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Colors and genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by osukrazykate, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. osukrazykate

    osukrazykate Songster

    So I have been reading and reading trying to get a good grasp around genetics and colorations in chickens. I have learned that breeding two blues will result in some blues, blacks and splashes. Breeding two Blacks will result in all black. Breeding two Self-Blues will result in self-blues, because they are both have the two recessive gene for self blue. And if you breed a Black to a Self-Blue you will get all Black, unless the black being bred to has one gene that is the recessive gene for self-blue. So now I have been learning about the Mille Fleur and that they are three different colors used to get this coloration, but I am curious of how exactly this works. So how are mottled birds created? Or Buff columbian, Porcelains, Self-Blues in Silkies (Can I use a self-blue cochin to introduce the self-blue gene) What also happens when you cross a Buff to a Black/Blue, or even crossing a buff to a Self-blue, now how about crossing a white to Buff/Black/Blue? Is there also somewhere somebody can refer me to to read about all the different color combination and the yields from all the different crossing. I greatly appreciate any help in my way to learning about Chicken genetics.



  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
  3. Henk69

    Henk69 Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:Ok on the Self Blue ( Lavender ) gene: lav
    Lavander is a simple recessive gene that dilutes black to pale gray ('Lavender') and red to buff or cream. It operates on any base pattern, and can change black birds to self lavander. Lavender is used to produce porcelain from th millefleur pattern.

  5. tadkerson

    tadkerson Songster

    Jul 19, 2008

    The genetics are actually more complicated than this but this is a basic explanation. The crossing for an individual variety can be complicated. In the future, I would suggest you limit your inquiry to one question. You will get much more participation from forum members. Stick to one concept learn as much as you can then move on to another concept. Numerous questions tend to lead people away from a post.

    The mille fleur color pattern is expressed by four genes: wheaten, columbian, gold and mottling. In some birds the brown gene is substituted for the wheaten gene so a bird can actually have wheaten or brown. The columbian gene is incompletely dominant so two columbian genes are better than one columbian gene. The mottling gene is recessive; it takes two mottling genes to produce mottling. The brown gene or wheaten gene gives the bird its basic color pattern: like the background on a painting. . The columbian genes clear the black from the body of the bird and allows black to be in the tail, wings and hackles of a bird; like in a buff columbian or a light sussex breed. The mottling gene adds a white tip on the feather and a black chevron above the white tip. The gold gene adds the red to the bird. Chickens are either gold or silver. So if a male or female carries the silver gene they will have silver(white) on certain areas of their body; like the breast in columbian birds. The columbian gene, in columbian birds, clears the black from the breast so it will be a solid silver or solid red or buff.

    Mottled birds can be a black bird with two mottling genes so you get white spots on a black bird. You can produce mottling on any bird as long the bird inherits two mottling genes.

    Buff columbian- is a gold, wheaten or brown (basic color patterns) bird that has two columbian genes. The columbian genes will change the red color on the bird to a buff color therefore buff columbian. In order to produce a buff columbian you have to start with at least one bird with the columbian gene or genes, one of the birds must carry gold and one of the birds must carry the wheaten or brown genes.

    Porcelain- a mille fluer bird that also has the lavender gene. The lavender gene is recessive. Two lavender genes dilute black to a light gray color ( blue) and also dilutes red to a buff or cream . So you get a mille fluer bird that is diluted to a gray and buff/cream color.

    To produce the porcelain variety you have to start with birds that carry all of the genes. There are many different ways to create the color pattern. You would have to breed a self blue bird to a columbian bird and one of the birds would have to carry the mottling gene; it would be best if one of the birds was mottled.

    Self blue silkies- you would cross a black bird or a self blue bird with another self blue bird.

    The other crosses you have listed can very depending on the breed you use. If you want specific information you will have to post what breed and variety you are wanting to cross. Please limit your post to one cross.

    In a general sense if you cross black to any color you will get black. There are plenty of exceptions to this but I do not have time to write about the numerous exceptions.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  6. catwalk

    catwalk Songster

    May 19, 2009
    Quote:That's what I thought, too. I have a pair of blacks who have made three out of three mottled babies so far. Recessive genes are hiding everywhere!
  7. osukrazykate

    osukrazykate Songster


    Thank you for your detailed explanation. This really helped for me to understand a few things I was unsure about. I am sorry for asking so many things at once, I have just been looking everywhere trying to figure these things out and can only find a few things I was trying to learn. Plus, when I put my head towards learning something I always want to learn about everything I can on the subject.


    Thank you for sharing. So that is interesting of course yeah I knew a recessive gene could hide, but I just didn't even think about it that way. In my own family we had something like that happen.

    Thank you,


  8. tadkerson

    tadkerson Songster

    Jul 19, 2008

    You do not have to be sorry. I was not trying to make you feel bad about asking questions. Asking questions is a good thing.


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