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                 How did I get that color??!!

 A quick Belted Galloway Genetics Primer

   You already know about the three colors of belties. Often you may get offspring of an unexpected color from a certain breeding. How did my black and dun cross give me a red offspring? Hopefully I can help explain.

  The color of a beltie depends on the interaction of two sets of genes, that of the sire and the dam. The color you see on the animal is called the phenotype. The animal may be carrying another color gene that is not outwardly visible because it is a recessive gene, which means it is covered up by another gene that is more powerful.

In most animals, Black is usually the dominant color, but not in Belties. The Dun color is the dominant color.  If a beltie has a Dun gene, its coat will be a shade of dun, however that animal may carry the recessive black or red gene in its genotype. The genotype is the genetic code the animal carries. Hopefully the chart below will help you decipher the genetic code of your herd. Although you cannot see the genotype, you can often figure it out by seeing the colors of offspring they have. You may be able to see if your black bull carries a red gene, etc.

The color of the text below is the animals phenotype (appearance) but the letters are the genotype. It is possible to figure out your whole herd's genetic makeup! You can actually predict the color of offspring of a given mating if you know the genotype of the individual animals.

The dun gene is influenced by the recessive gene paired with it. A beltie with two dun genes is a diluted color called a silver dun. A dun with a black gene is usually a chocolate or grey color, and a dun with a red gene tends to be more yellow or diluted red.

Choose one side of the square as the sire and one for the dam. Where the squares intersect will be the possible colors of the offspring.

I hope this helps to explain how you got that color!!