Breeding Easter Eggers

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by nova022, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. nova022

    nova022 Songster

    Aug 3, 2012
    I am completely new to breeding chickens so this may have been addressed somewhere on this forum, but I did not see it. Is it okay to breed an Easter Egger roo to an Easter Egger pullet or should you have some other breed in the mix? If it is okay is there a formula or pattern that would predict how many would look like the roo, how many would look like the pullet and so forth?

  2. fuhgeddaboudit

    fuhgeddaboudit Hatching

    Oct 1, 2012
    It's fine to breed an Easter Egger roo to an Easter Egger pullet. You'll get beautiful Easter Egger chicks.

    As for the predicting the phenotype of the offspring, we need photos of your birds. :)
  3. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    And since EE's are mutts, you will probably never really be able to predict outcome. That is why they technically are not a breed.
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    Have some fun and take a look at this chicken calculator:

    across the top are tabs...on the BrowseM tab find the picture (phenotype) that most closely matches the rooster, and the next tab says F, find the picture that most closely matches the hen.

    When you calculate you will get some predictions of the offspring. Unless you have the true genetic background of the EE hen and rooster, you of course are guessing.

    I used it with my EEs hatched this spring and Learned a LOT about my EE's, their chicks, chicken coloration and even a little about chicken genetics.

    EEs are truly a fun and fabulous type of chicken.
  5. draye

    draye Crowing

    Nov 30, 2010
    Quote: X 2

    I like mine over any "breed" of chicken.

    Currently have 29 3 week olds, 1/2 Easter Egger and 1/2 Naked Neck. 11 have naked necks and 18 do not.
    MINDANAO DAVE likes this.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Do you have a specific concern about breeding EE’s to each other? If so, that might help us answer better. There are several different ways to take that. It might help a bit to know something about the genetic background of your birds. Them being EE really does not tell us anything about their genetic background. They could be anything from pureblooded Ameraucana or Araucana that don’t meet breed standards to jumbled mixes of several breeds.

    There can be some concerns with breeding any chickens, purebred or mutts, to close relatives. We do that all the time. That’s how breeds were developed and how grand champions at shows are bred, but if there are defective recessive genes present, they can show up. If yours are from a hatchery, they are probably not all that closely related. We can talk a whole lot more about this if this is your concern. There are different techniques to handle this.

    The Araucana and Ameraucana breeds were developed from blue egg laying birds originally from Chile. Your EE’s may have Araucana or Ameraucana in their background or they may not. The Araucana have a fatal recessive gene, related to the gene that makes them rumpless. If that recessive gene pairs up with another recessive gene, that chick will die before it hatches. That fatal gene has been bred out of Ameraucana. Most EE’s don’t have it. If your EE’s have tails, yours probably don’t have it. You can Google photos of Araucana to see what I mean by rumples or tailless. I hate to mention this because some people will freak out when they don’t need to, but this is a possibility if your birds are rumpless when mature.

    The blue egg gene is dominant. If just one of the pair of genes that determine basic egg shell color is the blue egg gene, the hen will lay a blue or green egg. The green comes from brown being deposited over the base blue. Since it is dominant, you don’t know if both of that gene pair are blue egg genes or if she is split for that gene (one blue and one white) even if she is laying blue or green eggs. Since EE roosters don’t lay eggs, you don’t really know if they have any copies of the blue egg gene. One of the genetic experts on here said the blue egg gene follows the pea comb gene about 97% of the time, so if they have a pea comb it is an indication they might have at least one copy of the blue egg gene, but it is not a guarantee.

    If the hen is split for the blue egg gene (one blue and one white egg gene) and you breed her to a rooster that does not have the blue egg gene, half her offspring will have the blue egg gene and half won’t. If you breed that split hen to a rooster that is split for the blue egg gene, about ¾ of their offspring will have the blue egg gene. If either is pure for the blue egg gene, then all their offspring will have at least one copy of that gene. So if you want blue or green eggs, it is a good idea to breed EE’s to EE’s.

    Those are the main things I can think of that might have been your concern. If you have any other specific concerns or need clarification, please be specific.

    I strongly encourage you to play with that genetic calculator. It can be addicting, but it is a lot of fun for me and you can learn a lot. But be prepared for some surprises in what you hatch for a couple of different reasons. One is that the genetic odds are just odds. You never know how those genetics are going to go together with any specific chick. The odds really don’t mean anything unless you hatch a whole lot of chickens. For example, I once hatched four chicks. Two of the four were red barred. The next hatch with the same parents, I hatched 17 chicks. None of them were red barred. What you get with any individual chick is just a roll of the dice.

    The other thing is that chicken genetics can get pretty complicated. You not only have dominant and recessive genes, you have partially dominant or shared dominant genes. Just one copy of one gene showing up can really change the appearance of the bird. There are so many “if’s” involved it is hard to come up with a simple specific example but I’ll try the blue gene. How it shows up depends in what other genes are present. If it is paired with black, two copies of the blue gene gives you what is called splash. Splash is a white and black bird. If only one copy of the blue gene is present with black, you get a blue bird. If no copies of blue are there, you get a black bird. If blue is paired with something other than black, you may get a chicken that is only partially blue, like maybe just a blue tail. This is only one example. It is possible to cross white chickens and get black chicks. What you get just depends on what genes are present and some of those can be hidden. Be prepared for surprises. Some of those surprises can be very attractive.

    I know this is very long. Hopefully you get something useful out of it. The short simple answers to your questions are that there is probably nothing wrong with breeding EE’s to EE’s and it may even be desirable if you want blue or green eggs and that you should try the genetic calculator but be prepared for surprises.

    Good luck!!!
    2 people like this.
  7. nova022

    nova022 Songster

    Aug 3, 2012
    Thanks for your reply. It contains a lot of information and answered most of my questions. Actually it answered questions I did not know to ask. I do want the green and blue eggs. I don't know the back ground of my EE chicks and they are only a week old so it will be a while before I even get eggs to tell if I have a blue or green egg layer to use. I sure hope I do. Mine are hatchery chicks and there is a great variation in their looks from the puffy face and chipmonk stripes to smooth faced pale yellow with brownish patches so I did wonder if they were related but have no way of knowing. I looked at the calculator and it seems complicated but interesting and I will definitely give it a try. My main concern was that there might be some type of gene as the one you spoke of in the Araucana breed that might be detrimental to the chicks, but it does not seem likely that my hatchery chicks would have that gene. Thank you for the wealth of information I will save it for reference. I hope you don't mind if I contact you later on if I have specific questions.

  8. nova022

    nova022 Songster

    Aug 3, 2012
    Thank you for the tip on the calculator I have bookmarked it and will use it. My chicks are only a week old so they are too young to know what they will look like, but I did plug in some random pictures just to try it. What fun to see the results of differer pairings.
  9. nova022

    nova022 Songster

    Aug 3, 2012
    Thanks, I was just wondering. Really they all seem so pretty.
  10. nova022

    nova022 Songster

    Aug 3, 2012
    Thank you for replying. My chicks are only a week old so it will be a while before they are ready to breed. I was just wondering if there were any genetic reasons not to use two EEs for this purpose. Most of the posts I have read say that one parent is an EE and the other was something else and I wondered if there were a specific reason for it. I am very happy to learn that it is okay to use two EEs. I just hope I have blue or green egg layers out to the bunch.
    OverEasyRanch likes this.

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