d'Uccle color genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by lilcrow, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. lilcrow

    lilcrow Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    New Vienna, Ohio
    Even though there is already a thread devoted to the love and admiration of the d'Uccle in this area, it hasn't actually focused specifically on the genetics and science of the breeding of the various varieties of the d'Uccle. It is our hope that this thread might be a serious forum for the discussion of the proper breeding of the d'Uccle with an eye toward improvement of type and color.
    Pictures are welcome, but mostly to exemplify what you're breeding. We would appreciate it if you would limit your discussion to genetics, color, type, disposition, and breeding. That is not to say that we want this to be a totally dry and lifeless forum, but just our desire to avoid slipping into pet stories which is all too easy to do with these sweet birds.
    If anyone that is interested in this topic has a better way of stating this or something to add, take away, or otherwise, PLEASE feel free to do so.
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    I guess I'm dense. The color issues confuse me badly. I know I need to learn them, but WOW. I am a hands-on learner, empirical in nature, so I know that's part of my problem with color charts...

    One issue I have with understanding genetics is this:
    Is the current color the only thing that matters for those string of letters? Don't the parent's & even grandparent's colors play a role in the combinations?

    For example:

    A porcelain roo, when crossed with my lavender hens, created offspring that feathered slowly & badly, and they were seriously lacking in vigor. Of 8, only one reached adulthood and she looks like a pure lavender. When bred back to the porcelain she seems to have thrown a couple of blue milles. The chicks are 2 weeks old so far, but are coming in pale buff with a little blue trim.

    I bred the lavender hens to the porcelain in order to better understand the lavender gene, but the frailty of the chicks was confusing for me. I have NEVER lost so many chicks before! The adults were from totally unrelated stock. 7 of 8 chicks feathered out as lavenders, with no porcelain qualities at all, before 6 of the 7 dying off around 4 weeks old. The 8th chick was totally black, which really excited me, but was the frailest of all and the first to die (around 3 weeks old). I really wanted that black chick, and have no idea why it died. I followed all the same methods I used and still use for all my chicks with almost no losses. There was no sign of trouble, other than being VERY slow to feather in. One day fine, the next day gone.

    Could the 'triple dose' of lavender gene have caused the frailty issues? And how did that pure black chick come into play? I thought if anything the chicks should be mottled, not solid & even in color...
  3. lilcrow

    lilcrow Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    New Vienna, Ohio
    Sorry to be so slow getting back on here, life got in the way. You asked, "Is the current color the only thing that matters for those string of letters? Don't the parent's & even grandparent's colors play a role in the combinations?" Well, the definitive answer to that is absolutely! That is what this is all about. Now I'm with you as far as finding that string of letters very difficult to follow. I made a commitment quite awhile back, after making some big mistakes on here, to further my education in the field of poultry genetics. My history was with horses and I thought I knew something, HA! I knew NOTHING! When it comes to chickens, it's a whole different kettle of fish. That's why I've made the comments I have about needing to put your running shoes on, if any of the genetics specialists did log on here, it would be a real challenge to stay up with the conversations. What you describe with the failure to thrive and loss of vigor in your chicks sounds like some genetic frailty in the line and you could proceed in a couple of ways, 1. you could cull the problem out and that requires some distasteful choices needing to be made, or you could start over with different stock. You might also try different combinations of birds. Sometimes it's a matter of recessives coupling up in two certain individuals.
    I was just on another thread and found a couple of links that have some VERY interesting information on them about the color varieties. One of the most fascinating being that the Golden Neck color is the "splash" variety of the Blue Millie Fleur. If you follow the Andalusian gene and know the % of Black/Blue/Splash then you know how to breed the Millie Fleur for the Andalusian gene and you'll get regular Millie Fleur/Blue Millie Fleur/and Golden Neck. I also remember seeing a picture of someones birds on one of the threads and I think he thought the color was an aberrant color, but if this factor holds true, the birds are Golden Necks. I'll see if I can go find them and try and make a link to them.
    My Millie Fleur are really nice and I've got some Blue Millie Fleur that are OK. I am going to use the MF to improve the BMF and in the process I would guess I'll end up getting some of the Golden Neck, although you do need to breed BMF to BMF to get the GN. Well, I'll go look for the GNs I was talking about.
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    Quote:the black chick you got confuses me as well...

    porcelain is mille fleur + lv/lv
    lavender is lv/lv assuming it's a good one it'll be homozygous for ext black...

    so in theory all chick should be lav.... carrying mottle and hetero for Columbian....
  5. TurtleFeathers

    TurtleFeathers Fear the Turtle!

    Jan 9, 2009
    By the Chesapeake Bay
    All those letters confuse me as well. My history is with parrots, so I get which genes are recessive, which are sex linked, etc.... But I have NO CLUE when it comes to alleles, loci, and so forth. I just know "what to what equals what". And the fact that parrot sex linked genes involve the male and not the female (as in chickens) really threw me for a loop!

    If you think of it as "colors" and "patterns" this genetic thing becomes a bit easier if you don't understand all the letters.

    Mille Fleur is a pattern, and the pattern is pied/mottled.

    Lavender is not quite a color - its a color DILUTER. It doesn't add color, it takes it away.

    Add the lavender gene to the mille fleur pattern, and you have porcelain. The gold background color in mille fleur dilutes to become straw colored, and the black dilutes to become lavender colored.

    Lavender doesn't affect white. White is not technically a color either - its a color "blocker" or "cover upper". Where there is blocked color or covered up color, it cannot be visually diluted.

    Now, in the parrot world, we have "visuals" and "splits". Visuals are just that - they are "visual" for that color, meaning you can SEE it. Splits CARRY a color, and you cannot see it.

    As for the mode of inheritance, lavender and pied/mottled are both "recessive" genes. Recessive genes must come from BOTH parents to become visual in the chicks. If it only comes from one parent, the chicks will inherit one copy from the visual parent and will be a carrier (aka be "split to" it). And recessive genes have nothing to do with the sexes of the parents.

    So, if you breed a visual mille fleur to a visual mille fleur, one pied/mottled gene comes from mom, one comes from dad, and the chicks inherit both of them and will be visual mille fleur. Same thing with lavender - lavender x lavender = lavender.

    But lavender (color diluter) and mille fleur (pattern) are two separate entities. One does not equal the other and they are totally unrelated.

    So it stands to reason that when one parent is a mille fleur and one parent is a lavender, the chicks will inherit one lavender gene from the lavender parent, and one pied/mottled gene from the mille fleur parent. They need two copies of EACH of these genes to be visual. And since they only inherited one copy of each, they will be carriers of each (aka "split to" each) - and without TWO copies of EACH of those genes, their color will revert to black. SO.... Mille fleur x lavender = black split to pied/mottled AND lavender.

    On the other hand, if a mille fleur (pied/mottled pattern only) is bred to a porcelain (pied/mottled pattern AND dilute color) the chicks will inherit one pied/mottled gene from one parent, and the pied/mottled gene AND the dilute gene (lavender) from the other. So they will get TWO pied/mottled genes and ONE dilute or lavender gene - there by making them visual mille fleur split to lavender.

    But since a porcelain is a visual lavender mille fleur (it has the visually diluted color AND the visually pied/mottled pattern), and a lavender only has the diluted color (and NOT the pattern), you cannot expect anything but lavenders if you breed them together. One parent contributes a lavender gene, and one parent contributes a lavender gene AND a pied/mottled gene, therefore the chicks will inherit TWO lavender genes (visual) and ONE pied/mottled gene (split). In other words, the chicks will be lavender split to pied/mottled.

    If wegotchickens got a black chick from a lavender x porcelain breeding, then something is wrong. One of the parents is not a visual lavender or visual pied/mottled.

    Jeeze, my head is spinning - hope y'all's aren't...
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
    3 people like this.
  6. lilcrow

    lilcrow Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    New Vienna, Ohio
    OH boy!!!! Here we go!! nzpouter is one of the folks I was speaking of that you need your running shoes to keep up with, and it looks like TurtleFeathers knows their stuff from possibly a more lay position? I hope you guys will bear with us scientifically challenged individuals, I know I'll be pedaling as fast as I can. There just has been so little accurate information available about good breeding practices of the d'Uccle, and if we could have some of you guys stick with us, it would be so much appreciated.
    I said in my earlier post that I'd go looking for those birds that I thought might be Golden Necks, well I found them and this is the link if it will work: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=269521&p=18
    I looked at them again, I'm not so sure that is what they are, they almost look like some of the birds that have come out of some of the MF Cochin projects.
    My most long awaited answer to a question is - How do you create the Porcelain color? It would seem that you should be able to use lavender and breed to MF, then back to lavender once you've added the autosomal gene and get Porcelain, but I've not been able to get the calculator to do it, or I'm not using the right combinations for enough generations. Thanks
  7. tadkerson

    tadkerson Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    Quote:If you crossed a porcelain roo with lavender hens, all of the chicks should be lavender. You should not have produced a black chick.

    Is it possible that one of your hens is blue and not lavender?

    It would not be unusual for the chicks from the cross to be a solid color. The birds did not have a chance to put on their adult plumage, as they matured you may have seen more color (not black) appear in their feathers. .

    A bird can not get a triple does of the lavender gene. A chicken only inherits one lavender gene from each parent.

    If the mortality problem is genetic in nature, chances are the father would be the carrier of a recessive sex linked gene that is causing the death.

    I would go ahead and hatch some more chicks and see what happens. If the offspring have a high mortality rate, you know the problem is due to genetics.

  8. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Songster

    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    Ok, turtlefeathers, your post helped for us genetically confused folk.

    Let me see if this is right.

    If you were to breed a lavender chicken, to a mille fluer chicken, you would get 100% black chickens that each carry one gene for mottled, one gene for lav.

    If you were to then breed that offspring you would get....... now......is this right...??

    50% black chicks carrying recessive genes for for both lavender and mottled
    25% black chicks carrying no recessive genes for black or mottled\\
    25% Porcelain

  9. lilcrow

    lilcrow Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    New Vienna, Ohio
    Quote:This alone would be very unusual, but a fascinating hypothesis. It would explain the confusion, but I have never heard of a true blue d'Uccle. If that's the problem then maybe there are some genetic abnormalities associated with it as a mutation maybe?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010

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