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Blue Eyes in Goats

Blue eyes in goats is considered a dominant trait, though it has been known to skip a generation or two and pop up later on when two brown eyed parents are bred together.  Blue eyes are commonly found in Nigerian Dwarfs but also occur in Fainting Goats & Angoras.


Goat eye color is much more complex than the chart below due to their being variances in eye color, such as gold or amber eyes, however this is a simplified explanation.  It should also be noted that some goats have eyes in which only part of the iris is blue (this also occurs in dogs.)  Such animals are most likely heterozygous blue eyed and are considered genetically blue-eyed, even if only the tiniest portion of the iris is blue and they can still have offspring with completely blue eyes.  Some goats can even have one blue eye and one brown eye, though this is more rare.  Two different colored eyes is controlled by totally different genetic markers so they could produce blue or brown eyed kids, or kids with different colored eyes like themselves.


BB - homozygous blue eyed

Bb - heterozygous blue eyed (carrying the gene for brown eyes)

bb - brown eyed

Here is a chart of the possible matings that could take place, and the percentage of blue and brown-eyed kids expected from these matings:

Parent 1 Parent 2 Blue-eyed kids Blue-eyed kids carrying brown Brown-eyed kids
BB BB 100% 0% 0%
BB Bb 50% 50% 0%
BB bb 0% 100% 0%
Bb bb 0% 50% 50%
Bb Bb 25% 50% 25%
bb bb 0% 0% 100%

When brown eyed kids appear from two blue eyed parents people are often confused, but this just means that the blue eyed parents are Bb and carry the gene for brown eyes.  Others assume the brown eyes must be dominant because there are so many more brown eyed goats around.  This is an inaccurate assumption because bb goats bred to other bb are going to produce brown eyed kids because both parents have two copies of the recessive brown eyed gene.


Please do not copy ANY information on these genetics pages without permission.  Feel free to link to these pages or bookmark them for future reference.


"Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
   give careful attention to your herds."
Proverbs 27:23

Sharon Reeves
Mobile, Alabama
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