When I wrote this post I thought I had finally found a good source of information on goat genetics, but I was wrong. A fellow goat breeder has corrected me below in the comments, and you should read her post. She has a wonderful farm called Antiquity Oaks, and I have been reading her blogs and going to her site for about a year and I really respect her opinion. Thank you, Deborah!
Ok, there is a lot of information out there on polled genes in goats. I had heard it was recessive, meaning to get a hornless goat you had to breed two goats with the gene together to get any hornless, or polled, babies. So, I have this polled doe and bred her to a buck I was pretty sure didn’t have that gene, and yet had a kid that was polled. So, I did some research today that went a little deeper.
Here is what I found. There are apparently 2 poll genes found in goats. One is a dominate P polled gene, and the other is a receive p polled gene. Based on my biology studies in high school and the scientists, you have two ways of getting a polled goat. One is to breed a goat with a dominant P gene to any other goat and you have at least a 1-in-4 chance of getting a polled kid.
The other way to get a polled goat is to breed two goats with a recessive p gene together. This should result in a 50/50 chance for polled kids. Now here is the kicker. Apparently the recessive p gene is linked to hermaphrodites, or combined sex organs. This is bad. Also, a goat carrying the dominant P gene can also carry the recessive p gene, so if you breed two goats with this together you run a higher risk of getting a hermaphrodite.
It would seem that as long as the recessive gene is not there, you can breed polled goats to polled goats, but you run a slightly higher risk of hermaphrodites being born than with other breedings. So, in my case, I apparently have a doe with at least the dominant P gene, and she had 1 polled buckling this time around. She had a polled doe last year, but I was really new at this breeding stuff and just thought the buck she was bred to carried a recessive gene for it. Nothing like learning something new! Here is the site I learned about the two types of genes. It is the best one I have found!