Modern Lamancha ear definitions, according to the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) breed standard are, "Gopher ear: An approximate maximum length of 1 inch but preferably nonexistent and with very little or no cartilage. The end of the ear must be turned up or down. This is the only ear type which will make bucks eligible for registration. Elf ear: An approximate maximum length of 2 inches is allowed, the end of the ear must be turned up or turned down and cartilage shaping the small ear is allowed.
History of the ears When first registered as a breed, there were four distinctly described types of ears cataloged as acceptable for Lamancha breed registry.These were two specific 'gopher' types; short and long, and two 'elf' types; regular Lamancha ears and Cookie ears. Short gopher ears were closest to the head, could have one fold (but no length), and gave a smooth appearance to the head. After 1960, these were the only ear-type that a registered buck could have. Long gopher ears were small and round-tipped, between one-half inch and one inch long, and accordion-folded, such that when pulled out flat and released, they would fold right back. The elf types were a little longer, but still very small compared to other breeds. Cookie ears, named by Mrs. Frey after the first goat born with such ears, were pointy-tipped and turned up and back toward the head; hugging closely to the head. Regular Lamancha ears were flat, stood out from the head, bent downward, and could be an inch or up to two inches long. Only Lamanchas with Swiss-type (long) ears were unregisterable. Mrs. Frey's herd consisted mostly of regular Lamancha-eared and Cookie-eared goats, but the 1960 rule specifying only gopher-eared bucks did not disqualify pre-existing registered bucks, so her herd as it stood at the time remained registered, though later bucks born had to conform to the standard to be registered. In the early to mid-1980s, the breed standard was changed to define only two types of ears: gopher and elf.