Goat Eye Color

One of the fun things about Nigerians is that they can have brown or blue eyes.  Or amber. That’s not an official color, but Aspen clearly has golden eyes. Her sire has blue and it took a couple of days to be sure that hers weren’t going to be blue like his.  I’d love to know what made hers amber instead of brown.

Comon belief is that blue eyes are dominant, which means that if you pair a heterozygous blue-eyed goat with a brown-eyed goat, you have a 50% chance that each baby will have blue eyes. An interesting thing that we noticed is that Clark has brown spots in his blue, and so does his daughter, Pinecone.

If you pair two heterozygous blue-eyed goats together, you have 75% chance that each baby will have blue eyes.

And if you pair a homozygous blue-eyed goat with a brown-eyed goat, all babies will have blue eyes.

We don’t have any homozygous blue goats right now, but I might end up with some by crossing blue with blue. The only way to tell will be by breeding the blue-eyed offspring a couple times to brown-eyed goats and waiting to see if there are any brown-eyed babies.

*Note- I’ve been doing more reading after going to a show where there was another amber-eyed Nigerian, and I found a website on which the writer assumes there are four alleles for eye color instead of just two. After reading through the charts, I think this makes more sense but I can’t find anything else to back it up. The article does include the reasoning for why some blue-eyed goats have brown color mixed in (like Clark and Pinecone), how amber is a separate color (like Aspen), and how two brown-eyed parents can have blue-eyed offspring. Of course this makes things a whole lot more complicated and a lot less predictable!   http://goatspots.com/genetics/blue-eyes/

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