cormo. You could get a more hefty body and shorter like a shetland. You could get a more square face or a more slender face.

I don't think it a simple gene, it's a mix of genes and then environmental factors if they grow to the capacity of the genetics.
 
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