Deleterious alleles in Charcoal Peafowl /absorbtion of methionine


Chillin' With My Peeps
14 Years
Feb 5, 2009
Ouray County, Colorado
If anyone is interested in experimenting with charcoal female fecundity please contact me personally. It would appear that the mutation is linked with Lipoic Acid Synthetase Deficiency. - There are a few papers related to the research underway with peafowl-
a lipoic acid deficiency specifically linked with methionine absorption may be at work here as well and the two may be linked. These papers I've provided hyper-links do not deal specifically with what w are learning from Charcoal peafowl genome-but introduce some nutrient issues those of you rearing charcoal peafowl might want to read up on.

These issues may be remediable as non-fecundity of female Charcoal may be a symptom of a specific genetic disorder that prevents the absorption of certain nutrients -which in turn has a deleterious effect on the generation of certain hormones necessary for reproduction. I'm certain I've just synthesized what I'm learning from the mentors that know exactly what they are talking about- very badly. But what I think I'm learning is that In short, Charcoal females may be able reproduce when maintained on very specific rations. The exact rations need to be determined through experimentation. We have a base line to work from. If any of you are interested in participating in an experiment in cooperation with a body of researchers please contact me personally.
Last edited:
Resolution,,this coming summer my charcoal male,split to silver pied will be used the first time.He looks 100% Charcoal in color,except his train has white eyes. I was considering putting some pied hens with him and possibly 1 lone bronze hen I have. The charcoal male I have is getting better looking each day,as his train w/eyes are getting more noticable.I couldn't get any more charcoal/split eggs to hatch last or this year,,so he is my lone charcoal. I hate having only 1 sex of a color,or one split to a certain color as I have with this male,,,I guess the going thing is to use silver pied hens with charcaol or charcoal split males,,and of the 2-3 pied hens I did hatch in 2010,,not one of them was silver pied.I do have 3 purple 2 year old hens without a breeding age purple male,,have considered possibly putting these hens with him to:hmmne of these purple hens has white feathers sprinkled across her back,so she too may have white in her background someplace. This will be my first year of breeding from the 34 peas I hatched back in 2010,,I need to sell off excess males and concentrate of possibly 6 seperate breeding groups.Seems Charcoal males don't live as long either,,have heard some only live 7 years so I'm hoping the silver pied blood in my charcoal w/e male adds to his lifespan. My male is becoming eye candy,,he is coming of age now and is impressive.
It's fascinating how much genetic background is in each line of peafowl. If only there were registries as we see in orchids, iris's roses and house pets, horses and the like.
I'm disappointed the UPA hasn't initiated this given their hegemony over what constitutes a "breed". It's chaotic but well worth reconstructing as one might an incredibly complex puzzle. For this study, "pure" charcoal are preferred as the disorder of extraneous factors make hard science impossible. To date, we think we have pinpointed deleterious demes in charcoal peafowl and helped the birds regenerate specific hormones - improving reproductive health of both sexes- and we've been surprised with results.
The only problem is some percentage of chicks born of the charcoal females exhibit mutations unlike the charcoal- I've heard this described as "Kashmir" due to an unusual sheen of the plumage- reminiscent of the coral and royal purple domestic guineafowl- some exhibit intricate markings on the wings and lower necks/ upper backs .I'm no geneticist so I hope those master peafowl selectionists will make sense of that. For now, we are intrigued with the possibility of fecund female charcoals of known provenance- of well-documented lineages. It is my hope that this first generation of fertile female charcoal peafowl will be entered into a breed registry and their offspring only traded and sold with pedigree papers. It is also my hope that people will refrain from adding complicated crosses until the foundation of "pure" charcoal hens ( with no green ancestry) are established. The objective being to increase value of every single heirloom lineage of Charcoal peafowl of every possible combination- with clearly comprehensible genetic history.

I admire the peafowl selectionists for being able to keep all these complex genetics straight in their heads- this is analogous with what we see in koi, beta and chrysanthemum selective breeding. However most of what I've read is breeders ending up with stock that originated in a grab bag of culls of unknown origin.

There's a use for these amalgamations but it seems prudent to separate this stock and refrain from using birds of unknown provenance in the next generation of intensive selection. This is of course my opinion and this is not an opinion based on experience with selective breeding of peafowl mutations which I know next to nothing about.
This opinion is based upon my experience with conservation breeding protocols for wild captive animals, which include proactive action plans and concerted cooperation between concerned managers. But there is no "profit" in true conservation breeding - so the model is not perfectly analogous. That said, my colleagues working in intensive selection of domestic fish and flowers, vegetables, house pets and horses are very serious about this organization as a means to make real progress as a cooperative effort for the benifit of all selectionists of a given breed/strain/variety- just open thoughts here.
In our 2011 hatch we hatched a hen from our charcoal white eye male and one of our IB white eye split to charcoal w-e hens that has the iridescent sheen you described.

Was real excited when she started this development of color. She has a purple/black iridescent sheen to her.
Hard to describe, varies somewhat according to lighting. But very distinct and clearly different from our charcoal w-e hens and IB w-e split to charcoal w-e hens.

Frenchblackcopper and I were discussing this hen and her iridescent sheen just last week. I was trying to describe it to him.
She is 5 months old and started getting the coloration at about 3.5-4 months.
Will be interesting to watch her as she matures.
Jeanna,,I will try to snap a few pics of him in the next few days,,but he is very,very similiar to his father whom you sent me pics of. I wish the sun would shine more than just a few minutes a day now,,but I want to get a pic of him,and the B/S Midnight male I have next to my B/S IB,,,maybe have a guessing contest to see if anyone can tell a diffrence,,,,but I don't think so.Resolution,,your abitious about your quest of pedigreeing peafowl of charcoal,,but people like myself whom have gotten a start with charoals would rely 100% on information given to us from the sellers of the eggs we hatched,or birds we bought from the breeders before us.Breeders like Bigcreekpeafowl keep exhaustive records for every year on what birds are penned with what,,but not everyone is that way.Pedigreed peafowl requires extra time,recordkeeping,penning.Not many would freely do this unless they see $$$ signs.

I'm beginning to think after reading much of what aquaeyes has written on the peach genetics,,some breeders now have an avenue to consistanly produce their own colors,,once given the correct coordinates with colors needed. These "rarer' color combinations would no longer be a highly regarded secret,or demand such a huge premuim to buy adults of breeding age. I know if I have the correct colored peas to breed together to produce a diffrent color,,I'd much rather do it myself instead of digg'in deep in my pocket to buy them.

To make a pedigreed Charcoal peafowl worth anything of significance would reuire data collected on offspring of all generations forthcoming,with notations being made of irregularities or inconsistant markings.And since this database would be "new",all birds used in every breeding pen would need to be recorded as well,,,not just the Charcoal males- hens that are to be hatched and recorded.Inconsistant birds would have to be excluded from the pedigreed ones used for further breeding. A select guideline would need to be in place in the beginning regarding correct coloring on all the birds.Inconsistant birds lineages could be traced and in some instances all offspring from certain adults may have to be omitted,or deleted from the "pure gene pool"thats wanting to be created. We all know sometimes after several generations are produced some offspring will exhibit hidden genetics finally coming to the surface. And we also know just because a bird doesn't always phenotype the genes they carry,,previous offspring of the same pairing would inheritantly be carriers of the same genotype.These birds too should in all farirness be omitted as "pure"

I know what inconsistancies I have experienced breeding marans on some of my 6th generation birds now.Culling down from 120 to only breeding with 18 near perfect birds,still results in oddball "sports" being hatched.So some leeway should be allowed in early birds,,until enough progeny is produced.
Objectives of establishing Founders in the registry are straight forward.
The only birds to be entered in ink are fecund females.
This first generation of successfully reproducing female charcoal will be the first birds listed. Their offspring with charcoal males:

a. undiluted charcoal
b. split charcoal

would be listed within the registry and formatted upon a genealogical tree.
Heirloom male charcoals would be listed separately and as they are fertile, there are more of them of known provenance- as they worth something to their owners- versus females people are dumping at tailgate auctions and swap meets.

Then there are the females produced and kept by the serious peafowl aviculturists- if they are of known provenance and are reproducing successfully- they obviously be entered in the registry.

No other birds are entered. If it's not a fecund female- which is the five star- its an heirloom male- a four star-
progeny of a fecund female are five star- progeny of a fecund female with an heirloom male are ten stars- subsequent progeny- go up to ten star- depending on phenotype but no birds are culled necessarily because that genetic reservoir is a small one-

As the colour type can be fixed in the future, the first most important objective is the production of fecund females and the conservation of their offspring regardless of phenotypey. From this founder group, subsequent progeny can be refined for colour or posture or what have you. It probably won't be until the 3rd-5th generation that homogenous phenotypes become dominate- and even then there will probably be more than one dilineation- as we see in domestic guineafowl and domestic turkey mutations. Those specimens that do not fit a phenotype are still listed in the registry.

Those are my thoughts- and again- I'm no master selective breeder - I am however familiar with methodology of producing fertile strains of Beta and Japanese long tail fowl that are generally not fertile in one sex- and the conservation of these heirloom strains- but this is an Eastern Asian mindset- all the domestic poultry we enjoy or at least all but muscovy and turkeys- were pretty much created in Eastern Asia- it is wise for us to adopt some of their discipline.

In my opinion, and this is based on thirty years of observation, people that rear birds for money only are not doing themselves, the birds or the new comers any favours. They are creating mongrels of questionable origin and dumping them on the uninitiated who end up with birds they can never sell to support their hobby. These fly by night wheeler dealers are more often than not more than a little shameful. That's my observation-and I hope one that is not too biased.

Whenever people are serious about their culture- and become truly cooperative and adopt stewardship as a primary objective- their stock will prove invaluable.

We can all take a page from the pigeon fanciers. Look at what they've managed over the last few centuries. That didn't come from a bunch of backbiting pettiness as we see too often in some of our circles. That level of expertise and glorious selection came about thanks to long-lasting alliances between selectionist masters- it came from and is maintained by the virtues of close cooperation and transparency. It's in the interests of all the pigeon fanciers to breed superior birds and elevate one another - I'm sure there's a bunch of brainless twits ruining the mood over there as well- but we've got to acknowledge that lots of those folks had an action plan and the will and perseverance that is celebrated today around the world.
Last edited:
If you have charcoal hens and don't want to be a part of this study but do want your hens to produce eggs this year it's about time to prepare them for the reproductive season. Start loading them up on oystershell and frozen vegetables, pull all soy and provide them with generous portions of fish protein- be that in a cat kibble or frozen shrimp (my choice) twice a week. The specific supplements we've worked out for this study are going to be very difficult to replicate but the first issue is the soy- as reproductive health is obviously the defining issue here.
Hey Res, good to see you online,,,,
Sorry, not fortunate enough to have a charcoal hen, or I would be there with ya.

Can you state how many have volunteered to be in this study?
About how many Charcoal hens, do you figure are in the US?

What about the blind cameo gene?
What can be done with records & Coops RE: them?
Sorry have more ???'s than anwers.

I have thought about all the varieties of chickens there are, & you used pigeons as an example,
I would look at dogs. The dog world has had so much more time to create varieties.

The psittacine society also has done amazing work with expanding the gene pool with mutations,
I just wish you the best on this project .... Will not be easy.

I encourage all of those out there that have Charcoal hens to participate in this.
What you have to say RE: charcoal hens & nutrition for breeding really applies to any pea hen.
There are other mutations in all our birds just waiting to be expressed....

Good luck - please, please post progress on this!!!
not sure about the number of charcoal hens out its alot....most gave them away or sold for display..........a few have layed. ones i know of had little green blood in them. Not sure if i can find the guy who got my 50% spalding charcoal hens. was my hope to keep adding green blood to see if the hens would lay.

Well thats was before selling out.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom