Nigerian Dwarf Colors

One of the many reasons why people love Nigerians so much is because of the endless color possibilities. There are several solid colors (cream-gold-red and chocolate-black) and several common color patterns (buckskin, chamoisee, swiss-marked, etc) and then there is the white over-lay which mixes it all up a bit. Some colors/patterns are dominant and some are recessive and some create a combination. If you want to study more, check out Coat Colors and Nigerian Dwarf Color Genetics.

After 11 buckskins, Acorn gave us a black baby. We thought we had one 4 years ago but she turned out to be a dark chocolate, so this one was quite a surprise. Black is a recessive allele so it takes one from the sire and one from the dam to show up in offspring. Because Clark’s dam was black, we know he has a recessive black allele hiding behind his dominant buckskin. Although Acorn looks like a solid chocolate under her white, she’s actually a chocolate buckskin, which is why she and Clark have so many buckskins. Side note here- because she is a chocolate buckskin and he’s a black buckskin and they both have a black recessive, they should have 75% buckskins with a black cape and 25% with a chocolate cape.


Anyway, we didn’t realize Acorn had the black recessive allele; we thought she had a chocolate instead. So the big question was where did she get it? She doesn’t have any close black relatives. Acorn’s dam was chocolate and her maternal grandparents were chocolate and a light buckskin. Her sire, Castle Rock Cleveland Sage is gold and his dam was chocolate and his sire, Castle Rock Tanzanite was gold. But… his sire was Castle Rock Guy Noir, who was black. Found it! 5 generations back and passed as a hidden recessive just waiting to meet up with another recessive black. Knowing this, there is a 25% chance Acorn and Clark will have black offspring, but we’re at about 10% at this point. And one more interesting thing is that Firefly’s little black and white baby got her black color from Firefly, obviously, who got the recessive from her buckskin sire. Sly Farms Catching Fire got it from his dam Sly Farms Catalina, who is black and is guess who’s daughter? Castle Rock Guy Noir 5 generations back. Fun!





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