The Color Gray

In colored angora goats this color is called blue …silver…gray.  I will refer to it as gray.

Food for thought…black can fade…meaning over time change from solid black to a form of gray as the goat ages.  That is not the gray we are going to talk about here. We are going to talk about gray as a birth coat.

The color black is at both ends of the order of dominance.  At the top we call it dominant black or black in the red brown black pool, or black in the dominant pool…whichever way you think. The other black is at the bottom of the list of agouti patterns and it’s called no pattern black or black in the black pool or recessive black.  When you look at the two different black on an angora kid you cannot tell the difference. Keep the in mind as you look at gray. Because of some sort of magic by Mother Nature changes that black to gray.  And that gray can go from almost black to almost white.  So your kids can be born almost any shade of gray.  Keep in mind that the same happens for brown and red as well.  It’s important to keep that in mind as you look at the kids birth coat…because the red, brown, black can be so light as you cannot tell the base color.

Let’s talk about a pattern we all know fairly well…dark belly. 

Full siblings

Dr. Sponenberg’s definition is Tan with a black belly, back stripe, lower legs, and face stripes. Now that tan can go to white and the black can be a very light gray and when that happen it is almost impossible to see a black belly kid pattern. What you see is almost white, or silver or blue…but the pattern is still there in the genetics.

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So when you look at the gray kids look close to see if a pattern is there at birth.  If so it will soon be gone as the mohair grows.

So you see a solid gray kid at birth, and I said solid because I want you to think as solid black.  It can be in either color pool as a recessive gray or as a dominant gray and can be a very dark gray to a very light gray.

Gray is not an easy color for a breeder. It can be a pattern, it can be a solid colored goat.. It can be very dark almost black and it can be very light almost white goat. Breeding gray to gray doesn’t always get you gray.

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