Colors and genetics

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chasing ducks, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. chasing ducks

    chasing ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few questions about mixing colors, hopefully someone can answer them.

    1. I have 1 black Swedish female and then a whole bunch of blue Swedish (no idea on gender yet) if I mix them all in a breeding pen next year, what color will be produced? Will it be considered a mutt?

    2. I have fawn and white runners, black, brown and blue runners, will the fawn and white runners being in the same pen produce odd colorations?

    3. Does anyone know where I can find the standards for show ducks? I need to know what I am looking for with my breeding stock, but have no clue as of right now.

    4. Several of the ducks I have are crested, is this a trait I want to pass on, or is it considered a mutation?

    5. How do you tell the difference between a mallard duckling and a rouen duckling? Ideal has both and I got an assorted lot, no idea which they are!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. The way blue/black/splash color genetics work, you can mix you Blue and Black Swedish and produce pure color ducklings - you'd get Blue and Black ducklings from a Blue x Black mating; from a Blue x Blue mating, you'd get Blue, Black, and Splash ducklings.

    2. Yes, the colors would get a little funky with the Fawn & Whites in there - you'd hatch some colors that you wouldn't normally see. But, I love the unusual colors! [​IMG]

    3. I dunno. [​IMG]

    4. This website is a great source of information about Crested ducks: http://www.domestic-waterfowl.co.uk/crested.htm

    Here's
    a little blurb from it that you might find useful:

    The crest gene is an incompletely dominant one, i.e. if an chick receives a double dose of the gene; one from each parent (homozygous) it will die in the shell. If only one of the parents passes it on (heterozygous) the resulting hatches will be :- 25% will not hatch, 25% will not have crests and 50% will have crests. If a crested heterozygous bird is crossed with an un-crested one, the resulting hatch should be 50% crested and 50% plain. So, as you can see, breeding Crested ducks is challenging and not recommended for beginners; also if the crest is so large as to interfere with normal eating and mating etc it would need to be 'trimmed' to allow the duck a normal life.

    Basically, if you breed two Crested birds together, you're going to have a bunch of ducklings dying in the shell. [​IMG]

    5. Again, I dunno. [​IMG] I have Mallards, but I've never had any Rouens. Hopefully someone else will chime in! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2010
  3. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. Blue on Blue will produce Blue, Black, and Splash. Black on Blue will produce half Blue offspring and half Black offspring. No, they won't be mutts! LOL

    2. Not odd coloration per se. They will pass on one pied gene to each offspring they produce (two obviously if both parents have Runner pattern/pied). Mixing Runner pattern with extended Black (Black, Blue, Silver, Chocolate, Lavender, etc..) is not something that has been done a lot, but it is possible to do. One of our Australian members was going to try an ongoing breeding project doing this, but I don't think they have posted about it recently.

    3. The Standards of Perfection. It is only about $15 for a black and white copy.

    4. Everything pretty much starts as a mutation. I don't breed Crested ducks, maybe someone else can answer the specifics of breeding for it.

    5. The easiest way is size. Rouens are about twice the size when they are grown. In the US, it seems like a lot of the hatchery Mallards also have one eye stripe and are slightly lighter olive brown. Rouens seem to more often have two eye stripes and are a darker black with smaller dorsal spots. These are gross over generalizations though. This is certainly not always an accurate difference.

    HTH!
     
  4. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How funny! Obviously, we were typing at the same time! LOL. I only have a few minutes right now while I am eating lunch, annarie. I will answer your PM later tonight.
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    In agreement with everything else so far.

    I am currently working (on a small scale) with the Runner pattern gene & the blue/black genes trying to produce a blue&white Runner with the same markings as the fawn/white but in blue/black/splash instead. It's a relatively uncomplicated genetic puzzle (compared to many other potential projects, that is--nothing is ever completely simple in genetics, of course!). The first generation offspring of a blue or black Runner crossed with a fawn/white produces what I have been calling "tuxedo blue." It's a non-standard color that looks a lot like a blue duck but with a bright white bib. It's very, very cute--especially in the ducklings. It's also highly variable, and can show up in a black duck too. The presence of only one Runner pattern gene seems to make its expression much more variable than with two Runner pattern genes, so I'm working on multiple generations to try to establish a flock that carries the extended black, blue dilution, and TWO Runner pattern genes with NO fawn dilution genes. Not easy but not impossible either.

    ANYWAY... my long-winded way of saying that I don't think you'll produce "odd" colors, but some won't be standard either.

    Good luck, and have fun!
     
  6. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is no such thing as "fawn dilution". Fawn, the color, is dusky mallard with double blue dilution and sex-linked brown dilution (the same gene that turns extended black to chocolate). Are you trying to breed out the brown dilution? You can do it. It wouldn't be terribly complicated. The easiest way would be to start with a bird that already doesn't have it (like an Emory Penciled), but you could breed it out of F&W too. Good luck with the project. I'm sure they will be pretty! [​IMG]
     
  7. animalloverabh

    animalloverabh Allons-y, Alonso

    5. a rouen will have 2 eye stripes and a mallard will have 1...or was it the other way round?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    CityChicker, THANK YOU! I have Storey's Guide and his breed bulletins, but my children lost the book and my toddler tore up the guides and I feel like I'm blind! I knew "fawn dilution" wasn't quite right, but I couldn't remember what exactly it was. But yes, I'm trying to breed out the brown dilution and breed *in* the Runner pattern in a double dose & extended black in one or two doses... I had forgotten about the dusky mallard part--but I don't think it should affect the final product by much.

    I appreciate the genetics reminder. One of these days my Holderread will show up again...

    To the OP: Regarding #4 a lot of people love the crests, but be careful about breeding them together. Lots of interesting things come out of mutations, but some of them can be dangerous to the birds. In the case of the crest, it's a skull deformity and in a double dose it's fatal to the duckling in a really horrific way (the brain pokes out of the back of the head--ew). Never breed crested to crested and you'll be okay. A single crested bred to an ordinary duck will produce some normal and some crested ducks without danger to the ducklings.
     

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