Gopher Ears

Gopher ears stay tight to the animal's head.  They are generally less than one inch in length, measured as they rest, not stretched out.  They are the only ear acceptable for American and Purebred registration in Bucks.


 They often have a triangular tip that can point up or down, but that tip has little or no cartilage in it and the animal cannot move the ear around to point it at sounds.


The skin around the ear is generally folded into wrinkles due to the lack of cartilage.

Sometimes from the front of the animal's head, or looking from the top down, you cannot see the ear at all! 


Elf Ears

Elf ears vary in length, but shorter is better.  They are correct on Does and can be up to one and a half (1.5) inches in length in Miniature LaManchas. They are not allowed on American or Purebred bucks.


They often have a triangular tip that points up or down, and that tip has cartilage in it that the animal can move the ear around to point it at sounds.


 The skin around the ear may have some folds at the base but the ear itself does not.

 You can always see an elf ear from any angle.

Test Breeding

Some ears are confusing.  They are maybe just a little too long.  They look like gopher ears but are not. Sometimes, it's really hard to tell.


To tell for sure you can test breed your animal to an upright (swiss) eared animal.  If your animal really has elf ears (not gopher) you cannot get gopher eared offspring from that combination.  You will get either elf ears or upright ears, but not gopher.

Or, you can breed it to a true gopher eared animal.  The result then can be only gopher ears.  Any elf eared offspring means that your suspect parent carries the upright ear gene, and is indeed elf eared, and not gopher.

A longish gopher ear (below) can only come from true gopher eared parents.  Then it is still a true gopher ear.

So, her parents are above.  Does this doe have elf or gopher ears??