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Breeding EEs - gene questions

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by plantmgr, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. plantmgr

    plantmgr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We hatched chicks for the first time from our flock of Easter Eggers. Our Roo is and Easter Egger, and all the hens except one, are Easter Eggers. We have one Gold Star that lays big brown eggs. I wondered if anyone knew how the Easter Egger genes worked. Are they dominant? Will the cross between the EE Roo and GS hen make a green egg layer? We aren't sure which chick is hers, but we remember that the first one to hatch was out of a brown egg, and it was a chipmunk striped chick. We have one chipmunk chick with yellow legs, so we're guessing it's hers. But, we also have a plain white chick with yellow legs. We have a plain white EE hen, so we were thinking that belonged to her, but we'll never know because one of our EE hens has yellow legs too. Are there any hard and fast rules with this?

    And while I'm at it, does anyone know where the pink eggs come in? We have one pink egg layer, but have no idea who lays it. We couldn't stay home and watch all the chicks hatch, so we're playing who's your mama.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There is no way of knowing for sure. EE's are mixes. You do not know for sure what genes they have. And with mixes, they may or may not be pure for any one gene.

    There are a lot of different genes that factor into egg color. First, lets talk about the base shell color.

    I've read that there are two base shell colors, blue and white. If you crack an egg and look underneath, you will see the base color. With green or blue eggs, it is blue. With white or brown eggs, it is supposed to be white. I've looked at different brown eggs and even with my small flock I see a lot of different shades of white. I have one that I consider more brown than white, but the experts tell me they are either blue or white.

    My understanding is that blue is dominant over white. That means if the hen has one or two blue genes, the blue will show up in the eggs she lays. But it is very possible that the hen and the rooster only have one blue gene and one that would cause a white base color when they pair up in about 25% of the chicks. If one is pure and one is not, then the blue should show up on all of them, but that chicks offspring may produce chicks that do not lay blue eggs, depending on what it is mated with. Or if the hen has one blue and one white and the rooster is pure for white, half the chicks should be mixed blue and half no blue at all.

    Anyway, you should start out with either a base blue or base white color, whatever shade of white that is.

    Then there are other genes that help determine the brown. Think of it as spray painting the egg with brown. Some chickens have genes that can cause a lot of brown to be "spray-painted" on the egg. Some have very little or even no brown. There are more than one gene that affects this. Thus brown may be a real light cream color or that dark chocolate brown and every shade in between So think something like this.

    Base color Spray paint

    Blue none blue egg

    Blue light brown light green egg

    Blue dark brown olive green egg

    White none white egg

    White light brown light brown egg

    White dark brown dark brown egg

    That pink egg is probably coming from an EE that does not have the blue gene. Her offspring will never lay a blue or green egg unless they get the blue gene from another source.

    If your EE rooster is pure for the blue gene, the GS offspring will probably lay a green egg. But if he is not pure for blue, she may not. And it is possible that an EE rooster from a green or blue egg laying mother, does not have any blue genes. It just depends on what his parents had and what he happened to inherit.

    It is not all gloom and doom. There is a real good chance that you will get some green egg layers out of them, maybe a lot. But the problem with EE's is that you just do not know until you have hatched enough.
     
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    The "pink" eggs are just brown eggs, if you've got other browns too, then the reason your pink ones appear pink is either because of a bloom (color fades off when wet) or simply that they're light brown.

    As for EE "genes" - What are you referring to? Egg color? Plumage color?

    Egg color goes like this, although not completely accurately since it isn't this simple:



    green x green = 50% green, 25% brown, 25% blueish

    blue x green = 50% blue, 50% green, many will be a blue-green color

    blue x blue = blue

    blue x brown = green


    So the ticket is, what color egg genetics does your rooster have? [​IMG] To me the easiest way to find out is crossing him to a white egg layer, as it doesn't change the color, only lightens it. I crossed my last EE rooster years ago with a Polish, and ended up with some sky blue layers. The boy was a solid blue carrier. I got rid of him anyway, but it was fun doing that test. And I still have the EE offspring.



    If you want to know color, as in feather color, best you show images of the parents. [​IMG]
     
  4. plantmgr

    plantmgr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! Thanks for all the info. I have enough green egg layers, that a little variety would be nice. We're just very curious and like to speculate. I like the pick egg. We are planning some systematic solitary confinement soon to determine who lays it. We have one EE that has yellow legs, who we thought was the pink layer, but its' usually another hen we find in the box with the egg, so time will tell. I have one that is really blue, and one that is kind of darkish olive. EEs are so fun!
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Just for fun, her is my yellow legged, green egg layer. EE's have no specific colors or specific characteristics, other than they should have the blue egg gene. They may or may not have muffs or tuffs. Their skin, legs, and plumage can be any color or pattern. The pea comb is supposed to be an indication, but I hatched out four pullets from green eggs (the father was from a brown egg breed), all had pea combs, and only one laid green eggs. The others laid brown/pink eggs.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dutchhollow

    dutchhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Pea comb on the rooster is what counts.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The pea comb is dominant over the single comb, whether or not the blue egg gene is there. Just like th pea comb on the pullets I hatched, the pea comb on a rooster is no guarantee of egg color. Nothing is, except heredity. I don't know where in the DNA strand the blue egg gene and the pea comb genes are located, but I suspect the thought that the blue egg gene and pea combs are related has more to do with them both being dominant than any direct linkage. There are a few people I trust on this forum that probably know that, but I'm not convinced that the linkage is more fact than myth. I don't know that though. But I do know a rooster can have a pea comb and not have the blue egg gene, just like a pullet can.

    Other than selective breeding as Illia mentioned, I know of no way to determine what color eggs a rooster would lay if he could lay eggs.

    Dutchhollow, I'm not trying to attack you personally. I've heard that too. But from my experience, I'm not sure it is true. There are a whole lot of myths active on this forum. Some are based on fact and some are not. In this case, I just don't know.
     
  8. chickmanna

    chickmanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do the genes of the rooster in a flock effect the colors of the eggs the hens produce, or just the color of the eggs produced by his daughters?
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Just his daughters.
     
  10. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The blue gene and the pea comb gene are linked on the same chromosome. They are very close together ( about 3 centiMorgans). This means that a bird has a 97% chance of inheriting the two together. This is only true if one parent bird is a hybrid and is supplying the egg or sperm; otherwise it is a 100 % chance for parent birds that are purebred for pea and blue egg shell. By hybrid, I mean one parent carries a recessive single comb allele and a pea comb allele and a blue egg shell allele and a white egg shell allele. Remember this is for a bird inheriting the linked genes from one parent.

    I worked for 6 years with pea comb and the blue egg shell. Research also shows that the two a linked.

    Tim
     

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