Blue genetics question

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jossanne, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I understand the percentages of breeding blue, black and splash. I understand that blue is a color diluter. So my question is regarding breeding blue and white.

    If you end up with a bird with one white gene and one blue gene, is the bird visually white?

    Can that bird then be bred to a blue or black bird and pass its blue gene to have blue chicks?
     
  2. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Recessive white can and will mask blue or black. I've had several white birds that carried the blue gene, but I only knew this when they produced blue chicks. Your chick would have to have two copies of the recessive gene for this to happen. If the parents only have one copy each, then the white won't show up at all. To my knowledge, most breeds that are pure white use recessive white because it is clean and doesn't get as brassy as dominant white.

    Dominant white is an incomplete dominant, like blue, but it is considered 'leaky', allowing other colors to show up in the feathering. I'm not really clear what happens when there are two sets of these genes, but I'm assuming that it supresses more black and red, but still allows some small amount to show.
     
  3. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Also, white is not a color. They(there are two main genes for white- recessive and dominant white) merely prevent any color or patterns the bird has from showing up visually.

    So a white bird can be just about any color/pattern 'under that white'. Could be black under that white.. or buff.. or partridge.. You won't know for 100% sure unless you either cross them or knew the whites came from say, a black flock.
     
  4. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    white, whatever if not splash, and blue are 2 separate genes.
    The white genes are all covering when they express. For recessive white you need 2 copies to "express" (or better: not express color).
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    If a bird has one copy of recessive white and one copy of blue (C+c Blbl) it will not be white, and will be blue, based only upon those two genes. However, you also need to consider the other genes the bird carries.

    It could be blue partridge, blue mottled, blue barred, etc., depending on those other genes. If hte bird has a single copy of dominant white it will be white on at least some portions of its body. It could be completely white, it depends on the other genes present.
     
  6. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Quote:So if I have a visually blue silkie, its not necessarily carrying a black gene? My understanding of blue was that it dilutes black, so black appears blue. And two copies of blue dilute further to splash. But this isn't always true??? I'm so confused! [​IMG]

    I've got baby silkies that just hatched. The parent birds in the pen were white, black and blue males, and white, splash, black and blue females. I've learned, though, that some of them might have buff or partridge in their parentage. Three of my babies look like they'll be white. Could they be carrying a white gene, and any of those other colors, and be visually white? Could a buff or partridge bird be carrying a recessive white gene?

    Three babies look like they could turn out partridge. They're little chipmunk striped, patterned-face babies. One looks like it's probably buff. And one is definitely blue. So how did these colors come out of the above-described parents?

    Thanks for helping a poor, confused girl out. I'm getting a headache...
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Black is a separate gene than blue. For a solid coloured blue bird, the base colour is black. But blue dilutes all black pigment in hte bird, so a blue partridge is a partridge where the black has been diluted to blue. A blue barred is a barred that has had the black bars diluted to blue.

    Black is actually pretty complicated as there are several alleles, and you can create a black bird with any of them, providing you have the additional helper genes needed for that particular black allele.

    If the black, blue or splash were carrying the genes for partridge, you would see it. Buff is a combination of genes. White acts as an OFF switch to turn OFF the expression of all colour or pattern genes present in the bird, so a white bird can also be splash, partridge, wheaten, barred or any mix of these or other colours or patterns, and there is nothing about the birds appearance to indicate the presence of those genes.

    Any bird can carry the recessive allele for a gene and becuase it is recessive, its presence is not usually detectible. Sme recessive genes, however are a bit leaky and a hint may be present--recessive white, however is not leaky.
     
  8. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Hey Suze...


    How many times a day do you repeat the same information? [​IMG]
     
  9. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    The parent birds in the pen were white, black and blue males, and white, splash, black and blue females.

    The colours would be more predictable if you bred the whites separately from the black/blue/splash. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  10. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Quote:The colours would be more predictable if you bred the whites separately from the black/blue/splash. [​IMG]

    I know that. The parent birds aren't mine. I just got a bunch of different colors than I expected from a batch of shipped eggs, and I'm trying to understand.

    Sometimes I feel like people aren't understanding what I'm asking. I guess it's probably because I can't express myself well enough in writing. I've done a lot of reading about blue genes over the last year, and it gets really complicated talking about heterozygous and homozygous and alleles, etc. I have a basic high school biology understanding of genetics, but I haven't been to high school in over 20 years...

    I just need a simple answer. I guess there isn't one. Forget I asked.
     

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