a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

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Weekend report goats goats goats

Thursday I drove from Delaware to Virginia.
Friday I drove from Virginia to West Virginia.
Sunday I drove from West Virginia to Virginia.
Monday I drove regular rush hour commute to work, and then Virginia to Delaware.

My rear end is car-seat shaped.

Ok, yeah, here's the real story about the weekend.
I had a great time at the Virginia Angora Goat and Mohair Association / Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association show this weekend. It was really interesting, and I learned plenty. And, I think I'm pretty well goated-out for a while, which should make CK happy. He was complaining that lately all I've talked about is work and goats, and he's getting pretty bored.

Loki and his mom Goldie, Aerin and her mom Jessie, way more straw and hay than necessary all rode in the new trailer that CK built. I took CK's car to tow the trailer. Everything went really well for the trip.

I had my tickets pulled 6 times during the raffle. Too bad there was a limit of 2 prizes per person. Shrug. I got hoof trimmers and a bag of roving for my prizes.

Anyway, about the goat show itself... The judge was Joe David Ross. He took plenty of time with each person explaining faults and highlights. Neither of my two kids placed in their junior divisions, though Aerin (the doe kid) did rank 6th in her class of about 15 kids.

The judge was most impressed by the fine-ness of hair on both of them, and called Aerin a "fancy doe." During a later conversation with Dr. Ross, he recommended breeding her to the tightest-locked buck I can find without sacrificing micron count. Aerin was criticized on lack of lock definition and a slight cow-hocked stance -- Dr. Ross did admit that both of these problems may disappear as she gets older.

Loki (the buck kid) was complimented on the fine hair and good body, and criticized on lack of lock definition and lack of uniformity of fleece across the whole body. While I'm sorry Loki didn't do better in the judging, I am not sorry that these were the faults. I'd rather these than bad teeth or bad stance.

Dr. Phil Sponenberg gave a talk on colored goat genetics on Saturday night. If you are interested or really bored, you can read his latest attempt to explain it on the CAGBA website as a .pdf file. Basically, what it comes down to, is this:
  • There are three different genetic loci where color genes are found.
  • Red is dominant only.
  • Black can be dominant or recessive.
  • A goat cannot evidence both Red and Black (dominant). It's one or the other. (As opposed to human blood types that allow for AB.)
  • White can be either because of a 'white gene' or a 'lack of color' gene.
  • Spots and patterns are distinct from colors... Except --
  • A black goat with stripes on its face holds no secrets: it is a recessive black with the tan spotting genes. It is the only color pattern that is 99.9% guaranteed.
Confused yet? I'm actually almost ok with this now. I figure a couple more re-reads and I'll be about as secure in it as I can be without having actually tried it myself. The really important thing in all this is that my black goats are recessive, and the black-with-stripes goat is a known quantity.

Ok, as I explained to someone else... Goat genetics is like playing Spades, where "white" is the spade suit, and no one counted the cards ahead of time to see how many were in the deck to start out. Red is hearts, Black is diamonds, and black-recessive is clubs. You can play (breed) all within one suit, and get rather predictable results, or you could get surprises as suddenly someone throws in a different suit. But nothing really really surprising happens until a spade appears. Ta-DA! You get a white goat even though you led with a heart (Red). The point where the analogy breaks down is when you breed two Reds and get a black. Sneaky little recessives there.

Ok enough babbling. For now.

.... sometime in all of this, firemage and sunfairie got married.... At random times the thought popped into my head. I hope it was wonderful.

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