Dad was asking me about my goat plans for next year, and teasing me about predicting genetics. I responded back that one of my most predictable goats is not in the breeding group this year (Sashimi) but that I was substituting in two very predictable pairings for her.
Here's what I've got on the menu for next March:
B = dominant black
b = recessive black
R = red
W = whotheheckknowswhat'shidingbehindthiswhite
Mona x Jared (b x b) = solid black or striped black. No previous record, because last year was Mona x Loki (b x R) = Bernard (W).
Dahlia x Jared (b x b) = solid black or striped black. Previous record was Orchid, a striped black.
Alys x Loki (R x R) = solid red. Previous record was Apollo, a red.
Anna x Cookie (? x B) = ??. Previous record was Bianca (W).
For three out of four of these pairs, I'm happy to lay money on my predictions of the outcomes. Mona, Dahlia, and Jared are all black recessives, so can only give me either solid or striped blacks. Alys and Loki are reds, so will be giving me something along the red/apricot/tan line. Anna, well...
Given Anna's mother Jessie's track record with Jared, I'm thinking that I've made a mistake with Cookie (B-maybe). Jessie (R) has thrown at least one black every single year with Jared (b). So either her (R) is covering a (B) that is willing to play nicely with (b) more than 50% of the time, or she is actually (Rb) and has been giving me nothing but beautiful recessive babies this whole time.
Meditating on Cookie's paperwork does not give me much confidence that I'm going to know the answer if I keep playing the one-off game. I say (B-maybe) because his genetics also include a white and a recessive black back in the family tree. So he could be (BW) or (Bb) just as easily as (BB).
I really need to throw Cookie in with everyone (b, b, b, ?, R, R) and see what comes out the other side. My problem with that is I lose a year of sure bets to quite possibly get a crop that turns up white more than 50% of the time. If he is (BB), then the B vs. b may turn up white rather than resolve on a color, as will the B vs. R in about half the cases. If it's (BW), I've got the same problem. If he's (Bb) then everyone might have color if the genes go the right way, or not if they don't, so nothing is really proved unless every single pair goes exactly the right way, and I get four blacks (some with stripes), a redhead, and a solid black.
Why even try again with Anna? I bought him specifically and only for Anna, since she is related to all of the other boys I have. I bought him to continue improving that great fleece I'm getting out of Jessie's kids. Cookie has lovely fleece and lovely conformation to go with it, but if I don't get black from him with Anna, then his purpose for being at our farm is completely negated. ::sigh::