Black hamburgs from blue?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Lukieg, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Lukieg

    Lukieg New Egg

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    Mar 16, 2012
    I have been searching far and wide for a source of black hamburgs.. they claim they are slightly larger and lay a slightly larger egg then the other spangled varieties. Im not sure if this is true.. but im looking for a larger egg that might be more marketable. Performance poultry here in canad sells blue hamburg chicks. Are blues simply made from mixing blacks and whites? If only the black offspring were kept, would it be the same as a pure black hamburg? Thanks, genetics confuse me :D
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Blue x blue will give blue, black and splash chicks. If you order blue chicks you'll likely get a mix of all 3 colors.
     
  3. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No. Blue and black are completely separate genes from white. Mixing blacks and whites would not result in any blue chicks but may result in a variety of other colors depending on what kind of white the white bird is genetically (recessive white requires two copies of the white gene in order to produce a white bird, dominant white only requires one copy of the white gene and can "hide" other colors which are recessive to the white). Blue is a dilution gene that modifies black pigment. What it does is take a bird that is genetically black and "fade" the black pigment to blue.

    One copy of the blue gene fades black to blue. Two copies will cause the bird to be white with splotches of blue color throughout (known as splash). Because a blue bird has one copy of the gene for black and one copy of the gene for blue, and each parent contributes one gene for color to the offspring two blue birds mated together will produce some chicks that have one copy of black and one of blue (which will be blue chicks), some chicks that have two copies of black (which will be black chicks), and some chicks that have two copies of blue (which will be splash chicks).
     
  4. Lukieg

    Lukieg New Egg

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    So the blues.. in a sense.. are just modified blacks?
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    The blue gene is a diluter of black. Here is what you would get by breeding blue/black/splash (BBS):

    black x black = 100% black chicks
    black x blue = 50% black chicks, 50% blue chicks
    black x splash = 100% blue chicks
    blue x blue = 25% black chicks, 50% blue chicks, 25% black chicks
    blue x splash = 50% blue chicks, 50% splash chicks
    splash x splash = 100% splash chicks
     
  6. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In a sense, yes. There can be differences between the blues and blacks of any breed (just like there can be differences between the colors of any breed) depending on whether or not the breeders focused on any other traits besides just color during development and how long the color has been established (if it's a newer color there are likely to be other breed traits that are still being worked on compared to colors that have long been established in that breed). But, genetically speaking, blue is based on black and is simply a dilution of black.
     

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