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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I brought this horse up in a different thread, but didn't want to hijack it, so I'm starting my own thread. Questions have been raised about this horse, and whether he is liver or not. Breeder says that he is a black liver, but he looks totally black, and supposedly the stallions is homozygous for black. I can not find any mention of the stallion actually being tested, so I am going to have to go off the assumption that the breeder is just saying he is with no actual proof. There are several other foals listed as black liver, or just plain liver, so which ones actually are liver, and which aren't. The horse in question doesn't fade, mane and tail are definitely black, but he does have a little bit of a red tint in the sun, and when he's got his winter fuzzies, but I'd still consider him a black horse. So foal pictures are on the webpage to further help figure out what color he is, because he did go through some interesting color changes as a foal.

Foxhunter said that the stallion can't be homozygous as some of the foals definitely are liver. So that brings up the question, a black horse that's homozygous, will he only ever throw black, no matter what the mare is, or will he just throw base colors depending on the color of the mare, or can he be homozygous, but also have some other gene in play that he can pass on? I love learning about color, and genes, so any and all information is helpful. Ducati
 

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Nothing about this horse looks liver to me. He looks black as a foal and looks black as an older horse too. Even the darkest livers that I have seen show some lighter color around the pasterns or coronet band. This guy is often used as an example of black liver chestnut and you can see how he fades right above the feet --> http://www.morgancolors.com/merwinsallabreeze.jpg. Rarely do liver chestnuts start out liver - most shed out that way, but are born normal chestnut color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What about the other foals they have listed as black liver, or liver? Donnermeyer Foals

So are most or all foals that are black born kind of a mousy looking color? And do they tend to vary widely in color as they are shedding out their foal coats? The person who now owns him also had a definite liver chestnut mare, and yet she still swears this guy is a liver. Even the picture of the morgan the coat doesn't look "black" not like I'd think a black would look, so if I saw him on the street, I would ask what color he is.
 

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All of his foals look black based to me. Most that she is calling liver look either black (many faded blacks), and a couple look brown. I don't see any that look liver or any variation of red base. I do believe that Donnermeyer is probably homozygous for black and that the breeder is confused :)

And yes most black foals are born somewhat mousy colored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, neat website! A wealth of information and pictures. I just wonder if the breeder thinks that they'll sell for more if they are a neat color as opposed to just calling them what they are. Hopefully no one's bought any of her foals hoping for specific colors in future foals, and been disappointed because the color listed really isn't true. I've tried to find any mention of them actually getting the stallion tested, and when they did it, but so far no luck. I'd be interested to know what genes he carries.
 

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Donnerymeyer is homozygous black. So unless they are lying about that, there is absolutely no way at all he could produce a red based foal - it is not even a slim chance, it is actually impossible. None of the foals even look remotely red based anyway.

Here are some examples of blacks that have faded.







 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So saying Donnermeyer is homozygous black, all the foals will be some type of black base, bay, brown, black, no matter what colors the mom throws into the mix? They say that the stallion is homozygous, so I'm guessing somewhere along the line someone had him tested, so I'm guessing she just doesn't know much about color. Ducati in particular has a bay dam, so while I do know that it is possible for a bay to pass on a red gene, I was figuring that crossed with a homozygous black horse, that the foal wouldn't show up red no matter what, it's just confusing that she lists so many of the foals as liver, or black liver, and most like Ducati are out of bay or brown mares. Thanks for clearing that up. I see a definite resemblance of the faded black mane to some of Ducati's foal pictures, and the same kind of coat color he had as a youngster. He's definitely black now though, and I always just shook my head whenever the owner said he was a liver. So nice to have that all cleared up, and now I know what to look for.
 

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Correct. A homozygous black horse is EE and a chestnut based horse is ee. Since Donnermeyer only has E to pass on all of his foals will have a gene for black, which is dominant over e. All foals will be black based and none will be red based ever.
 

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If he's homozygous black he's EE and he will pass on E every time. A horse only needs one E to be black. So he can be bred to mares of any and every color every foal will be at least heterozygous black and a few will be homozygous. No reds. My stallion is also homozygous black and homozygous for cream so no palominos!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool thanks for explaining that! The first time the owner said he was a liver I am pretty sure I got a really weird look of disbelief on my face. I did not believe for an instant that he was liver, but she insisted. She said he was liver specifically because I made a comment about how gorgeous of a black horse he was and she was like "uh he's not black". Finally found his foal page, and figured I'd ask and get it settled (at least in my brain) once and for all.
 

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When my phone finishes uploading to photobucket, I will post a picture of a black gelding I know. He was jet black in May and by July, between sun and sweat, was the ugliest shade of faded black.. The picture I have doesn't show how bad the area where the saddle sat actually was from sweat fading.

But per this discussion, does this mean I have a super speshul colored horse?? My buckskin mare has a straight up brown mane with caramel highlights, her tail is kind of black, and her legs are only black again because of her winter coat. In the summer, they are as brown as her mane. :lol:
 
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