Ancona Color Genetics

Apr 26, 2021
95
121
101
Upstate South Carolina
I am going Saturday to pick up an Ancona drake and a hen for breeding. I already have 1 blue hen and 1 either lavender or lilac, I'm not sure which. The lavender/lilac has chocolate undertones. I love the chocolate and buff colorings on the Anconas so would like to hatch some ducklings with those colors, and I read chocolate genes have to be passed through the father. I will try to get a chocolate drake but if there aren't any available, is there another color that is likely to give me chocolate ducklings? And anyone know which parent combinations could hatch buff Anconas? I've been reading up on it; Ancona color genetics seem extremely complicated and hard to predict.
 

Pyxis

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Pardon the slow reply!

So, Chocolate is its own gene. To get chocolate, you must already have chocolate.

Your lilac/lavender hen is Chocolate - that's what those colors are, chocolate plus one or two copies of blue. So, her sons will all carry one copy of chocolate. None will express it.

You can use those sons to breed more chocolates. By breeding back to their mother, you could get chocolate/lilac/lavender ducklings in both genders.

If instead you breed them to an unrelated female that is not chocolate, half the female offspring from that breeding would be chocolate, and half the male offspring would be carrying chocolate.

On the buff front, buff is also its own gene. It too is sex linked, so it breeds just like chocolate.
 
Apr 26, 2021
95
121
101
Upstate South Carolina
Pardon the slow reply!

So, Chocolate is its own gene. To get chocolate, you must already have chocolate.

Your lilac/lavender hen is Chocolate - that's what those colors are, chocolate plus one or two copies of blue. So, her sons will all carry one copy of chocolate. None will express it.

You can use those sons to breed more chocolates. By breeding back to their mother, you could get chocolate/lilac/lavender ducklings in both genders.

If instead you breed them to an unrelated female that is not chocolate, half the female offspring from that breeding would be chocolate, and half the male offspring would be carrying chocolate.

On the buff front, buff is also its own gene. It too is sex linked, so it breeds just like chocolate.
No problem; thank you for the explanation! You made it easier to understand and I'm glad I can still get chocolates without a chocolate drake. I ended up with a lavender drake and a black hen. And I am pretty sure now that my other hen is a lilac.
 

Pyxis

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I ended up with a lavender drake

That's chocolate, then :) So if you want just basic Chocolate, not lavender or lilac, you'll need to breed the blue gene out. You can breed him to the black hen and get female lilac ducklings and male blue ducklings that are carrying chocolate. Then if you bred those blue males to your lilac hen, you'd get some plain chocolate male and female ducklings. You'd also get a lot of other stuff, lol, but if you hatch enough there will be some Chocolates.
 
Apr 26, 2021
95
121
101
Upstate South Carolina
That's chocolate, then :) So if you want just basic Chocolate, not lavender or lilac, you'll need to breed the blue gene out. You can breed him to the black hen and get female lilac ducklings and male blue ducklings that are carrying chocolate. Then if you bred those blue males to your lilac hen, you'd get some plain chocolate male and female ducklings. You'd also get a lot of other stuff, lol, but if you hatch enough there will be some Chocolates.
Thanks so much! I can't wait to try it in the spring. I do want some plain chocolates but other colors are beautiful too.
 

Duck-a-Dee

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
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I am going Saturday to pick up an Ancona drake and a hen for breeding. I already have 1 blue hen and 1 either lavender or lilac, I'm not sure which. The lavender/lilac has chocolate undertones. I love the chocolate and buff colorings on the Anconas so would like to hatch some ducklings with those colors, and I read chocolate genes have to be passed through the father. I will try to get a chocolate drake but if there aren't any available, is there another color that is likely to give me chocolate ducklings? And anyone know which parent combinations could hatch buff Anconas? I've been reading up on it; Ancona color genetics seem extremely complicated and hard to predict.
There is no such thing as a true "buff" Ancona but the Lilac Anconas and sun bleached Chocolate Anconas can look buff. Lavender + Lavender will get roughly 25% Lilacs and 25% Chocolates. A Lavender + a Lilac will get roughly 50% Lilacs and 50% Lavenders. Chocolate + Lilac = 100% Lavender. Many Black Ancona drakes out there are in fact Chocolate splits so you could get a Black drake from someone and you would have decent odds of plain Chocolate ducklings in both genders and not have to weed out other colors besides black and the occasional Tricolor. Even if the breeder flock doesn't have Chocolate or very many Chocolate ducks in their flock it is still possible their drakes are splits.
I don't recommend interbreeding at all. It really isn't necessary in order to get the colors you want. Some bird people out there do it but it does increase the odds of defects in the offspring and increases the prevalence of genetic defect carriers. Not worth the consequences.
 
Apr 26, 2021
95
121
101
Upstate South Carolina
There is no such thing as a true "buff" Ancona but the Lilac Anconas and sun bleached Chocolate Anconas can look buff. Lavender + Lavender will get roughly 25% Lilacs and 25% Chocolates. A Lavender + a Lilac will get roughly 50% Lilacs and 50% Lavenders. Chocolate + Lilac = 100% Lavender. Many Black Ancona drakes out there are in fact Chocolate splits so you could get a Black drake from someone and you would have decent odds of plain Chocolate ducklings in both genders and not have to weed out other colors besides black and the occasional Tricolor. Even if the breeder flock doesn't have Chocolate or very many Chocolate ducks in their flock it is still possible their drakes are splits.
I don't recommend interbreeding at all. It really isn't necessary in order to get the colors you want. Some bird people out there do it but it does increase the odds of defects in the offspring and increases the prevalence of genetic defect carriers. Not worth the consequences.
Oh ok, thanks. I hope to look for another line of Anconas to outcross with sometime. I do have a couple of buff ducks who I've thought of breeding to my Ancona drake to see if the offspring would look like a Buff Ancona. Of course they wouldn't be purebred but would probably be really pretty. But so far the drake has not been mating at all that I've seen...so unless he starts in the spring I won't even have Ancona ducklings :hit. He is not the top drake out of my 2 and has only been in the flock for less than 2 months, so maybe that has something to do with it?
 
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Duck-a-Dee

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
11
29
64
Oh ok, thanks. I hope to look for another line of Anconas to outcross with sometime. I do have a couple of buff ducks who I've thought of breeding to my Ancona drake to see if the offspring would look like a Buff Ancona. Of course they wouldn't be purebred but would probably be really pretty. But so far the drake has not been mating at all that I've seen...so unless he starts in the spring I won't even have Ancona ducklings :hit. He is not the top drake out of my 2 and has only been in the flock for less than 2 months, so maybe that has something to do with it?
Sounds like a fun cross. You should go for it and see what hatches 😃
Yes the time of year and relatively short time with you could be why. How old is he? Young drakes aren't very virile until spring. I have some young Ancona boys hatched last summer and I haven't seen any of them try to mate but my mature, seasoned drakes have been getting the girls all winter. Fingers crossed you'll be able to hatch Ancona ducklings 😊🤞🐣🦆
 
Apr 26, 2021
95
121
101
Upstate South Carolina
Sounds like a fun cross. You should go for it and see what hatches 😃
Yes the time of year and relatively short time with you could be why. How old is he? Young drakes aren't very virile until spring. I have some young Ancona boys hatched last summer and I haven't seen any of them try to mate but my mature, seasoned drakes have been getting the girls all winter. Fingers crossed you'll be able to hatch Ancona ducklings 😊🤞🐣🦆
I just might do that if all goes well with the Ancona hatches! I'm not certain but I think he might not be a year old yet. The breeder said she had too many young drakes and I'm assuming that meant they were from her last spring or summer's hatch. I'm hopeful he'll step it up in the spring.
 

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