Are extra toes normal and will they be passed down?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by doegb, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. doegb

    doegb New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2012
    Hello everyone,
    I am very new here, and am also quite new to chickens. I obtained 3 OEG silver duckwing pullets, but 2 of the three have an extra toe growing off the back one on one foot, and the third has them on both! I also purchased a gold duckwing cockerel and now I have successfully bred my first chicks, but 50% of them have an extra toe! Please can you tell me if this is normal and if it will be carried down?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. CHICKEN CRAZY1

    CHICKEN CRAZY1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some breeds have an extra toe. ( they have been bred like that.) Perhaps you chicks came from a strain that had extra toes?
     
  3. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with chicken crazy. Somewhere in the ancestry of your female parent birds polydactyly was introduced into a breeding regimen.

    Polydactyly ( an extra toe) has a complicated genetic expression. Sometimes birds that carry the gene for an extra toe do not express the trait. If a person crosses two birds that do not have an extra toe (they both have 4 toes) and some of the offspring have polydactyly that would mean at least one of the birds is a carrier of the gene for polydactyly but the parent bird does not express the trait. This can occur.

    In your case, some of the chicks that do not have an extra toe may be carrying the gene. Because they do not express the trait does not mean that they will not pass the trait onto their offspring. This is a possibility.

    From the information you have presented I am guessing that the polydactyly parent females may only carry one polydactyly gene. This would be normal.

    The only way to know for sure concerning how many polydactyly genes each hen carries would be to test cross each female bird separately with the male and keep records for each hen..

    Polydactyly is a trait found in some breeds of chickens; faverolles and silkies are examples.

    My suggestion to you would be to ask for your money back on the birds with polydactyly. OEG should not have polydactyly and the person selling you the birds should have known better. The trait can easily be seen in the chicks. They should have told you they were culls and not standard birds. I am assuming they did not tell you they were culls from a project. If they do not know the difference, they need to educate themselves before they sell any more birds and inform the buyer about any non standard traits in the birds.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    I also wonder if the birds really are OEGB at all? Photos would help with that. But I cannot think of any 5-toed breeds that come close to looking like an OEGB. A dorking is probably the closest, and they certainly don't look like OEGB. But at least they doesn't have a crest, foot feathers or muff & beard. Really short legs would indicate a dorking.
     
  5. doegb

    doegb New Egg

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    Thank you very much for the help. But is it actually possible to breed this out? Is it also true that this gene comes from too much breeding amongst close family, like someone said at this Yahoo Answers page; http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080820031800AAhw51T? If a photo is necessary I would be happy to post one.

    Thanks
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    No, extra toes are not an inbreeding issue. It is a dominant gene. Yes, it can be bred out, but unless you are planning to show, WHY?

    Yes, please post a photo of your bird, along with photos of the toes.
     
  7. doegb

    doegb New Egg

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    Hello Sonoran Slikies,
    I just don't really feel comfortable with breeding this gene. I may show, but I'm not sure. Would you do it if you weren't showing?
    Here is a photo of my bird with an extra toe on both feet; (I only took this one picture a while ago on a borrowed camera - I don't have one so sorry about it not being very good)
    [​IMG]

    And here it is close-up;
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    I'd be more concerned about the apparent lack of a 4th toe on the one foot than the 5th toe on the other. I honestly can't tell whether they are OEGB or dorkings. Also, the legs look to be willow, not good for either OEGB or dorkings. What colour eggs do they lay?
     
  9. doegb

    doegb New Egg

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    That chicken is actually turning around to eat so the foot on the right in the photo is actually her right foot, she's pivoting on it. It is exactly the same other side. with the toes. The eggs are very white, as expected?
     

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