Do you think the polled gene is linked to hermaphrodicism?


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Green Acres Farm

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Please post why or why not you think the polled goat gene is linked to hermaphrodicism. I have heard both claims and am interested in what other people know or think.

Thanks!
 

NH homesteader

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Ooh fun I've been wondering this myself! I read in one of my goat books that it was and assumed there was no argument to it... Until people started saying maybe not so true. I have one polled doe but my buck is not, so I have no personal experience.
 

OneFineAcre

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I have no opinion on that.

But, I don't think that it is necessarily a good idea to try to develop an all polled herd making breeding and culling decisions based on if they are polled or not. Not if you want a good dairy herd. You should base your breeding decisions on the strengths and weaknesses of your animal as it relates to what makes good dairy goats. Not if they are moonspotted, polled, or blue eyed.
 

misfitmorgan

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There was more then one study done but the research was rather sketchy for most as all of them and took place between 1925-1960.

Here is one study:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1209274/pdf/51.pdf
circa 1925-1944
It shows 13.5% of hetro poled to hetro polled Saanen breedings producing herms. But look closer at the study...
Notice the columns on the right side of Table 1...listing kids not checked for polled, horned, or sex.
They bred 231 does producing 857 kids...of which 100 were not checked(thats sketchy) thats roughly 1/9 of your test pool why would you not check them?

Further out of 851 kids 772 were not herm thats slightly over 91% success.
I would also mention you might notice there is no spot at all for recording horned herm goats. The "control" also seems to be 2 horned does bred to two horned bucks with all carrying pp, last time i checked 2 does of 231 does not make a control group.

Add in at the beginning of the page that it states "Several observers have noted the fact that horned hermaphrodites are very rare or perhaps do not occur at all." Which we know is not true.

This study was conducted by the USDA at their beltsville, MD farm and says right in it. It also clearly states they were inbreeding/linebreeding "matings were made to half-sisters, to dams, daughters, and granddaughters of the bucks as well as to unrelated does in an attempt to increase milk production." Depending on how heavily it was done it could skew the results as well.

They are also theorizing that only "females" were herms to even out the male/female ratio. Later in the paper it states 3 cases of defects were not really herms. "they have been regarded as males, since they possessed none of the distinctly female structures found in other cases. There were three such cases which have not been counted as hermaphrodites in this paper. Two of them, cases 20 and 27 of the above mentioned report, were distinctly cryptorchids, with one or both testes undescended, apparently normal males in every other respect. Case 2, which had difficulty in unsheathing and erecting the penis and had small testicles, though pendant in the scrotum, probably should be considered a normal male so far as the gene for intersexuality is concerned."

So this same group had some other genetic issues as well it seems as it also mentions two other defects in two females and of course we dont know about the 100 kids they didnt check.

Also note the above study was done strictly using Saanen and Toggenburg.



Interestingly another study but of Shami goats which are naturally horned and polled show 57 cases of herms out of 211 cases total, which is interesting because this breed was used in making Nubians.
http://www.smallruminantresearch.com/article/S0921-4488(97)00090-4/abstract?cc=y=


All that being said i think it would be possible to breed for polled and good dairy lines at the same time. I also believe it would be possible to bred out the herm potential, to reduce it from 8% to say 1% or less.
 
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misfitmorgan

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@Green Acres Farm
(From the other thread)

That goat medicine thingy needs updated. There have been many studies done on shami with relation to polled and herms as well as angoras. The study i linked is specifically on shami goats and their apparent many sexual deformities including herm.

The studies say they are the same relation as swiss breeds btw lol.
 
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If you're making breeding and culling decisions based on dairy characteristics, why not ALSO use the eye color, moonspots and polled as part of that decision process? Hopefully you're also making breeding decisions on other things like ability to fight parasites and other health issues. I mean, yes, it does add three more variables, but then it take 5-6 generations minimum to get to an American breed mini and that's based on ears as well as other physical attributes in addition to the typical breed standards, dairy physique; udder, attachments, etc. Why not have your cake and eat it too? :cool:

Since I'd prefer to not have goats with horns, if I can breed for polled and avoid having to burn, and scurs, why not do so? (of course I ALSO want the blue eyes :clap)
 

misfitmorgan

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If you're making breeding and culling decisions based on dairy characteristics, why not ALSO use the eye color, moonspots and polled as part of that decision process? Hopefully you're also making breeding decisions on other things like ability to fight parasites and other health issues. I mean, yes, it does add three more variables, but then it take 5-6 generations minimum to get to an American breed mini and that's based on ears as well as other physical attributes in addition to the typical breed standards, dairy physique; udder, attachments, etc. Why not have your cake and eat it too? :cool:

Since I'd prefer to not have goats with horns, if I can breed for polled and avoid having to burn, and scurs, why not do so? (of course I ALSO want the blue eyes :clap)

Your in luck then Laterstarter because blue eyes are dominant...so get a homozygous blue eyed buck and you can have a entire herd of blue eyes.
 

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That's my plan! :celebrate Of course they have to be "just that right shade" of blue :lol: Maybe I'll shoot for aquamarine?
 

Goat Whisperer

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I'm not sure I believe that it's the polled gene causing the hermaphrodites. I see quite a few hermaphrodites in other herds that have NO polled genetics gor several generations. Why were these kids hermaphrodites?

There are whole breeds of sheep that are polled. :idunno

I have to agree with OFA. I can't stand seeing all these flashy, blue eyed, moon spotted goats with absolutely horrendous udders :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

I really do like plain and simple. I see goats differently than others, I see the goat itself not the color.

I don't sell to people that are looking for color :hide Don't get me wrong, it can be fun, but I think it takes away the natural beauty that dairy goats have.

With the mini's, they can still get to the PB status and have a terrible udder.
 

misfitmorgan

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That's my plan! :celebrate Of course they have to be "just that right shade" of blue :lol: Maybe I'll shoot for aquamarine?

haha whatever makes you happy!

Other Dominant traits include frosted ears, white spot on poll/tail or both, wattles, white in general, medium guard hair length, long britch hair, grey is dominant over black, breed markings are dom to solid color except in boer where solid is dom to markings, and small ears.
 
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