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NATURALLY POLLED (HORNLESS) GOATS

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    Rated 3.2 by 106 responses.

    Can someone give me the low-down on hornless goats? Every year the three local goat owners (we are one) raise one buck for breeding purposes. One of the families only has naturally hornless does, so their offspring carries the hornless gene. I am not thrilled at the prospect of perpetuating a possible problem if we decide to raise any of the kids. What exactly is the problem and am I being too picky?

    If I understand the genetics correctly, naturally polled does are not a problem if bred always to a horned buck who has at least one side of his pedigree that is all horned. Polled is recessive so both parents must carry the gene although they may not be polled themselves. Supposedly polled is undesirable in goats because it seems to bring with it a greater incidence of hermaphroditism (both sex organs and sterile). Alot of people on this board will tell you differently from years of experience. I don't think of it as a genetic problem, just a condition that should be watched. If you keep good records and suddenly start having lots of hermaphrodites, then you can trace it back and fix it.

    I have always heard not to breed naturally hornless goat to another hornless also. A few months ago on another list someone posted the statistics of hermaphrodites born to horned goats and those born to horned bred to horned, there were only a few per centage points difference. Surprised me, but apparently the risk isn't too great either way.

    I have a goat book & it to says not breed polled goats together. You have to breed them back to a horned goat.

    Actually this is something that is desired amongst some of the Alpine breeders. I was told that mating a polled or hornless doe to a polled buck would give a hermaphrodite.

    Ok, I have a polled billy and both parents as far as I know did at one time have horns. So the question is, should he be able to reproduce? Is it only the ones that have both sex organs that are to be sterile? My friend and I have been wondering about this for some time and just put him in with a doe two days ago. But I am a newbie to the whole breeding thing and not sure I will know when or if she takes until she has visual signs like the belly or a baby!

    Yes, he should be able to breed your girls but all of the kids from those mating, whether they have horns or not, will carry the polled gene. Goats are great! You can give them a pregnancy test to see if they're pregnant (unlike dogs).

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