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

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    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

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    Not either or, and not like mixing paint.

    Chicken genetics are pretty complicated.
     
  3. BGMatt

    BGMatt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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
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  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    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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