I've been looking at all your websites (really nice ones!) and noticed that blue eyes seem to be a desirable trait. Is that something that's breed-specific? Or does it have a genetic link to some other desirable trait? Or do people just prefer blue eyes?
Its primarily Nigerian but also in mixed breeds as well as the newer mini-dairy breeds.
Blue-eyes are dominant and they're just something people like for looks. Has nothing to do with confirmation or show quality or milk quality. Just like polled (naturally hornless) and moonspots. Those things are just icing on the cake.
As far as I know - and I could be wrong - Nigerians and Myotonics are the only breeds that allow blue eyes. And we love 'em!!!!! Some people charge more for blue-eyed kids, just cause they're popular; personally I don't believe in charging for color of either eye or coat as it doesn't effect the health, usefulness or quality of the animal.
I was charged more for my blue eyes. I do believe you are right though debpnigerians...I think it is only ND and Myotonics that allow the blue eyes. I wish every breed did and they might with time. I agree with not charging for blue eyes but when you are in the business to make money, people are going to charge. I am not in it to make money...I haven't made any money yet and I don't expect to...I just love the goats
I've been both charged more for eye color and/or polled and I've also been charged a flat rate due to the kids confirmation and potential reguardless of eyes and/or polled traits.
I personally charge one flat rate for kids and that rate is based on their genetics/parentage and then I judge a kid individually and alter pricing by the kid's merit. I do not charge more for blue-eyes, polled, moonspots or anything. I feel those are just icing on the cake. The kid is given a value for its potential.
Last year I was offered my choice of two very nice bucklings - neither of which I ended up buying for other reasons - who were twins. The brown eyed twin actually was the better goat, but the breeder wanted $50 more for the blue eyed twin simply because of the eye color. Now I can see charging more if they were of equal quality I suppose but to charge fifty bucks just for color seemed silly to me. I raise goats because I love them, but I sell them to make money; and I am a firm believer in the return-customer theory. You can charge Mrs. Moneybags $400 for a blue eyed, mediocre doe because it's got blue eyes......ONCE. Or you can charge her $200 for that same doe, tell her exactly what it's strengths and weaknesses are, and what type of buck you think would be best to breed her to, and she'll come back every time she wants another goat to see what you've got for sale. Thankfully the breeders who were charging out the wazoo for blue eyes have pretty much run themselves out of the business, so even those who do charge for them are doing so much more honestly. In the earlier days of the Nigerian Dwarfs, blue eyes brought whatever you wanted them to bring and some people got ripped off pretty badly. IMO. But like I say those people found it kinda hard to stay in the game with no repeat customers. And like Stacey says the purely-a-pet business operates a bit differently than dairy/show prospects, because with pets cute does indeed equal sold.
I don't have a preference for eye color, or even patterns really; I do like grey agouti, and red caramel in Pygmys though; however, I don't 'breed' specifically for those colors or patterns...I keep conformation, and health first and foremost. Color...either eye, or coat are always a bonus in my book!