Duck Color Genetics - Snowies?

ConnieA

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
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This January, I put together a pair of Dutch Hookbills that I thought were both snowies in preparation for the breeding season. They were colored like a pair of snowy call ducks I have, which look pretty much like all the other snowies at the shows I went to before the pandemic.

Snowies IMG_20200403_181315.jpg


I hatched 8 eggs from them, expecting to see eight snowies. I was surprised to see only four that looked light-colored, like snowies; two that I was told were probably Aleutians, dark with a little light fuzz; and two that I was told were probably Mallards/Grays, which did look similar in color to my runner duck gray ducklings, maybe a bit more checkered.

Five Hookbill ducklings out of my mixed snowy pair IMG_20200626_212950.jpg


Then I found the color calculator (https://kippenjungle.nl/kruisingEend.html) and tried several combinations. The only combination I found that started with similar-looking parents and ended up with at least three different colors was an Appleyard Spot Male
(MRM+ lilih e+e+ bl+bl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+D+ Bu+Bu+)
and a Snowy Female
(M+M+ lihlih e+e+ bl+bl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+- Bu+-),

So, here are the ducklings at about three months.


The ones with eye stripes grew up from the checkered mallard ducklings, the very dark ones were from the dark "Aleutian" ducklings, and the rest are all from the yellow ducklings with black tipped fuzz.

I was hoping to give a pair of snowies to a friend in September, but now I am not sure if any of them will be snowies, at all! Will I have to wait until they are grown before I can tell what color they are?

And, if none of these ducklings are snowies, do I have a path to get snowies out of these ducks?

Thank you for your help!
 

Fuchsia

Anna
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2020
2,463
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426
NY
Maybe @Pyxis can help you with color genetics if that’s what you are looking for. Sorry I can‘t I know nothing about color except that your ducks are pretty and I love the color :D
 

TomCahalan

Chirping
Feb 13, 2020
302
319
91
Ohio
What color is the speculum on the mother? In the picture it looks gray to me. The lack of iridescent blue would suggest a dilution allele (such as blue or chocolate) or two dusky alleles.

In the picture of their children, the one front and center has a broken neck ring, just white in the front. Holderread states that some dusky drakes have such a marking. I remember reading elsewhere that both males and females duskies have such a marking.
 

ConnieA

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
628
1,260
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When I saw your note I went out and took photos right away. There must be some sort of photography rule that says you can't get two ducks to stay still in the same shot at night! Those are my two snowy call ducks in the background.
IMG_20200824_210805.jpg
IMG_20200824_210812.jpg

I looked at some older photos where I have a better shot of the calls and dhbs. I guess I never looked for blue on my snowy dhb hen because my snowy call didn't have blue. But both boys do.
0_IMG_20200403_181340.jpg

Does this mean the hens aren't snowies?
 

TomCahalan

Chirping
Feb 13, 2020
302
319
91
Ohio
Well, take a look at these, ignore the drake:

This first one shows something that it calls "Silver harlequin". Iridescent speculum on the duck.

http://kippenjungle.nl/kruisingEend2.html?mgt=M:M+/M+&fgt=M:m^d/m^d,Li:li^h/li^h,D:D+/(d)

The second one it calls "Snowy", dull speculum.

http://kippenjungle.nl/kruisingEend2.html?mgt=M:M+/M+&fgt=M:M+/M+,Li:li^h/li^h,D:D+/(d)

The only difference is that the first is md wherease the second is M+. That doesn't make sense to me. The M+ should be brighter than the dusky, I think.

So I'm not really sure that all of the information that we have access to is correct. Duck color terminology isn't very good.
 

ConnieA

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
628
1,260
241
I was using the second description you gave for the hen when I used the calculator. The picture looks like her color, too.

I pulled out my APA Standard to see what they say for snowy hens. For the wings, it says,

"Lesser and Middle Coverts - warm light gray.
Greater Coverts - warm gray, white tips.
Primaries - ashy brown with white edges.
Secondaries - inner webs, grayish brown; outer webs, carry wide band of dark brownish black overlaid with iridescent violet, forming the speculum which is bordered front and back by a white bar.
Tertials - centermost are light fawn with white edges and extremities. Main tertials are snowy white except portions with iridescent extension of speculum color.
Axillars and Wing Linings - creamy white."

That is the speculum color for both hens, black with a purple sheen.

But I don't know how this color description compares to the calculator.
 

ConnieA

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
628
1,260
241
So far, three of the light-colored ducklings look to be snowy males, one seemed to be a golden harlequin male (he's a month older than the rest), and one of the light-colored ducklings appears to be a golden harlequin female.

Time will tell, I guess!
 

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