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White Jersey Giant crossed with Rhode Island Red - Black Chicks

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have both roosters and hens of both breeds, White Jersey Giant and Rhode Island red, and they free range together.  I incubated their eggs and most of the chicks are black with a white chest.  I had no pure Rhode Island Reds hatch out, and five of forty-six appear to be pure White Jersey Giants.  The other forty-one look just like Black Jersey Giant day old chicks.  Can anybody explain how/why?  Thanks...

post #2 of 4
So - here's the thing about the white gene. It's not an actual color - it's a gene that stops any pigment from being produced. Note that there are two white genes: one dominant and one recessive. The recessive one is most common, since the dominant one can be very leaky, resulting in a bird which is not pure white. Since your birds produced non-white offspring when bred with a non-white bird, they carry the recessive version.

Imagine a room. There's a light switch in the room - you turn the light switch off, and you can no longer see the room. But just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. The room and all the things in it are still there.

The white gene is the light switch and the chicken's real color is the room. A white chicken is not genetically white, it's genetically another (unknown) color. You just can't see it. Based on your breedings, your White Jersey Giants are genetically Black Jersey Giants. Black is dominant over most colors, including red; however red has a lot of potential for leakage, so most likely you'll end up with black hens with red hackles (saddles as well in males) when the chicks are mature.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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post #3 of 4
Queen Misha is a great teacher and doesn't holler.

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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Wow, that made total sense. Huge thanks for the clear explanation!
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