Sometimes I envy the Saanan and Toggenburg breeders...it's so easy for them to describe what thier goats look like! That's not always the case with Nigerian Dwarfs, who are surely the most colorful characters in Goatdom. But what's the proper name for this or that color? How do you describe a four-toned goat? Is that kid a chamoisee or a buckskin? And what the dickens is a 'cou blanc'???
Let's start off with one of my favorite patterns, and possibly the most mis-used.
This pretty young lady is Teacup's Bobby McGee, and she is a buckskin chamoisee. The buckskin is her body color...it's the black belly, extending from her brisket to the tip of her tail where the color continues up and over, becoming a black dorsal stripe, that makes her a chamoisee.
This is my late herd queen Lonesome Dove, who was a caped buckskin. You can see that her belly is a lighter shade of the same buckskin color as the rest of her body. She is NOT chamoisee. Many people mistake this color pattern for the chamoisee pattern, why I don't know. But ladies and gents, if the goat doesn't look like she/he was laying down in a pool of black paint - meaning a black belly - it's not a chamoisee.
Here's an excellant example of a chamoisee buck. Bucks often are darker than does; as you see here
the black frequently extends up thier neck all the way to thier chin. (Presidential Caliber)
Another view of Teacup's Presidential Caliber, taken about 6 months
later, and showing an interesting fact about buckskins in particular....
a buckskin chamoisee can be a two-toned goat in more ways than one!
The hair is sometimes buckskin at the tip but charcoal at the base.
Cal looks quite different clipped - I shaved my buckskin boy and
found a silver goat underneath!
This piece of cuteness is Deb P's Lonesome Dove,
aka "Rosie" ....what a clever girl, to show us her black belly
AND her dorsal stripe at the same time! You've heard of
a "horse of a different color" all your life - well, here's a
chamoisee of a different color. I call her a "cinnamon" chamoisee.
By the way, she's that pretty silvery-pink shade all the way down
to her skin. She's by Presidential Caliber and out of Pecan
Hollow Morning Dove and no, she will not be offered for sale
This pretty lady is Deb P's Chrisi Bell, after placing Second in her class at the 2007 Texas State Fair, and she is an excellant example of a broken chamoisee.
Looking at things from another angle, it's easy to pick out the chamoisee in this group!
On to another frequently mis-named pattern, roan. This is Ginger, a red roan with a white belt. Red hairs are mixed with white hairs in this pattern.
Dill's B Lil Lady is a brown roan with a white belt.
Speaking of "belts", both of these handsome boys have one...
standing closest to the camera is Deb P's Highwayman, with
his twin brother Essandare behind him. Highwayman has a solid
belt, while Essandar has a "broken belt", meaning it has spots.
Highwayman also has "frosted" ears and muzzle, meaning white to roan
coloring, and they both have white "polls" or "forelocks".
Belting is a dominant trait, meaning that if mom or dad has it most likely baby will too, to one degree or the other. A belt can be a wide
band completely around the body or a small slash of white on the belly or side.
Another dominant trait is the color gold, as you can see in these pictures of my gold buck Cabrito's (aka Deb P's Tejas De Oro) kids.
All are a shade of gold, from very light gold to golden-brown.
Boogie, on the right, also is a good example of why it's often best to wait until the kid is a month or so old before sending in those registration
papers......he started out life being golden brown, but by the time he was weaned he had faded to a dark gold. Roan is another color or pattern
that can fool you - a very dark roan kid frequently ends up a light roan adult.
And what on earth would you call this color pattern????
Well, to quote my good friend and mentor Linda Worley of Good Measure Farm,
imagine the white is a blanket you can just lift off....then what color would he be?
He'd be a dark buckskin with black cape. When there's this much white on a goat
but it isn't evenly distributed in a 'paint' or 'pinto' pattern, you're safest just putting
'buckskin with black cape' and the generic phrase 'white markings' on the
registration papers. By the way, this young wether is Deb P's Rough And Rowdy.