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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three week old Quadruplets for my Nigerian doe. All four bucks. She is doing a fine job raising them, but I don't want her udder destroyed and have decided to pull two to sell as bottle baby whethers. As I was assessing them to decide who is less desirable as a buck, I found the smallest had three teats. He's a cute little guy, and the sweetest of the bunch, but that made my decision easy, and I pulled the one who had the next most narrow chest and escutcheon, too. My question is, how "genetic" are the weird teats? Will the remaining bucklings have three teated kids in their future? Is this from my buck or doe? I paid a lot for that buck, so it hopefully isn't. This is the buck's first kids on the ground, and the doe's second litter so I don't have much to go on, unfortunately, but I do know her triplets last year all had normal teats. I should also say that I feel like I can completely trust the breeder the parents came from that she wouldn't sell me anything she had clipped a teat from, or lied in any way. Picture of the little cutie in question.
Vertebrate Goat Mammal Dog breed Grass
Working animal Dog breed Plant Sheep Sheep
 

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Ugh, I've had something similar the last two years. Long story short, two years ago one of my doe's quads had a split teat. When clipping my buck (the kid's sire) I discovered that he had a small teat spur that had gone unnoticed. I chalked it up to bad luck and the sire's teat spur. The next year, I bred the doe to a completely different buck. One of her triplets again had a split teat. The doe herself does not have one, and the buck she was bred to did not have one. The buck had sired several litters for me before and never had any kids with teat issues. In talking to a local big-name breeder, I learned that split teats are a recessive trait. So my two animals with perfect teats must both have carried the gene.

How you proceed is kind of a gray area. At the very least, you should never repeat that pairing. Since your kids are bucks, if it were me, I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving any of them intact. Some people will choose to cull the whole line, and some people will choose to register and breed the animals that don't have the trait. However, these animals could potentially be carriers.

In my case, I know my doe kidded 3 times prior and had kids with no issues. The woman I bought her from had had no issues and had no clue she carried the gene. So it's not necessarily a matter of a dishonest seller. Although someone up the line must have known that they had an animal that was producing split-teat kids, and chose to breed from that line anyway. I am no longer going to be breeding my doe who I now know carries the gene, which is a shame because she is from excellent bloodlines, earned her milk star, appraised well, kids easily, and is one of my sweetest goats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Man, that is not good to hear. I’m very new to my registered herd and I lost one doe out of two this past year. The buck was very expensive and it took a lot to convince my husband to buy him, he has a lot of Castle Rock lines and I’m very proud of him. Not breeding the two basically means giving up my entire registered herd and that is extremely frustrating.
 

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I totally get it. My buck with the teat spur was also very expensive and, ironically, also from Castle Rock lines. So was my doe who carries the gene.

At least with a new herd/fewer animals, you're not out as much time or money as if you'd spent years and built a large herd off of your goats only for the issues to start popping up. I totally understand the frustration and disappointment though. Ultimately, how you proceed is going to be up to you.
 
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