Could someone explain leg color to me. I hatched a few chicks a couple months ago and I am just noticing that some have very bright yellow legs, these are mostly buff orp/ameraucana crosses. I had my buff orps and ameraucana as chicks and I don't recall them having yellow legs. I do recall a couple of my barred rocks with yellow legs but the barred rock/buff orp chicks I have, do not have yellow legs. They have pink legs. So I guess these yellow legs do not make it into the adult? Maybe they fade away? It seems that right now among all my chicks and chickens, I have pink/white legs, yellow legs and black/green legs. None of the adults have yellow legs. Can someone tell me how this works?
Chick/Chicken Leg Color
Chicks legs can change colour as they mature.
On the most basic level leg colour can be affected by three things.
There is the white skin gene (W+) & its recessive allele (w) which allows carotenoids to make skin yellow. So white skin is dominant to yellow skin. A bird carrying two white skin genes bred to a bird with two not white skin genes (yellow skin) will have all white skinned offspring.
Then there is the sex linked inhibitor of dermal melanin gene (Id) which inhibits pigment from the dermal layer of skin & its recessive allele (id+), which allows pigment to be laid down in the dermal layer of skin. Id & W+ will give white (or pink) legged birds, Id & w will give yellow legged birds. id+ & W+ will give slate legs with white soles, id+ & w will give willow legs with yellow soles.
Then there is the e-allele. The above genes work mostly on the recessive e-alleles. The most dominant of the e-alleles, extended black (E), would also need other genes present to inhibit pigment from the epidermal layer of skin.
i have a interesting rooster that started out yellow legged but now at about one year of age its leggs have changed to a white scale with black lacing on the bottom edge i will take a picture tommorrow and post it here im just curious if any one has ever seen this before and if so do you know how i can reproduce it as it is very beautiful and from what ive seen unique in the chicken leg
this thread is great, it's everything I wanted to know.. [well, almost;D]
Krys109uk: if i had a rooster with green legs [parents unknown but he looks like mini cochin/pekin so one had yellow skin, and second was probably green legged partridge hen. kid is white with green legs] and i would to pass that greenness to offspring, i should mate him with dark skin bird[silkie] of yellow/white?? i have leghorn, riw, polish and silkie pullets, all white, leg colour different. This is very important to me, I'm working on my own birdie project
i have a domineker rooster its supposed to be 100 percent and it has clean silght pink color ,and a little yellow under the hackles ,but, it has the other colors that comes with the breed and it is really expressive around the hens and it makes a slight roaring sound .yeah belive it or not lol
Actually for white or yellow soles, your chicken would have to be Id/? with some kind of melanizer or e-locus that would put the dark color back in the rest of the shanks.