Cross-breeding colours, how does it work?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by elliechooks, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. elliechooks

    elliechooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2013
    If I was to breed different colours within a breed what happens? For example if I put a white leghorn cockerel with a brown leghorn hen, the offspring would still be leghorns, but will I get a few white and a few brown or is it a bit like mixing paint and I end up with a mixed up mess??
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Not either or, and not like mixing paint.

    Chicken genetics are pretty complicated.
  3. BGMatt

    BGMatt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Battle Ground, WA
    Color genetics CAN get complicated. This particular example is pretty simple though. White Leghorns are dominant white, so if you cross it to a Light Brown Leghorn the white will cover the black on the bird (generally white does a poor job of covering red color though) leaving you something that looks like a Red Pyle, subsequent matings would refine the pattern. Which is how that variety was developed in the various breeds it exists in.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you did that particular cross, the birds in question technically would be leghorns, but not identifiable as such, so everyone would call them mixed breed birds--just sayin'.

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