Color Genetics in Guineas?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Sachasmom, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going to put in an order for Guineas, but I am undecided what color to get?

    Are there colors that work better together than others, or can I just mix a bunch of the more rare colors? I don't have the space to seperate pens by color.

    http://www.guineafarm.com/descriptions.html Has a big selection of colors there...

    Help? ;p I don't want to get boring colored guineas, lol
     
  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not trying to be snarky [​IMG] just get the colors you like. There are no guarantees if you're planning to hatch, unless you're like PeepsCA, who understands genetics a LOT LOT better than I do.

    For example, I'm trying to stay with chocolates, buffs and whites though, so I can get those color "tones" in their offspring. (I have dreams of a pied buff). But recessive genes can pop up anytime in a flock that hasn't been separated, so I could end up with all kinds of combinations, but odds are I'll have chocolates, buffs, whites and pieds of those three colors.

    Stick with your favorite colors, then if you're anything like me - you'll eventually want them all!

    PeepsCA can help you with genetics. She's hatched so many, and is "Jeopardy Smart" about that stuff. I just follow my heart. I guess that's my point...[​IMG]
     
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  3. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    X2
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a hard question for me to answer, cuz I am REALLY bias to certain colors, lol... plus explaining how the color and pearling genes in Guineas work could easily become a couple-three page long reply, lol...

    Do you want a pretty mix of birds to look at/roam your land or do you want a pretty mix of birds that will also give you the most colorful hatches? Cuz those can be 2 entirely different groups of colors/varieties... I'll just assume you want both (best of both worlds), as most of us that get addicted to Guineas do [​IMG]

    Light birds can get picked off quickly by predators, so I'd suggest getting all darker colors/varieties if you have a high predator load in your area. If you plan to hatch their eggs or let them hatch their eggs the dark colors and the fully pearled varieties are going to be dominant over the lighter colors and the partially pearled and non-pearled varieties, so if you get a mix that includes too many of the dark or fully pearled varieties that's what your hatches will mostly consist of. The darker the color the more dominant it will be in your hatches, and the more pearling the bird has the more dominant their pearling genes are going to be in the hatches as well... keep all of these key facts in mind and then just go from there when you choose which colors you like.

    And also depending on where you get the keets from and how true their birds breed can be a major determining factor in how your hatches turn out. Sometimes anything can show up, from any 2 birds that breed. Recessive genes can be lurking in the background just waiting to pair up with hidden recessives from another bird. I have never ordered keets from the guinea farm, so I can't say for sure his birds breed true, but I'd imagine they would considering his set up and devotion to developing so many colors/varieties.

    If you can keep the light colored varieties safe from predators then like JLeigh suggested, I'd just order a mix of what you like, (with plenty of light colors/varieties in the mix). And if you want lots of flash... then be sure to get some Pieds :) Or if you are not in a huge hurry to get some Pieds just order some White keets with your mix of colors and try hatching your own Pieds when everybody matures, breeds and lays eggs the following Spring. White + any color/variety = Pied keets. Pieds are definitely NOT boring ;) (It may take a couple years of breeding your adult birds and their offspring back to each other to get a good variety of assorted colored Pieds tho)...

    Lite Lavenders, Porcelains, Lite Blues and Opalines all carry both the blue and the tan genes, so IMO you'd have the potential to get the most colors out of your hatches if you have a lot of those colors in your mix. These colors are kind of like Wild Cards, in a sense. I like my males to be the Wild Cards in my flocks, with plenty of Hens in lots of colors/varieties that will help determine how the hatches should come out. There are a couple non-pearled colors that carry both color genes as well, but the non-pearled varieties are recessive to both the fully and partially pearled varieties (even if the colors are dominant their non-pearling is recessive), so you may not see many or any non-pearled colors in your hatches unless 2 non-pearled birds breed with each other... so if you like the non-pearled varieties be sure to order lots of them so you will see more of them in your hatches.

    I'll stop there... [​IMG]
    Hope that helps and that I didn't confuse you too much. If I did, just ask for clarification on whatever confused you and I'll do my best to explain it the best I can.
     
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I told you she'd know about the genetics....

    But Peeps, if I have one white (male or female, not 100% sure yet) then wouldn't I get a white every now and then, or is it for sure that whites w/other colors will create pieds every time. Two whites would breed whites fairly reliably? I have a white and a buff, and assuming the white is male then I want a pied buff. What I want and what I get are two separate things. :). I'll be happy with whatever.
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know how Guinea colors work, what is dominant and recessive, but as far as knowing Guinea Fowl genetics like I should and want to... far from it. It warps my brain and gives me a headache [​IMG]


    You need either 2 Whites or 1 White and 1 Pied, or 2 Pieds to get White keets. Having only 1 White in your flock will only give you Pieds, not Whites.

    I got these percentages below for Whites and Pieds using punnet squares. The results are based on the assumption that there is 100% fertility, only 1 male and 1 Hen are breeding with each other, and also that every egg in each clutch hatches (which rarely happens)... but you get the general idea of what could/should hatch from each pairing of birds:

    White X White will produce 100% White keets
    White X Colored will produce 100% Pied keets
    White X Pied will produce 50% White keets and 50% Pied keets
    Pied X Pied will produce 50% Pied keets, 25% Colored keets and 25% White keets
    Pied X Colored will produce 50% Pied keets and 50% Colored keets
     
  7. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I get it now. Well, except for that part about "punnet squares." I have NO idea what those are and am content to remain ignorant of them. So I'm going to get pieds this first season unless I get a male chocolate and another white male (or female). Aw, darn. I need to get more guineas. Such bad news. How ever will I endure? :).
     
  8. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Upstate NY
    Thank you! I basically want like three or four colors, but I didn't want to mess up the colors by breeding stuff that didn't go together,


    I was not sure if it was like in chickens that certain colors had to go together? If I am understanding you correctly, some colors are dominant and I will eventually end up with mostly one color?


    Is there a list of APA accepted colors?


    And can I breed the Jumbo to any of the other colors or is it genetically a different bird? I can;t decide on what colors, I want them all, lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All colors will breed fine with each other... but the dominant color and pearling genes in the breeding pair will typically determine what most of the hatch will be. The keets will however all carry both the dominant genes and the recessive genes from both of the parents. There can be some variation to the hatches depending on if the parents are purely bred or carrying a ton of hidden recessive genes.

    Here's the "proposed" SOP for Guinea Fowl It's not real impressive, lol and it is sadly outdated.

    Jumbos can and will breed with any/all other colors/varieties. They are also a Helmeted Guinea Fowl, they're just super sized, lol... but being Pearl Grey their color and pearling will dominant the hatches. I am not sure what % of the keets will be Jumbo sized tho, I have never owned or bred any Jumbos.
     
  10. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PeepsCA, I read somewhere recently that you can tell the gender of a guinea by the width of their pelvic bones through an external examination. Is that true? (Not that I want to do that. I can't imagine the injuries I would get from that struggle LOL.)
     

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