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Lavender Wyandottes-Frayed Tails?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello. Not sure if this is in the correct category. I purchased these 7 Lavender Wyandottes as day olds in July. I am wondering if they have frayed tails?

 

If they do how does this affect their sale-ability? Will all of their offspring have the same tails? The roo in the back is a Lav Orpington and looks to have a more normal tail.

 

Thank you.

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggrap View Post
 

Hello. Not sure if this is in the correct category. I purchased these 7 Lavender Wyandottes as day olds in July. I am wondering if they have frayed tails?

 

If they do how does this affect their sale-ability? Will all of their offspring have the same tails? The roo in the back is a Lav Orpington and looks to have a more normal tail.

 

Thank you.

 

OK, in this section, we don't use kiddie slang, we use proper terms such as cockerel or young male,.  Now, on to your questions.

 

Feather quality is largely heritable.  You'd have to see the parent stock to know for certain . Further, shredded looking tail feathers can also be caused by poor diet or a sleeping arrangement that caused the feathers to be jammed up and shredded.  Further, infestation of pest can also cause loss of feather quality.  Given the age of the bird, it is also possible that these are temporary juvenile feathers which they moult away as they come nearer to maturity.

 

I would suggest you begin with these two steps.  Be sure they are being fed a high quality feed, one that contains the amino acids provided by animal protein.  Vegetarian feeds are vogue, but they must substitute certain artificial synthetic ingredients to replace those nutrients that only animal protein can provide.  

 

I would also dip the birds in a solution of warm water and a quarter cup of permethrin dissolved into the tote.  Bathe them, swishing them in the solution for a full minute or two.  

 

Once these two basics are covered, feed and pests, then just wait.  Give them lots of outdoor time and space to grow out.  Time will tell the tale of their tail feathers.  :)

 

 

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post #3 of 13
Frayed, ragged feathers are closely linked to the Lavender color. The only way to fix Lavender-related fraying is to breed it out. To do this you'll need to locate a quality black Wyandotte to cross to.

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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. They have been raised with 4 other birds, none of which show the frayed looking tail, and all 7 of the Wyandottes do. I realize they are different breeds, but that does seem to decrease the odds of it being a feed, crowding or parasite issue. They have not had perches yet so I could try that.

 

I am requesting a picture of the parent stock and should have done that in the first place, the breeders are in a different state.

 

Gina

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have read this, kind of a bummer as I was expecting these birds to be able to be bred to each other in the spring. The farm told me they use spiral breeding and that none of the birds I have should be siblings....can you tell me how many generations it usually takes to get rid of if I decided to go that route?

 

Thanks, Gina

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggrap View Post

I have read this, kind of a bummer as I was expecting these birds to be able to be bred to each other in the spring. The farm told me they use spiral breeding and that none of the birds I have should be siblings....can you tell me how many generations it usually takes to get rid of if I decided to go that route?

Thanks, Gina

It will take 2 generations to get back to Lavender after crossing to Black. The 1st generation will result in 100% Black split to Lavender. For the 2nd generation you can either cross the siblings together or cross the best back to Lavenders.

It might take multiple outcrosses to improve feather quality. I would guess that you'll see great improvement after a 2nd outcross and even better with a 3rd.

Lavender is a color that benefits from frequent infusions of Black. If you're really serious about breeding Lavender birds than I would suggest maintaining a flock of Blacks at the same time.

Did you get your birds from Green Fire Farms?

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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yes that is where they came from. I am disappointed about this for sure and I should have done more research before spending as much as I did. I was not ignorant about this mutation, just surprised to see it on their birds. The owner has said that with enough selective breeding I should be able to eliminate the gene. I assumed they had done that. My bad.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggrap View Post
 

Yes that is where they came from. I am disappointed about this for sure and I should have done more research before spending as much as I did. I was not ignorant about this mutation, just surprised to see it on their birds. The owner has said that with enough selective breeding I should be able to eliminate the gene. I assumed they had done that. My bad.

GFF is, frankly, just a hatchery for imported chickens. Like any hatchery they really don't breed for anything besides numbers - which is fine for a hatchery. From what I can see from their pictures of their Lavender Wyandottes they appear to have both fraying and fretting (blackish specks of color).

 

You could probably get an adult show quality Silver Laced Wyandotte for the price of one of the GFF Wyandotte chicks.

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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

:frow

 

I guess this is going to be a learning experience.  Don't know if I will just move on to other birds or try and work with them. Sounds like they are pet/hatchery quality and will require much effort to arrive at something more. It's funny because the lavender orpingtons I got from a neighbor for $5 per egg had better tails and none of the fretting.

 

Thanks for the help  

post #10 of 13

Good luck splitting the fray gene out. Even crossing out to black will probably not do it. If it were that simple there would no longer be any fraying in lavenders. Frankly, I do not know if anyone has correctly determined if there really is a fray allele or if the lavender gene is responsible depending upon modifiers. The thing with fraying, the pehnotype can act dominant and recessive depending on other genetic factors. The one given is that a heterozygous lavender will not show any fraying of feathers. That is a clue if somebody wants to test-breed a thousand birds and figure it out. I worked with lavender and It was not a pleasant experience. I ate more lavenders than any other color. It was a shame to have to cull an otherwise beautiful bird.

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