Cross breeding to get a blue egg layer

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sophiejw, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2010
    I really want some chickens that lay nice blue eggs.

    My friend has a cockerel which is half Araucana and it's father was a light sussex. It's mother lays really bright blue eggs. If I cross this cockerel with light or white egg laying hens am I right in thinking any female offspring would lay blue eggs as the blue gene is dominant? I'm thinking if I crossed him with a White Star (which lays up to 320 big white eggs a year) any female offspring might lay bright blue eggs, and hopefully quite a few of them. The other birds I have that I could cross him with are a White Orpington (lays tinted eggs), Barred Silkie cross (lays lots of small white / slightly tinted eggs), a Rhode red type hybrid that lays light coloured eggs most days or Australorps.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks [​IMG]D
  2. HBuehler

    HBuehler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    It all depends on which gene your Mr Roo inherited.He's an Easter Egger which may or may not have the blue/green gene.At best he would have green(blue and brown make green) since he's a roo the best way to find out is by hatching some eggs then you will have to wait to see what color eggs the chicks produce. Even if he has the green genes no matter what you cross with him you have a chance of getting brown or white eggs..depending on what the hen lays..they are all Easter Eggers.I personally wouldn't put my breeding around a F1 EE Rooster...get one you know comes from nothing other than blue and green lines or buy a true Ameraucana or Araucana if you want a possibility of rumpless chicks.
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    If all you have is an Easter Egger cockerel, whom you aren't sure actually has a blue gene left (I'm guessing the "Araucana" in him is actually EE) and all your others are either brown or white layers, you'll have no chance of having true blue genes left. Your closest bet is to cross him with white egg layers, which will dilute the color but not mix it, then take the offspring back to the main rooster.

    But, still, the main rooster has either one blue gene or none, so you'd need someone around to add that extra blue gene. Or both. [​IMG]
  4. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. His mum is definitely a Lavender Araucana, she's still around and laying lovely blue eggs. I hatched his egg under one of my broodies as she wasn't broody at the time. Mr Roo was a result of her and the Light Sussex cockerel my friend had.

    I thought I'd read somewhere that the blue gene was dominant so thought he'd pass that on rather than the light brown from the Light Sussex. Hadn't thought about them mixing to be green! I knew that mixing a blue egg layer with a brown egg laying breed made green but thought a bird carring blue and another colour would pass on the blue rather than mixing as the blue is dominant if that makes sense, so crossing bird with blue gene with white egg laying hen would make blue eggs. I thought crossing with the White Stars would be the best bet (assuming I get any pullets, got a load of eggs in the incubator just now, I'm talking longterm lol) as the eggs are such a pure white, and also big so could take a big chick. Or I've got some nice Australorps, 10 weeks old so not laying yet but nice birds and came from whitish eggs.

    Failing that, I've also got some Cotswold Legbar eggs in the incubator just now. I have to say I'm quite disappointed with them though, only a very pale blue, compared to the very bright blue egg that Mr Roo came from. But I guess I don't know what colour eggs any pullets I might get would lay, maybe they will be bluer.

    Hmm this is more complicated than I thought! Think it's worth trying Mr Roo as his mum lays such bright blue eggs, bluer than any other I've seen. But maybe I need a backup plan too!
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    There are at least 13 separate genes that are involved in egg colour. Most work by depositiing a layer of brown (or removing it) from the outside of the eggshell. The O gene is involved in producing hte eggshell, and that is the gene that determines whether the eggshell itself is white or blue. Yes, blue eggshell (O) is dominant, but that has nothing to do with the genes that are involved in coating the outer surface of the shell.

    Since mom is a true araucana who lays bright blue eggs, chances are she is pure for the blue eggshell gene, and all ofspring will inherit a copy. I've never had sussex, so I have no experience in their depth of eggshell colour, other than knowing that they are not considered a dark egg layer. Anyways, I would assume that papa contributed the genes for an eggshell colour similar to a sussex. The less brown the sussex egg, the less "green" and the more "blue" the eggs from Mr Roo's daughter will likely appear. However, you must consider the genes Mrs Roo will inherit from HER parents. A white egglayer will probably lighten the brown from the sussex, but you also need to consider that Mr Roo has only one copy of the blue egg gene, so only half his offspring will inherit it. Chances are pretty high that the ones who inherit his pea comb (I am assuming that he DOES have a pea comb?) are the ones who inherit the blue eggshell gene.

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