Deadly IF Homozygous

Discussion in 'Quail' started by LocalYokel, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. LocalYokel

    LocalYokel Overrun With Chickens

    I have a small amount of Quail. 7
    4 are Hens and 3 are Roos
    I have the 4 Pharaoh Hens and a male "Golden/Italian" together in one pen, the two Pharaoh roos in another separated so they cannot see each other.
    I obviously need to propagate more quail as 4 eggs/day max ain't cutting it.
    SO that said I REALLY like the Golden/Italian, the coloration is awesome.
    However I did see somewhere that the Golden gene can be deadly IF Homozygous.
    Some say half die, some say it's no different hatch rate than other Quail batches.

    So the Question is:
    How do I determine if the (male) golden is Heterozygous vs. Homozygous?

    I do not know who the parents are and I doubt the fellow I purchased them from does either as he tends to colony cage them, but he does hatch his own.

    I purchased 9 originally. There was:

    2 golden (1 died before 2 weeks)
    1 English White ( Died about 12 weeks, was laying good, and had some Pharaoh "bleeding" through in one wing)
    6 Pharaoh

    The English white was probably picked on or over bred. IDK.
    I didn't have but one of the type and figured it shouldn't be alone.

    I am trying to incubate some now so I guess I will find something out. If any hatch.

    Please educate me on this.

    If the goldens don't do well I guess I will throw the larger of the two Roo Pharaohs back in there with the 4 hens.
  2. Monkau

    Monkau Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 17, 2015
    Perth, Western Australia
    Pharaoh hens crossed to your golden /italian roo will not make homozygous babies.
    You are fine.

    If you get 100% italian babies the roo is homozygous if you get any pharaohs he is heterozygous.

    All your italian bubs will be heterozygous.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. LocalYokel

    LocalYokel Overrun With Chickens

    Thank you so much for clearing this up for me!
    After this hatch I'll probably be breeding for larger pharaoh!
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You realize that the 'lethal gene' you are talking about only results in a depressed hatch rate right? Nothing actually dies, fertiltiy is just lower.
  5. LocalYokel

    LocalYokel Overrun With Chickens

    No I did not realize that.
    I have asked to be educated on this so anything else you can share would be great
  6. Shamo123

    Shamo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2015
    Great bit of info, i was wondering if i could breed 100% golden giant chicks with each other with no adverse effects but i guess the answer is no.

    In my recent hatch 40% of the eggs never developed so maybe it was due to the breeder using a homozygous male, obviously there are also other factors that could have caused it... I'll just be on the safe side and use a jumbo pharaoh roo (if i get any).
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The "lethal gene" can be responsible for extinguishing no more than 25% of the embryos from a given breeding group. In your case it could still account for all of the undeveloped embryos but that would involve a whole lot of mathematical probability.

    If you want manchurians, crossing manchurians is the only way to achieve them, and youre stuck dealing with the lethal gene.
  8. Shamo123

    Shamo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2015
    So are manchurian quail and golden giants/italian the same? They look similar but i thought they were a different variety according to that list the manchurian can be lethal but it doesn't say anything about italian.

    Ideally i would like to breed a pharaoh male to white and golden varieties but if my golden males end up bigger then it would be a counterproductive when breeding larger birds.

    25% doesn't sound too bad, i will have to decide if it's worth the risk in a few weeks.
  9. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Golden giants is something somebody is calling thier backyard birds, in all the years ive been doing this, youre the first person ive seen mention them.

    There are basically three color phases of italian. The manchurian, italian, and italian speckled. Manchurians are the "true" golden color phase since they can only be generated by crossing manchurians. The italians and italian speckled are generated by crossing in pharaoh stock to different degrees. Italians and speckled italians can breed to color if the genes are pure enough but usually there will be a percentage of pharoah in there sufficient to generate some pharaoh chicks.

    the lethal gene should be mostly gone from italians and speckled italians since it originated in the manchurians due to lack of genetic diversity when the mutation was first being exploited. However since it is a result of inbreeding it may still be present.

    There is no real risk involved. You go from 9-10/10 embryos being viable down to 7/10 being viable. Nothing dies in this process, the lethal gene just hampers fertility.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Shamo123

    Shamo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2015

    Golden giant seems to be a popular term here in the UK but it's basically just a jumbo italian.

    Yes you're right when you put it that way there really a significant trade off, i think it's the word "lethal" that scares people. I'll just breed the largest birds and not worry so much about the lethal gene, thanks for all the info.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by