Thursday, August 7, 2014

Goat/Sheep Wedding Bell?

 I had things all planned out. It was going to work out great. Lilly Pad was going to live with Jubull. I didn't want the new little buck to be all alone. In a short few weeks he will be weaned. Then for a short period he will be with the other little goats, then he will have to be separated when he is in danger of breeding the does before we wanted him to. The best part of this idea is they like each other. Not in a best friends kind of way but he is polite. When he can be put in with the girls, she will occupy our freezer. How can I do it? You might recall I don't like Columbia wool to spin. It is spungy and I just don't like the feel of it against my skin. I've a beautiful sweater I made from a lambs wool and though I like it, I don't want another. I have no other use for her except as a companion for a brief period of time. Besides, if I added shearing to our list of things to do my husband would shoot me. Maybe not literally but definitely figuratively.

The plan seemed perfect. That is until my friend, the one that gave Lilly to me, sweetly informed me that she had just learned that sheep and goats can cross. WHAT? Goats have 60 chromosomes and sheep have 54. How could this be possible? She informed me on Facebook. You know how reliable Facebook is. I had to look it up. Sure enough, around the world a few were born this past spring. Strange looking creatures.

Does this mean wedding bell? Oh I hope not. Here I thought putting a sheep and a goat together would be ideal. Oh dear, Lilly Pad has been trying to nurse off of Rachel, Abagail's daughter who isn't even two months old. Does this mean she thinks she is a goat? Or does this means she just misses her momma? It is quite a strange sight as Lilly is bigger than Rachel. Why Lilly Pad keeps it up is beyond me. There is nothing there yet. Oh no, what have I got myself into?

This is what I found out on the Internet:
"Technically speaking, a ‘Sheep-Goat-Chimera’ is the name when the sheep and goat embryos are combined in a lab. Interestingly, in the mature animal, the ‘sheep’ parts were woolly and the ‘goat’ parts were hairy. There is another mechanism by which a geep or shoat can be produced, however. It usually involves a goat learning how to put on a Barry White record and the sheep shearing her wool into the shape of a negligee… While this also results in geep/shoat production, the offspring is, technically, a ‘hybrid’ rather than the lab-produced ‘chimera’. The main difference here, however, is that hybrid geep/shoat cannot reproduce – but the chimera geep/shoat can – but it can only pass on either sheep or goat genes."

This is really rare right? That should mean were safe - maybe.

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