Barred Rock Rooster Genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by willowcreekfarm, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. willowcreekfarm

    willowcreekfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I am very interested in learning more about the color genetics associated with a barred rock rooster. I am new to chicken genetics, but have studied dog color genetics quite a bit.

    We unexpectedly ended up with a barred rock roo. We have several breeds of hens, including RIR, Buff Orp, and Black Austrolorp. I am wondering what kinds of things will happen with these crosses?

    Also, will we end up with any sex-linked colors? From what I understand Black Stars involve a barred rock hen with a RIR rooster, what happens when the sex of the two breeds switches?

    Lastly, we have a hen that we know for sure the father was a barred rock, can you tell what the mother is just by looking at her, or is it too variable? Here she is:
    [​IMG]
    She has an almost cinnamon tinge to her white feathers across her back, plus some cinnamon speckles, and then the black feathers in her wings and tail.

    Thank you for helping me learn more about this. Are there any books on chicken color genetics?
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    With a Barred Rooster, he will pass the Barring gene to all the offspring.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't know about your hen, but is that your rooster in the same pic, you can only see his tail? If that's him, I think he's only part barred, not fully barred as his color is so dark.
    A pure barred rooster has two copies of the barring gene and passes one on to each offspring. So, all his chicks are have barring in some form or another. Sometimes it's quite subtle depending on the other colors on the bird, but it's always there. At hatch all chicks will have a white spot on their heads, although again it may hard to see on a light downed chick.

    A part barred rooster, often something like a black sex link, has one barred parent and one non barred parent, so he only has one copy of the barring gene. Each of his offspring have a 50/50 chance of being barred.

    You don't get any sex link chicks with a barred rooster. It has to be a barred hen under a non barred rooster. The pure barred rooster passes on barring to all chicks of either gender, the hen only passes it on to males. That's why pure barred roosters are lighter overall in color, they have two copies of the barring gene. Pure barred hens are darker, they only have one copy.

    Hope that helps? You can post a pic of your rooster if you want, we can usually tell if he's pure or part.
     
  4. willowcreekfarm

    willowcreekfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    That is helpful, thank you!

    That is my rooster in the picture. He and the hen in question were both in the same brood raised by a hen in someone's backyard. The person's only rooster was purebred Barred Rock from a hatchery and there was also a hatchery barred rock hen laying at the time as well as many other types of hens. So we assumed his egg was the purebred one from the two of them. I didn't know he could look that much like a barred rock and not be purebred.

    Could you please tell me if he is half or pure? Here he is:


    [​IMG]
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    He's only part. Look at pictures of bure barred rock roosters, they're a lot lighter overall. The leg color is also off, looks like, and the overall body shape isn't really a rock.

    I have a part barred rooster and have hatched some of his babies, some are very pretty, some, well, not so much. The hens seem to be prettier than the roosters, which is okay cause the hens live a lot longer around here!
     
  6. willowcreekfarm

    willowcreekfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is another picture of him that shows his shape better.

    I appreciate your help and am wondering how sure are you that he's mixed? The reason I am asking is because we are not interested in breeding second generation mixes. We have some purebred Barred Rock pullet chicks from a hatchery and were planning to breed him to them and then also to some of our other different purebred hens and had no problem getting a few first generation mixes. But I don't think we want second generation mixes. So we will have to reconsider keeping this roo if he isn't a purebred. So, how sure are you? Should I post him in the 'what breed is this?" forum and see what I get there, or are you really sure?

    Thanks for your help!


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    He isn't pure bred and I would be willing to bet that the Barred Rocks you got from the hatchery isn't pure bred either.
    If you want pure bred stock you have to spend the money and get them from a breeder.

    Do you have a picture of the hens?



    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    He's a barred bird, but not a Barred Rock. Not in the pure sense of it. His barring is a messy, bleeds a bit of gold, I think I see, he holds his wing down low, the legs are not yellow, indicating that his skin may not be yellow either and that's a DQ on being a Rock. That said, he is a chicken. Might be a darn good chicken, I don't know. But Chris09 is correct. To get true bred Barred Rocks, you virtually are committed to getting them from a breeder.

    If you posted his picture and asked what breed is this? 90% of the responders wouldn't likely be accurate with their guesses anyhow. These are Barred Rocks, truer to type and standard.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. willowcreekfarm

    willowcreekfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow! Thank you all so much for all this info, it is totally new to me and I am really enjoying learning this.

    Chris, I have pictures of the barred rock pullets from the hatchery, but they are only two weeks old so I am guessing showing a pic wouldn't help. Right? They do have white on top of their heads.

    So I guess this all brings me to the question...it really comes down to that I want good layers that aren't "messed up" by our breeding. So if I breed this mixed breed roo to my hens (which include RIRs, Buff Orp, Black Austrolorps, and the Barred Rock hens previously mentioned) then are we going to end up with hens that lay well and aren't messed up? I understand the concept that he wont breed true if he's not purebred. And we aren't breeding them to then sell "purebred" chickens to people. We just want a good, healthy, productive flock. Can we get that with this roo and our hens, or should we stick to buying from hatcheries?

    Thanks!
     
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You'd be fine. Just select your breeders over the years based on the hens laying ability. If what you want is utility layers you can certainly make your own.

    Select your birds carefully. Nice wide bodies that do not taper in toward the tail. That pinched look isn't attractive and detracts from the organ space. Same with front chest. Select your breeders from only those birds that have nice, full, rounded front chests. This again gives the bodies room for heat, lungs, etc. Nice wide stance, with legs set wider apart. Reject skinny birds. Make sure your breeder hens have nice tent and wide rear ends.

    Do this kind of thing over and over. You can make better utility birds that just randomly getting birds from the hatchery.

    We have a good thread called CSU where we talk about these kinds of things, if you are interested.


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/732985/csu-chicken-state-university-large-fowl-sop

    We covered Rocks about 12-12 pages in, I think. We did about a dozen pages of pretty good instruction.
     

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