Pet Peeves

By ki4got · Apr 3, 2013 ·
  1. ki4got
    I just want to get this off my mind. LOL This is not aimed at anyone specifically, but things I've come across over the last few years.

    So for those who might be new to the poultry hobby and even experienced breeders...

    The things that grow under a rooster's chin are not 'waddles' but WATTLES...

    A COCKEREL is a young rooster, and a PULLET is a young hen. (I've seen cockrels cockrals and others, as well as pullits and pults) a POULT is a young turkey.

    And as far as genetics are concerned, mutations are recessive or DOMINANT (not dominate).

    Also concerning genetics, a common misconception that I've encountered is that all the mutations are at one locus (location) in the genetic structure and have dominance/recessiveness to each other. There are many different mutations, most at different loci (plural for locus). Combining mutations, you may get an equal display of each mutation, one might override all others, or modify the effect of the other, and sometimes multiple mutations combined show drastically different results than their individual components.

    The SOP is the Standard of Perfection, put together by the APA or ABA to lay out the requirements for a specific breed or variety. If you are serious about breeding, get it. Then you'll know what that breed/variety is supposed to look like and not be surprised or offended when someone tells you what you have is not worth breeding. Those non-standard birds are fine for people who just want eggs to eat, or meat in the freezer, but to promote them as quality representatives of a breed is just wrong.

    When crossing breeds, or even varieties within a breed, there is no predictable way to know for sure WHAT you will get most of the time. Especially when crossing solid-colored birds. solid black and solid white birds may carry a number of other mutations that are masked by the black or white. And those cross-bred birds are not purebred. Even if the parents are the same breed, but different varieties, usually they are still considered mixed birds.

    There are a few exceptions to this, but usually involving varieties that vary from each other by only one mutation. For example, breeding black bantam cochins to mottled bantam cochins. Unless the black also carries mottled, you will just get blacks. If it does carry mottled, then you'll get both. And both can be shown in whatever class they actually resemble (presuming they are show quality birds to begin with). Another example would be breeding a black breasted red to a silver of the same breed. In this case, the offspring are predictable, but not always show-able. The pullets will be the same color as the rooster, the cockerels will be golden and will not breed true (but can be used to produce birds that will - I won't go into detailed genetics here).

    But then again this doesn't always hold true either. It would take knowledge of your bird's genetic background, the individual lines used to produce that variety, etc. Different lines of the same variety may look identical, but have achieved that result using totally different combinations. For example, in some combinations, the Dark brown mutation acts much like the Columbian mutation. But when bred together, you may not get the same results.

    So my plea is this... when in doubt about a spelling of something, look it up. Type it into Google and you'll find results for the correct spelling of that word. If you want to breed and possibly show birds, get the SOP. And READ it. If you want to learn more about poultry genetics, start with the basics and go from there. Pick ONE variety to learn first. When you have that one down pat, go on to the next variety you want to know about. Pretty soon the pieces of the puzzle will all fall into place.

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