When Neo was born he was a very light tan like his mother. As he’s gotten older, he’s started darkening, and developed some very dark shading over his neck and shoulders.
Judging by his sire, the dark shading is about where his mane would have grown in. He won’t let me part the wool on his back to see if the dark shading is in the wool color or from guard hairs mixed in the wool, but on the underside of his neck where the wool is shorter there do seem to be longer dark hairs poking through the wool.
If it is the beginning of a mane showing through, this is bizarre because wethers aren’t supposed to grow manes. Rams grow manes during the breeding season due to certain hormones that wethers aren’t supposed to have in large amounts. Duke’s is already starting to come in, but my camera died before I could take a picture for comparison.
It would almost make me wonder if he was wethered correctly, but I was paranoid about that and watched the entire surgery. Not to be too crude, but unless he came with more than the standard number of parts he is definitely de-rammed.
I don’t really have a lot of information on how he’ll grow and develop as a wether, so I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see. Soay are rare, and Soay wethers even more so. The farm I got my Soays from doesn’t wether any of their ram lambs, and all the pictures I’ve seen of Soay wethers were British Soay, and British rams’ manes don’t grow as full as American manes to begin with.
“Neo says this is a fun climbing toy, but I don’t think I can get up there…”
As far as I know Shetland rams don’t grow a mane at all, so if Liam starts following the trend of odd pigmentation changes I’m going to start searching the pasture for hidden hair dye. Then I’m going to start checking for odd pigmentation changes in my own hair. I told someone the other day that male sheep exist to drive shepherds prematurely gray, and I stand by that opinion.