Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Coloured ryeland X white ryeland lamb colour  (Read 845 times)


  • Joined Jun 2016
Coloured ryeland X white ryeland lamb colour
« on: April 24, 2019, 05:03:28 pm »
So today we had a horrendously difficult birth for our only Ryeland ewe. Presented with 1 leg back and was incredibly wedged. Vet came, at which point the head was swollen, tongue cold and blue, and we feared the worse. After placing ewe in every position imaginable, we finally got the lamb out and amazingly it was alive.

Now, to confuse matters, I've been particularly looking forward to this lamb as it's my only ryeland lamb, we used a coloured ryeland tup on our white ryeland and a few Shetlands, and was expecting a coloured lamb. However, it is white! Can this happen? Or has something sneaky crept in? It certainly looks like a ryeland lamb! Although its head is still pretty swollen.



  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Coloured ryeland X white ryeland lamb colour
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 07:07:23 pm »

So glad your lamb and ewe had a happy outcome  :)

I had a coloured Ryeland ram and both coloured and white ryeland  ewes..

Lambs were born majority white from both coloured and white ewes, was quite disappointed

That's how it goes, maybe the white lamb will carry a coloured gene ?


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Coloured ryeland X white ryeland lamb colour
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 12:42:36 am »
Colour in many breeds is recessive, so coloured on white will not give more than 50% coloured, usually less.  I donít know if this is true of Ryelands. If it is, then yes, the lamb will have one coloured gene from Dad.  If at a later date it is crossed with similar, a white that has one coloured gene, then 1 in 4 lambs would be coloured, 2 of 4 would be white and have one coloured gene and 1 in 4 would be homozygous white.  This is why many breeds keep separate flock books for coloured and white, and frown upon or ban crossing between the two.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Jun 2016
Re: Coloured ryeland X white ryeland lamb colour
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 11:39:58 am »
Thank you both! That explains it. I know the Ryeland FBS frowns on crossing, but I couldn't say no to a ewe going to cheap at auction!


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Coloured ryeland X white ryeland lamb colour
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 09:36:49 am »
We have a Ryeland tup and CR ewes. We get about 50:50 coloured and white (or course they aren't white, really and go on the supplementary register).
Urqhuart is a cracking tup - a good sheep is never a bad colour, IMHO.


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