Cross Breeding Lavender Araucana with Blue Laced Silver Wyandotte

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by pullum, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. pullum

    pullum Out Of The Brooder

    I have recently had half a dozen Lavender Araucana's hatch. During the incubation period I had thought about the possibility of cross breeding a rooster from this group of Araucana's with a Blue-Laced Silver Wyandotte hen I have. My initial thought would be the wonderful colouring and markings any resulting offspring might have. Further to this, I had though about trying to establish a breed of chicken, that is to say, breeding the offspring to try and establish a 'pure' breed (you could imagine the breed being called Araundotte's, for example).

    I'd love to hear what people think of such an endeavour, whether it would be worthwhile; whether the resulting breed would have the wonderful markings of the Wyandotte and the colouring of the Araucana; whether there would be genetic problems with breeding 'brothers and sisters' in order to establish a 'pure' breed, etc., etc.

    I'm mostly interested in seeing what wonderful colouring and markings offspring would have from a cross brededing of the two varieties.

    Love to hear what people think.

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    That’s an interesting cross. I’m not familiar with either one genetically so I went to the calculator to see what would happen. The results are simplistic and the calculator makes certain assumptions about the underlying genetics. For example, it assumes you Lavenders are pure for Extended Black. There are other genetic mixes that could give you Lavender so this is just a guess. What you are most likely to get in the first generation is about half solid blue and half solid black. Not a whole lot of variation.

    But if you then cross two of the blue offspring you hit the jackpot. There are so many different gene mix possibilities you could get a huge variation in color and pattern. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this much variety with any cross I’ve looked at. The odds of getting some of these would be less than 1 in 16,000. You’d have to hatch a bunch of chicks to get breeders for you to choose from.

    One thing you could do to get closer to what you are talking about is to take a rooster from that cross and breed him back to the mother. You’ll still get a lot of variation in the chicks but if you hatch enough chicks you will get closer to what you say you want. I wouldn’t be too surprised if you changed your mind after seeing some of these chicks.

    It would take a lot of generations to stabilize colors and patterns. There are just a lot of different genes involved, many of them recessive. I think the general rule is that you need to go five generations with consistent results before you can consider them stabilized. But by carefully selecting your breeders each generation, you can eventually get there.

    There is a lot more to “breed” than just color and pattern. An important one is body conformation, but size, behaviors, and many other things go into it. You might think of them as a project birds more than a breed.

    There are techniques for breeding related birds back to each other and still keep a certain amount of genetic diversity. You might look up spiral breeding for example. They need to maintain a certain amount of genetic diversity for many health and productivity reasons. That’s basically how all chicken breeds have been developed, breeding related birds back to each other but it takes someone knowledgeable to be able to do that successfully.

    There is nothing wrong with you playing around with it. It’s a lot of fun. To be successful you have to know what you want to achieve and be consistent. If you are really serious about doing this, I suggest you really get into chicken genetics and study how people have been able to achieve this in the past. You’ll have to hatch a lot of chicks, especially early on, and do something with them. You’ll need breeding pens and you’ll spend a lot of money on facilities and feed. I have a lot of respect for people that do this type of thing. It’s not easy to do it right and it takes years to get results.
  3. pullum

    pullum Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you Ridgerunner for your extensive reply. I'm quite new at keeping chickens, and breeding is something I'd like to get into in the future, whether that be heritage breeds or experimenting with cross breeding, though your reply has given me a lot to think about and some motivation to see where this can go.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I may not be doing you any favors by giving you this link to the calculator. It can be pretty addictive.

    Cross Calculator

    You can probably figure out the mechanics of how to work it but if you need some help, let me know.

    Chicken genetics are not just simple dominant-recessive genes. There are some genes that are partially dominant or incompletely dominant. They may have absolutely no effect unless some other gene is there, then that might take over. Genes come in gene pairs. You don’t always have both genes the same, even in chickens that are supposed to be purebred. You have the sex linked genes where the hen gives a copy of everything she has to her sons but withholds some from her daughters. At some points on the DNA you may not have just two choices for what gene is there but may have several choices, like the first point on that calculator.

    The hard part is knowing which genetics you have to start with. There are often different ways to get the same color. Your lavenders may be based on extended black or they could be birchen with melanizers. They may be something else or even a mix of these and others. Buff can be made different ways and often have modifying genes in it that can do some really funny things. Chicken genetics are a mess.

    For your potential cross, I’d pull down the lavender for the rooster and run with that, but on the hen, pull down the blue laced red then physically change the “gold-wildtype” to “silver” after you go “to chicken calculator”. The symbol for that is smaller case “s” for gold and upper case “S” for silver. On this calculator the upper case signifies that is the dominant gene and lower case is the recessive gene.

    If you do that and then hit “calculate cross”, you’ll come up with half solid black and half solid blue. But if you then select “continue with this male/female” and choose the blues, followed by calculate cross again, you’ll get a tremendous number of possibilities. On my computer the sheer number of calculations freezes if for several seconds.
  5. pullum

    pullum Out Of The Brooder

    All I can say is, wow! I have a white wyandotte as well, also some black australorps, a rhode island red... This could get interesting.
  6. RumAndCoconuts

    RumAndCoconuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2014
    Great Exuma, Bahamas
    Pullum, I am wondering if you ever went ahead with this cross and if so what the results have been, I too have lavendar ameraucanas and just one beautiful blue laced red Wyandotte pullet. Since I can't continue to breed them true I am wondering who I should pair her up with come spring. Would love to her what you've done there.


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