cross breeding


In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 31, 2011

I'm brand new to this forum and fairly new to raising chickens (we got our first ones about 9 months ago). I'm having so much fun with the chickens - but also finding out how little I know about them.

Here is my current question. Do genetics in chickens work the same as any other animal - in that they will have traits of both parents?

For instance - both of my roosters are Dominique. I've got a variety of hens. So far the only hens that have hatched eggs are my Barred Rock which are so similar to the Dominique I can barely tell them apart. However, say my Leghorn or Rhode Island Red were to hatch an egg.....would the chick look like a cross between the parents or look more like the hen?

Thank you.


It will depend on either parents and which genes are dominant in them.

For example, barring is sexlinked dominant and since your Dominique roos are barred, then you are going to get barred chicks when breeding them with almost any hen.

However, if your legorn is a white leghorn, then white leghorns are dominant white which shuts off black pigment, so you will get white chicks from a white leghorn hen but they will still geneticly be barred under the white.

Also rose combs are dominant of single combs so since Dominiques have rose combs, the offspring will be rose combed.
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Yes, chicken genetics works the same as in most other species, but I have noticed that most dominant traits are better in 2 copies.
Maybe that's why in other species it is easier to cross the different colors and get something decent out of it.

Remarkable also the difficulty to make a solid black rooster from scratch. A lot easier in most other species.

Then we have not found a decent pied gene in chickens, only mottled.

Some of the patterns you can make on a chicken are remarkably complex (and beautiful once complete), for instance silver spangled hamburgh and the single lacing of sebright.
This article has a lot of information. Perhaps you'll get some idea of the depth and complexity of the genetics of chickens.

Hope you find it great bedtime reading.

Welcome to BYC.

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