Barnyard Mix ?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Gary Mc, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Gary Mc

    Gary Mc New Egg

    Dec 5, 2016
    This spring I hatched a variety of chicks from my free range flock, all pure breeds. Two of my 18 chicks have grown into beautiful solid black hens with white lobes and black legs. Given the leg color I assume they must have Lavender Orpington, I don't have any other black legged chickens in my flock. One of the two hens is also crested in addition to the white lobes that they both have so I assume they're also from the cream legbars that I have. Both are very good layers of blue eggs, much better than my legbars or orpingtons. My question is if anyone can tell me which combination of rooster X hen may have yielded these hens.

    Let me clarify a little; to get these traits, would a CLB roo x LO hen yield the same offspring as LO roo x CLB hen. Also, is there a good book on these types of ?'s, it seems that I remember from a very long time ago in school that chicken genetics are quite unique and somewhat predictable.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m assuming Lavender Orps and Cream Legbars are the only chickens in your flock that might be the parents?

    As long as you know what you are working with and they are pure for those genes chicken genetics can be pretty easy to predict. But it’s not always easy to know what you are working with. There are different genetic ways to make black, white, buff and a lot of other colors and combinations. It’s not that unusual for even “purebreds” to have recessive genes hiding under what you can see. Some genes are dominant and some recessive. These behave like you expect but recessives can really surprise you sometimes when they unexpectedly pop up. That happens all the time.

    Some are partially dominant. If both genes at that gene pair are the same you get a full reaction. If only one is that gene you get a different reaction. The pea comb gene is one of those. If you have two pea comb genes the chicken will have a pea comb. If only one of those gene is the pea comb gene, then I call it a wonky pea comb. You can see the effects of the pea comb gene but it will not look like a pea comb, more of a cross between single and pea. That’s not a great example because there are several other genes that modify the comb appearance. You can get a wide range of comb shapes but you will be able to see some effects of the pea.

    Some genes only act if another one is there. Your lavender gene is one of those. Lavender is a recessive gene so it has to pair up, but when it pairs up it only affects feathers that would otherwise be black. That means if your Lavenders are solid Lavender, they are solid black underneath. If you had what would normally be a red chicken with a black tail but with Lavender paired up, you’d have a red chicken with a Lavender tail. If you had what would normally be a white chicken you will get a white chicken. There is no black for it to act on.

    Some genes are sex linked. A rooster always has two pairs of these genes and gives a copy to all his offspring. A hen only has one copy of these genes and gives a copy to her sons but not her daughters. The barring in your CLB are an example of this.

    These last two solve your mystery. Since your hens are solid black and not barred, the CLB hens have to be the mother. If the CLB rooster were the father, the pullets would be barred. Since the Lavender gene only modifies black, your Lav Orp has to be the father. The recessive Lavender gene doesn’t pair up in the offspring because the CLB does not have it so the underlying black comes through. The CLB is not black so the black has to come from an Orp.

    Crested is supposed to be dominant or partially dominant, not sure which. Maybe one of your CLB hens is not pure for that gene?

    The blue egg shell color gene is dominant. Both hens and roosters have two pair. As long as your CLB hens are pure for that gene all her offspring will get one copy. So all the eggs from her pullets will be colored. That part of egg shell color is really straightforward. The gene at that gene pair is either dominant blue or recessive white and there are two of them. If it is one of each, blue dominates.

    The complication comes in with brown or green. Brown or green is simply brown laid on top of either white or blue. There are a whole lot of different genes that control the shade of brown. Those can go together in all kinds of ways, that’s why you can get so many different shades of brown or green. Your CLB should not be contributing any brown genes, though some are allowed. Your Orp should be contributing some brown or tint, but it’s how they all come together that determines what, if any, brown goes on top of the blue. Even if those pullets are laying blue eggs and not green, if you breed them don’t be shocked if green shows up in the future.

    Another thing, if you cross the males and females from that hatch, you can get a pretty wide range of appearances. The Lavender will occasionally pair up to act on any black feathers. You will get some black chicks. You will get some that are not black, they can be many different colors or shades. Some will lay brown or white eggs, some blue or green. Some chickens will be barred, some won’t. When you cross crosses you really open up the possibilities tremendously.

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