Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sheep Breeding Finally Realises its Potential

Many of us who had adopted or bred exotic Sheep on our farms were severely disappointed when they began to produce a multitude of White Rams and Ewes, losing every vestige of the unique qualities of the parents. As time passed, however, Farmville began to release Rams and Ewes that possessed some of the same qualities, such as colour-change or a face masque.

Today, Farmville added a breeding prediction window to the Pigpen and the Sheep Pen. Whenever you choose a Ram and Ewe for breeding purposes, a little window will open above them showing ALL the potential results. Arrows beneath the Ram and the Ewe both allow you to change the Breeding Couple to see how potential results will be affected. You therefore now are able to see not only what exotic types CAN be produced but the chances of producing a 'dud' or all-white Ram or Ewe.

This is extremely helpful as well as exciting. Players who lost interest in sheep breeding probably will have their passion for the sport rekindled now.

For me, the breeding result window finally answers a lot of questions. Although some qualities can skip a generation, others will be lost when breeding occurs. Colour is a quality that can skip a generation evidently. An orange and yellow Ram therefore may produce a Green and Yellow or Green lamb if one of HIS parents was Green. All-white or Dud Rams and Ewes sadly appear to lose all ancestral qualities and therefore do not add to the gene pool when bred.

It appears that some unique qualities are 'stronger' than others. The masque or coloured patch over one eye is a very weak or recessive gene and the chances of producing it are not great. Moreover, it does not appear to skip generations in the way that colour can. If, therefore, a Ram or Ewe with a patch produces a solid Ram or Ewe, the solid Ram/Ewe when bred will not produce a lamb with a patch under any circumstances. I am basing this solely on my own research, however, and would be delighted if some one can refute this!

Other special qualities include stars, dots, two-tone, colour-change and camouflage. Using two camouflage parents who each sport different colours can produce some amazing results. Remember, however, that the position of the pattern does make a difference. I produced some solid sheep from two camouflage parents simply because they had the same colour in the opposite position!

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