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What colour is dun?

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What colour is dun?

What colour is dun?

      Today’s English word ‘dun’ is derived originally from the Saxon ‘dun’, meaning nut-brown. As commonly used in describing animals it simply means brown. “How now brown cow?”
      Coincidentally, the Gaelic ‘donn’ also means brown, but it is unclear if the two words have a common origin in the unrecorded past.

Light dun

Dun Dexters range in colour from a creamy fawn (winter coat)...

to a rich deep brown ...

Dark dun

with the colour of most animals lying in between.

Medium dun

New calves sometimes have a soft grey – almost lavender – bloom to their coats.

Lavender dun

      When we started breeding Dexters, the genetics of the dun colouring was not understood – dun calves sometimes cropped up unexpectedly, from either black or red parents. However, research showed that the colour is caused by a recessive gene that modifies the black colour gene to produce dun. It is apparently a different gene from that which causes dun colouring in other cattle breeds. See The Genetics of Dun for a summary.

Dun herd November 2004

Dun freize

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