Button quail genetics. Please help.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by smallbluejellybean, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. smallbluejellybean

    smallbluejellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2009
    Kings Park NSW Australia
    I have some silver chicks born from wilds. If I breed them will I get a majority of silvers with some wilds?
    How does it all work?
    Also can mutations happen if I say breed lighter wilds together?
    Please help, I would like to have more colours, but here in Australia we don't seem to have the variety they have in other countries.
  2. xxSonja

    xxSonja Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    I was thinking about this the other day too martha, It'd be interesting to know.
    [​IMG] I think i kind of understand, but it would be nice if one of our more experienced quail people could explain it in simple terms... that would be great!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. citalk2much

    citalk2much Twilight Blessings Farm

    Dec 22, 2008
    GR MI: TN bound!
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  4. darkfur

    darkfur Chillin' With My Peeps

    if you breed the silvers together you should get all silver
  5. citalk2much

    citalk2much Twilight Blessings Farm

    Dec 22, 2008
    GR MI: TN bound!
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  6. darkfur

    darkfur Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was talking about the silver chicks not the wild-coloured adults
    silver is a recessive gene which means it can't have wild "in its background", they can only produce more silver birds if silver is crossed with silver
    whereas the wilds can be carriers of the silver
    I'd say she has two wild types which each have a wild allele and a silver allele. In theory from that cross you would get 25% wild that don't carry silver, 50% wild that carry silver, 25% silver
    If you crossed silver with wild you'd get half wild carrying silver, half silver THAT DON"T CARRY ANYTHING OTHER THAN SILVER

    You show me your genetics degree then I'll show you mine
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  7. darkfur

    darkfur Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will explain the genetics just to make the whole thing a bit clearer

    We'll call the allele for wild "W" and the allele for silver "w". This is kind of a convention in genetics that when one gene is the dominant gene you do it in caps and the recessive in lowercase. The gene will have an official name somewhere. You also sometimes see the version of a gene that causes an effect shown with a + and the version that does not cause the effect -
    We'll stick with W and w

    In the case of this pair of alleles, if a bird has just one copy of the dominant allele W it is going to come out looking like a wild type regardless of whether the other allele is W or w. So the genetic makeup of a bird that appears wild, could be WW or Ww. When a bird has only w alleles ie is ww, that is when it is a silver. A silver can only be ww, which means it only can pass w allele on to its offspring which means if you breed a ww (silver) to a ww(silver), there is no possible way it can produce wild coloured offspring.

    If a bird is heterozygous (aka "split") meaning it has one wild W allele and one silver w allele, it will look wild but can have silver offspring if it is bred to another Ww or to a silver (ww). Geneticists use what are called punnet squares to predict outcomes, I will *try* to make something that looks like it on here

    x | W | w
    | |
    W | WW | Ww
    | |
    | |
    w | Ww | Ww
    | |

    What that really yucky punnet square represents is that each parent passes on one allele to its offspring. So in the case of the Ww parent, each offspring gets either a W or a w allele. When both parents are Ww as in the punnet square, the offspring get either a W or a w from mum, and either a W or a w from dad. Meaning there are four possible combinations of alleles any offspring could receive although in this case two of them are going to work out the same. The punnet square shows that crossing two Ww produces 25% ww (silver) 50% Ww (wild carrying silver) 25% WW (wild not carrying silver). Note that the punnet square only represents the statistically expected outcome, not the exact number of offspring you get. Like how if you flip a coin the odds are 50% either way and yet if you flipped a coin 100 times, most of the time you wouldn't get 50 tails 50 heads.

    If a Ww (wild carrying silver) bird is crossed with a ww (silver) bird, you will get 50% Ww (wild carrying silver) 50% ww (silver)
    If a WW (wild not carrying silver) bird is crossed with a ww (silver) bird you get all Ww. So all the birds are wild in appearance but carriers of silver
    If a WW (wild not carrying silver) bird is crossed with a Ww (wild carrying silver) bird you will get 50% WW (wild not carrying silver) 50%Ww (wild carrying silver)

    The terms recessive and dominant are much abused. By people on this forum even. The W allele we have discussed is dominant over the w alllele. This means any bird that has the W allele will appear wild even if it has the w allele (is a Ww). The w allele is recessive. Recessive alleles show up in the absence of dominant alleles. In this case, in a ww bird. The important thing to take from this is, a bird showing a recessive trait cannot possibly even if it really wants to carry a dominant allele for that trait. So if you breed two silvers together you can only get silvers, try as you might. Go right ahead and try if you don't believe me.

    I hope this satisfies your curiosity and proves my credentials as a genetics graduate (although your kids will be learning this level of stuff at highschool)
  8. citalk2much

    citalk2much Twilight Blessings Farm

    Dec 22, 2008
    GR MI: TN bound!
    as your siggy says you are the expert I bow to you I have only been breeding them for years
  9. darkfur

    darkfur Chillin' With My Peeps

    you may have other mutations that produce silver colours in the US, I have seen several discussed with names such as smoky which are similar in appearance
    however jellybean is in Australia, she most likely has the same mutations as we get in New Zealand
  10. worldling

    worldling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2010
    Quote:I for one would like to see your "Expert" credentials in poultry genetics. I'm not trying to pick a fight, but you are the most condescending person I have ever seen on this board. Some people learn by doing, others go to school get advanced degrees and insult the intelligence of the unwashed.

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