Breeding Question - What do you get ...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Almosta Farm, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Almosta Farm

    Almosta Farm Chirping

    Dec 17, 2013
    Central NC
    What color eggs would you get if you breed a white egg breed rooster with hens who lay colored eggs (brown, blue, green, etc.)? Is the egg color gene predominent, does it dilute the egg color, or does it just revert to all white eggs?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    How detailed do you want to get?

    There is one basic gene pair that determines base color, either blue or white. Blue is dominant so if just one gene at that gene pair is blue the base color will be blue. Otherwise the default is white. This is the easy part.

    There is not just one gene pair that determines brown. There are at least 13 different genes that have been identified as affecting brown or shade of brown. Who knows how many have not been identified. Some of these are dominant, some recessive, and some that only have an effect if another gene is present. There is even one that counters a certain brown gene so even if that specific brown gene is present, it will have no effect if the other gen is present. There is even one that is sex linked. The rooster will give it to his daughters but the hen will not give it to her daughters. Talk about a mess!

    The simplified basics are:

    Blue base + brown = green
    Blue base + no brown = blue
    White base + brown = brown
    White base + no brown = white

    What will probably happen is that the pullets from that cross will lay eggs lighter than the egg it hatched out of, but you can really get some surprises. I know I have.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Almosta Farm

    Almosta Farm Chirping

    Dec 17, 2013
    Central NC
    Ok, wow! Thanks ... you answered my question ... I think? [​IMG] So, I guess, if I understand you correctly, I'll either get lighter eggs or surprises!?! I love surprises!!! [​IMG]
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    When I bred Leghorns into my flock, the white gene seemed to lighten the base egg color but not change it. I bred him to some blue egg laying EE hens and got pullets that lay pretty, pale blue eggs. Same for green eggers. I didn't notice as much difference in the regular lighter brown layers, their pullets still gave light brown eggs. I didn't have any dark brown eggers (Marans, Welsummers, etc) at the time, so no experience there.

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