Breed Recognition Proposal

The following is the proposal for Guernsey breed recognition that was approved by the ADGA Board of Directors in October 2015.

Contents

I. Introduction

II. Request for Breed Recognition

a. Constitution and Officers of the Guernsey Goat Breeders of America
b. Proposed Breed Standard for the Guernsey Goat
c. History of the Guernsey Goat
d. Uniqueness of the Guernsey Goat
e. Pedigree Information
f. Breeder Information

III. Appendix

a. Registry Information for Import Animals
b. Embryo and Semen Import Records
c. British Goat Society Breed Standard
d. Numbers of Animals and Dates of Import
e. Documentation of Offspring
f. Embryo Implantation Records

I. Introduction

Dear ADGA Directors, Committee Members, and Secretary-Treasurer,

The Guernsey Goat Breeders of America (GGBoA) have sought breed recognition since 2010. Due to shortcomings on our own part, materials presented in the past were not well-organized. This problem has been rectified with the development of a pedigree database for the recording of Guernsey Goats descended from embryos and semen imported from Great Britain. The database is designed with the ability to be imported directly to ADGA’s database once ADGA numbers are assigned to the Guernsey breed, reducing the costs and labor involved in creating a new herd book. Once the Guernsey breed is accepted, the Chair of the GGBoA Database Committee will work with the ADGA IT staff to smoothly transition information between databases.

Questions have been raised about demonstrating consistent breed standard since the registry of origin (British Goat Society) does not require a goat meet breed standard for registration. This concern has been addressed through the inclusion of photos in the database demonstrating the consistent breed character of the Guernsey Goat. There are more than 100 4 generation pedigrees in the database where the individual, the parents, the grandparents, and the great-grandparents all have a photo record included in the database. In addition to photos, the database committee has scoured old sales lists for descriptions of deceased animals, and current breeders have provided color descriptions of living animals.

The following sections include information addressing the various points under K. Procedures for Breeds Requesting ADGA Recognition in the ADGA Guidebook. Please contact the President of the Guernsey Goat Breeders of America and the Chair of the Database Committee if there is additional information needed, or questions about the information included in this proposal.

Sincerely,

Natasha Lovell, President, rubystargoats@yahoo.com
Mary Wilson, Vice President
Katie Morgan, Secretary
Joan Stump, Treasurer
Sara Dzimianski, Database Committee Chair, saanengirl@hotmail.com

II. Request for Breed Recognition

The Guernsey Goat Breeders of America requests the establishment of an American Dairy Goat Association herdbook for the purpose of registration of the Guernsey Goat Breed. Along with establishment of a herdbook, the GGBoA requests that the breed be admitted to the other services of ADGA, such as shows, production testing, linear appraisal and other such programs as they exist or may be developed in the future. Due to the limited purebred genetics available in the United States, the GGBoA further requests that the herdbook include an open purebred herdbook patterned after the LaMancha and Sable herdbooks. The GGBoA database has been formatted to permit easy communication with ADGA’s database in the future to facilitate the development of a herdbook for the Guernsey breed.

a. Constitution and Officers of the Guernsey Goat Breeders of America

Guernsey Goat Breeders of America Constitution and Bylaws (PDF), adopted May 2015.

2015 Officers

  • President: Natasha Lovell
  • Vice President: Mary Wilson
  • Secretary: Katie Morgan
  • Treasurer: Joan Stump
  • Directors at Large: Mark Addington, Karla Stucker, Lorena Wasson

b. Proposed Breed Standard for the Guernsey Goat

The Guernsey dairy goat was developed using genetics from the rare Golden Guernsey Goats, an official dairy breed registered with the British Goat Society.

The Guernsey dairy goat is medium in size. The ears are erect and often set slightly lower than Swiss breeds and carried horizontally, or forward in what is termed the “bonnet” position when viewed in profile. Ear tips can be slightly upturned. The ears must not be pendulous. The nose should be either straight or dished.

The Guernsey coat/hair color should be shades of gold, ranging from very pale flaxen cream to deep russet or bronze. Full or partial roaning; white patches; white face; star/blaze are acceptable. The golden body color should be dominant, with no preference shown to any shade or pattern. Hair may be short or long and flowing or a combination of both. A long curtain, skirt, and/or dorsal fringe of body hair are desirable, although not required to meet standard.

Skin color must display a gold tone, ranging from peachy- flesh to orange-gold in one or more of these places; muzzle, ears, eyes, under tail, mammary or scrotum. Swiss facial stripes and/or rump marking; black markings or spots over 1-1/2 inches are not allowed.

Faults

Moderate:

  • Mature does less than
  • Minimum height (26 in / 66 cm) Minimum weight (120 lbs / 54.54 kg)
  • Mature bucks less than
  • Minimum height (28 in / 71 cm) Minimum weight (150 lbs / 68.18 kg)

Moderate to Serious: (depending upon degree)

  • Roman nose

Very Serious Defects:

  • Black hairs in the coat
  • Dominantly white coat on mature does.
  • No gold tone to skin found on muzzle, ears, eyes, under tail, mammary or scrotum.

Disqualifications:

  • No gold tone to skin
  • Swiss facial stripes and/or rump marking (as on Toggenburg or Oberhasli breeds)
  • Black markings or spots in the hair over 1-1/2 (3.8 cm) in any direction
  • Pendulous ears
  • LaMancha type ears
  • All white coat on mature does
  • All white or dominantly white coat on bucks

c. History of the Guernsey Goat

Origin

The Golden Guernsey goat originated on the Channel Islands (British Crown Dependencies) in the English Channel. These islands were ports of call for sailing ships, sailing out of the Mediterranean and headed for the Cornish tin mines since long before the birth of Christ. These ships often carried goats and other animals, trading them and acquiring others all along their routes and no doubt continued this on the Channel Islands. Thus the ancestry of the Golden Guernsey is uncertain shrouded in mystery and antiquity, although the Guernsey goats do bear a striking resemblance to goats in the Greek islands, and are thought to have Middle Eastern origin (perhaps through the Maltese or Syrian goat) rather than Swiss origin. While the origin is unknown, DNA research by Dr. Phil Sponenberg in Cooperation with the University of Cordoba in Spain has found that Guernsey goats are genetically distinct from other European breeds, and thus indigenous to Guernsey.

Great Britain

Golden Guernsey goats were first registered in the general herd book of the Guernsey Goat Society beginning in 1922. In 1924 Miss Miriam Milbourne took an interest in the golden goats among the scrub herds on Guernsey, and began keeping goats in 1937, and managed to retain her herd through the German occupation. In the early 1950s she developed a specific breeding program for the Golden Guernsey goat at the suggestion of Dr. Tracey, a BGS judge. Because of her efforts, a Golden Guernsey registry was opened in the Guernsey Goat Society’s herd book in 1965. Golden Guernseys were imported into England in 1967, and the British Goat Society Golden Guernsey register was opened in 1971. The Golden Guernsey goat breed (the Guernsey Goat’s parent breed) is a rare breed, listed with the Rare Breeds Trust, and currently recognized by the British Goat Society and the Golden Guernsey Goat Society of the United Kingdom. The Guernsey Goats in the United States are currently registered with the BGS, the Guernsey Goat Breeders of America, and the American Guernsey Goat Registry. It is clear that the ancestry using the Golden Guernsey, as the parent breed, results in the Guernsey Goat being unique among the dairy goats of North America and brings to ADGA its heritage of hardiness and the ability to efficiently produce large volumes of milk with strong component numbers.

United States

Currently the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations do not permit the import of live goats from any country in Europe. As a result, all imports of Guernsey genetics involved frozen embryos or semen. Guernsey goats were introduced to the United States from Great Britain in the late 1990s. The first introduction of Guernsey genetics was via embryos imported into Canada in 1996. The embryos were collected, stored, and shipped on Ministry Approved Premises by Edinburgh Genetics, now known as Innovis Ltd. (http://www.innovis.org.uk/). These embryos were implanted into Spanish does that were subsequently imported into the U.S. under USDA regulations. The embryo recipients kidded in the spring of 1998. Eight of the ET kids survived to adulthood. Scawton Hadrian was the sire of all surviving kids.

  • Embryo donor 1: Cykewell Chive produced Swind Copper (M).
  • Embryo donor 2: Scawton Pixie produced Swind StPatrick (M), Swind Patch (M), Swind Pixie (F), and Swind Platinum (M). Platinum sired no offspring due to urinary calculi.
  • Embryo donor 3: Peaclond Progress produced Swind Princess (F), Swind Penny (F), and Swind Peach (F).

All Golden Guernseys in the United States are descended from these 8 animals.

The subsequent importations of Guernsey genetics all consisted of semen shipments as the ability to import embryos from the UK via Canada was no longer permitted by existing regulations.

The first semen import was received in 1997 by Dr. Dennis Gourley, Elite Genetics, Canada. That business has gone defunct, so we are unable to get original records from him. Goldicroft Peter and Janig Major were collected by Innovis Ltd, and following receipt, the semen was delivered to Linda Campbell of Khimaira Farm. Linda served as the distributor of the semen. Currently there are offspring of Goldicroft Peter and Janig Major registered to Diane Grey’s Bluecollar Herd. There is one daughter of Goldcroft Peter registered to the Southwind (Swind) herd. There are no other registered offspring of these two bucks currently in the United States.

The second semen import was also collected by Innovis Ltd. It consisted exclusively of semen from Crimea Pembroke and was shipped to the New York airport for Mr. Skolnick, deceased, owner of the Southwind Herd. Additional information has been requested from Mr. Skolnick’s herd manager, Laura Burnside.

The third semen import was received in 2003 and included semen from Peaclond Pureglow and Crimea Pembroke collected by Innovis Ltd. It was exported with ram semen to Martin Dally at University of California Davis, and picked up by Kathy Noble. Dr. Dally is now located in Oregon with Super Sire Ltd. (http://www.toprams.com/).

The fourth semen shipment included semen from the bucks Peaclond Puregleam, and Aureum Alinus, all collected by Innovis Ltd. They were exported with ram semen to Martin Dally at University of California Davis. The shipment was picked up by Nina Schafer. Dr. Dally is now located in Oregon with Super Sire Ltd.  (http://www.toprams.com/) and has generously provided the GGBoA with copies of the import documents for both the third and fourth shipments. Those documents are included in the Appendix.

The Southwind Herd was released from USDA quarantine in 2002. Following this they offered semen from the Golden Guernsey bucks for sale. The first Golden Guernsey buck sold in the U.S. was Swind Panzer. Panzer became senior herdsire for Joan Stump’s Stumphollo herd in 2002. Following Panzer several other Swind bucks were sold to breeders around the United States. Swind bucks that made a significant impact on Guernsey breeding up programs include: Swind Copper (semen only), Swind Dante, Swind Paladin, Swind Panzer, Swind Paris, Swind Pauper, Swind Pence, Swind Pendragon, Swind Plymouth, Swind Prince, Swind Rockafella, Swind Xavier, and Swind Xqsme.
The first Guernsey cross does produced through imported semen were born in Diane Grey’s Bluecollar Herd in 1999. These does were produced through breeding an Oberhasli doe (Bluecollar Blinken) to Goldicroft Peter A.I. In subsequent years Diane had very good success with A.I., producing another nine does using imported semen and many more with domestic semen.

The first American Guernsey doe, Bluecollar Yellowbird (HB) was born in Diane Grey’s Bluecollar Herd in 2003. The first American Guernsey buck, Bluecollar Juancanary (HB2) was born in 2004. The first British Guernseys were born in Diane Grey’s Bluecollar Herd in 2006. American Guernsey (HB) does were registered in other herds beginning in 2006 (Ann, Becki, and Jodi Blackwell’s “Golden Goodness”, Kate Posey’s “Snowbird”, and Joan Stump’s “Stump*Hollow”), and the first American Guernsey (HB2) bucks were registered in other herds (Betsy Hultin’s “Glastonbury”, and Joan Stump’s “Stump*Hollow”) in 2009. Once HB2 (American) and British Guernsey bucks became available, Guernsey breeding rapidly expanded in the United States. The cost of bucks significantly decreased making it much more feasible for individuals to start breeding up programs. Breeders around the country have utilized high quality Swiss-type does in breeding British (American) Guernsey goats. Foundation does have included Alpine, Oberhasli, Saanen, Sable, and Toggenburg does, or does that were crosses of these breeds. These Swiss-type does were bred to Golden Guernsey, British Guernsey, and HB2 (American) Guernsey bucks, nearly always producing offspring that met breed standard in the first generation. Breeders continued up the ladder utilizing Guernsey bucks on the crossbred does to first create the equivalent of American does (HB1), American Bucks (HB2), and finally British Guernsey does and bucks (BG). The Guernsey Goat Pedigree Database has collected the names of more than 100 breeders who have bred and owned more than 1000 Guernsey or Guernsey cross goats since the first embryos and semen were imported. The Guernsey Goat Breeders of America also knows of commercial herds of Guernseys that have not maintained British Goat Society registration due to the costs involved. Nina Schafer formed the American Guernsey Goat Registry to record pedigrees on many of these animals. The Guernsey Goat Breeders of America is also working to record these animals in the GGBoA database. ADGA recognition will make it more feasible for commercial breeders to register Guernseys.

Details of the breeding up program used by American Guernsey breeders may be found here.

History references:

d. Uniqueness of the Guernsey Goat

While it shares some of the physical characteristics of the Swiss type breeds currently registered with ADGA, the Guernsey is genetically unique as demonstrated by the research done by Dr. Phil Sponenberg in cooperation with the University of Cordova in Spain. When speaking of the results of the mitochondrial DNA project, Dr. Sponenberg wrote this in the The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy News:

“The Golden Guernsey goat remains a mystery – its origin on the island of Guernsey should leave it related to a great many somewhat local breeds, and yet it showed no good clear relationship to any. This is puzzling and may be further sorted out by testing more goats of this breed. Whatever the final conclusions, the Golden Guernsey surely warrants conservation as a unique genomic resource.”

Like the Saanen, Toggenburg, and Oberhasli, the Guernsey Goat is a color breed, distinguishing it from the multitude of breeds that demonstrate a large range of coat colors and patterns. The Guernsey is restricted to shades of gold, or gold with white markings. The Guernsey gold is as dominant a color as the Saanen white, making it very easy to breed goats meeting breed standard—in most cases a first generation cross resembles a Guernsey more than the other parent breed.

e. Pedigree Information

To view Guernsey pedigrees you must first log into the Guernsey Pedigree Database at the following link: http://guernseygoats.org/pedigrees/pro2/pp_login.htm.

If you have not been given a user name and password to access the database, email saanengirl@hotmail.com or create an account to view the database (note it may take up to 24 hours to have your user name and password activated).

To view a list of pedigrees with four generations of photos:

1. Select “4GenPhotoPed” from the drop down menu after “Field to search.”

Note: if you select “Meets4Gen” instead, you will get all the Guernseys with four generation pedigrees, not just those with photos. 

Pedigree1

2. Type “yes” into the “Search String” box.

Pedigree2

3. Click “Search Now.” You should see a results page that looks like this:

Pedigree3

To view all Guernseys born in the last 10 years with a four generation pedigree:

1. Select “Meets4Gen” from the drop down menu after “Field to search.”

Pedigree4

2. Type “yes” into the “Search String” box.

Pedigree5

3. Select “10” from the drop down menu after “Born in the last N years.”

Pedigree6

4. Click “Search Now.” Your results screen should look like this:

Pedigree7

To sort by owner or breeder, follow steps 1-3 above, and then use the drop down menu after “Order by” to select either “Owner” or “Breeder”. Note that owners/breeders with ADGA membership are identified by their ADGA member ID number. All others are identified by name.

f. Breeder Information

Current members of the Guernsey Goat Breeders of America are as follows:

  • <Redacted for privacy reasons>

Non-members who actively breed Guernsey Goats

  • <Redacted for privacy reasons>

III. Appendix

a. Registry Information for Import Animals

Eight Golden Guernsey kids survived to adulthood from the original embryo import. All were born in 1998 and were registered with the British Goat Society. Semen from six Golden Guernsey bucks was also imported Registration information is as follows.

Table1

*Semen import

Embryo and Semen Import Records

Embryos

The first introduction of Guernsey genetics was via embryos imported into Canada in 1996. The embryos were collected, stored, and shipped on Ministry Approved Premises by Edinburgh Genetics, now known as Innovis Ltd. (http://www.innovis.org.uk/) . Thirty two embryos were implanted into Spanish does that were subsequently imported into the U.S. under USDA regulations. The embryo recipients kidded in the spring of 1998. Eight of the ET kids survived to adulthood. Scawton Hadrian was the sire of all surviving kids.

  • Embryo donor 1: Cykewell Chive produced Swind Copper (M).
  • Embryo donor 2: Scawton Pixie produced Swind StPatrick (M), Swind Patch (M), Swind Pixie (F), and Swind Platinum (M). Platinum sired no offspring due to urinary calculi.
  • Embryo donor 3: Peaclond Progress produced Swind Princess (F), Swind Penny (F), and Swind Peach (F).

All Golden Guernseys in the United States are descended from these 8 animals. A request for import records was emailed to Southwind Farm. No response has been received. Since it has been 19 years since the original import, it is unknown if records have survived. Current regulations do not permit the import of additional embryos.

Semen

The first semen import was received in 1997 by Dr. Dennis Gourley, Elite Genetics, Canada. That business has gone defunct, so we are unable to get original records from him. Goldicroft Peter and Janig Major were collected by Innovis Ltd, and following receipt, the semen was delivered to Linda Campbell of Khimaira Farm. Linda served as the distributer of the semen. Currently there are offspring of Goldicroft Peter and Janig Major registered to Diane Grey’s Bluecollar Herd. There is one daughter of Goldcroft Peter registered to the Southwind (Swind) herd. There are no other registered offspring of these two bucks currently in the United States.

The second semen import was also collected by Innovis Ltd. It consisted exclusively of semen from Crimea Pembroke and was shipped to the New York airport for Mr. Skolnick, deceased, owner of the Southwind Herd. Additional information has been requested from Mr. Skolnick’s herd manager, Laura Burnside. No response has been received regarding this request.

The third semen import was received in 2003 and included semen from Peaclond Pureglow and Crimea Pembroke collected by Innovis Ltd. It was exported with ram semen to Martin Dally at University of California Davis, and picked up by Kathy Noble. Dr. Dally is now located in Oregon with Super Sire Ltd. (http://www.toprams.com/).

The fourth semen shipment included semen from the bucks Peaclond Puregleam, and Aureum Alinus, all collected by Innovis Ltd. They were exported with ram semen to Martin Dally at University of California Davis. The shipment was picked up by Nina Schafer. Dr. Dally is now located in Oregon with Super Sire Ltd. (http://www.toprams.com/) and has generously provided the GGBoA with copies of the import documents for both the third and fourth shipments.

c. British Goat Society and Golden Guernsey Goat Society Breed Standard

British Goat Society Breed Standard (Source: http://www.allgoats.com/breeds2.htm)

GOLDEN & BRITISH GUERNSEY

The Golden Guernsey, as the name implies, is a golden colour with medium gold being the most common, but the golden colour can vary from a pale blonde to a deep bronze. The length of a coat can vary considerably, but generally there is some fringing. The Golden Guernsey was first imported to England in 1965 and a closed Herd Book is used for registration, but the British Guernsey is a breed being created from other breeds by the continual use of Golden Guernsey males on successive generations of female progeny. Swiss markings are forbidden in both breeds, but small white markings are allowed.

Golden Guernsey goats are smaller than the British dairy breeds, fine boned, and are generally quiet and docile. In many respects they are ideal “household” goats. They have a good yield when this is related to their size, and quite sufficient for most households. The milk is relatively high in fat and protein to make it suitable for yoghurt and cheese.

The British Guernsey is slightly larger that the Golden Guernsey and is not easily distinguished from the parent breed.

An average 24 hours yield of 3.16 Kg. at 3.72% butterfat and 2.81% protein was obtained by considering data from all Golden Guernsey/British Guernsey goats entered in B.G.S. recognised milking trials in a recent year (272 performances). Very few of the samples were from British Guernsey goats.

Golden Guernsey Goat Society Breed Standard (Source: http://www.goldenguernseygoat.org.uk/)

Breed Points

Head: Ears erect with a slight upturn at the tips. Facial line dished or straight. No tassels.

Body: Smaller than the other breeds. Fine-boned.

Skin: A shade of gold, neither pink nor grey.

Coat: All shades of gold with or without small white markings and blaze or star on head.

Male coat: Usually carries more hair than the female.

No Swiss markings. Hair long or short.

d. Numbers of Animals and Dates of Imports

Thirty two frozen embryos were imported into Canada in 1996. Embryos were implanted into Spanish does that were subsequently imported into the United States. Offspring from the embryo transfer were born in the spring of 1998. Eight of those survived to adulthood.

Six bucks had semen imported in four separate imports into the United States.

Semen from Goldicroft Peter and Janig Major was imported in 1997.

Semen from Crimea Pembroke was imported by Southwind Farm in 2003.

Semen from Crimea Pembroke and Peaclond Pureglow was imported by Martin Dally in 2003

Semen from Peaclond Puregleam (52 straws) and Aureaum Alinus (75 straws) was imported by Martin Dally in 2007.

e. Documentation of Offspring

Offspring and further descendants have been recorded in the Guernsey Goat Pedigree Database.

To view Guernsey pedigrees you must first log into the Guernsey Pedigree Database at the following link: http://guernseygoats.org/pedigrees/pro2/pp_login.htm

If you have not been given a user name and password to access the database, email saanengirl@hotmail.com or create an account to view the database (note it may take up to 24 hours to have your user name and password activated).

To view the offspring and descendants of the original import:

1. Make sure that “Name” is selected in the “Field to Search” box and type the name of an import animal into the “Search String” box. See the below example of “Swind Copper.”

Pedigree8

2. Click “Search Now.” This should bring up the animal you want.

Pedigree9
Several options are listed in the brackets under the name. Click on “Offspring.”

Pedigree10

f. Embryo Implantation Records

The first introduction of Guernsey genetics was via embryos imported into Canada in 1996. The embryos were collected, stored, and shipped on Ministry Approved Premises by Edinburgh Genetics, now known as Innovis Ltd. (http://www.innovis.org.uk/). Thirty two embryos were implanted into Spanish does that were subsequently imported into the U.S. under USDA regulations. The embryo recipients kidded in the spring of 1998. Eight of the ET kids survived to adulthood. A request for import records was emailed to Southwind Farm. No response has been received. Since it has been 19 years since the original import, it is unknown if records have survived. Current regulations do not permit the import of additional embryos.

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