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Sheep Color Genetics References

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The best resource for information about sheep color genetics that I've found has been sheep-color-genetics@yahoogroups.com. This is a group of breeders and researchers who are interested in the subject and are trying to both genotype their sheep and figure out patterns of heritability in color. Nice folks, very patient with newbie questions and crackpot theories.

The next best reference is the landmark study published by the Journal of Agricultural Research in Iceland, Colour Inheritance in Icelandic Sheep and Relation Between Colour, Fertility, and Fertilization, by Dr Stefan Adalsteinsson. I have relied heavily on this book to understand color genetics of primitive breeds such as Icelandic and Shetland. It is, I believe, out of print at the present time. I encourage everyone interested in this subject to borrow a copy from another breeder and become familiar with the material.

The proceedings published by the World Congress on Colored Sheep are very worthwhile, both for their information on color genetics and their focus on other aspects of breeding colored sheep, such as marketing colored wool.

Black Sheep Newsletter is a quarterly publication devoted to subjects related to colored sheep. Frequently color genetics are the subject of articles in this newsletter.

If you are interested in showing colored sheep, you might be interested in joining the National Colored Wool Growers Association. They produce a quarterly magazine with show information.

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