Easter Egger hen/Sapphire roo?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Lasher Meadows, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Lasher Meadows

    Lasher Meadows Just Hatched

    Jun 20, 2017
    Hello! I have an extra Sapphire roo that I hate to part with and a bunch of Easter Egger hens. Any ideas what this combination might produce?
  2. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I guess it would depend on what genes the Easter Eggers happen to contribute. Unless you know the specific genetic heritage of the hen it's mating with it will be pretty much a crap shoot.
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    @Lasher Meadows
    Look for the pea combs among your bunch of EE's. Usually (not always) but usually the blue shell gene follows the pea comb....but you won't have to think about this any as you'll only set the eggs from those EE hens that are laying blue/green. (Easy huh?)

    Now to your Sapphire rooster. With a rooster, you won't know the color of his eggs, so that makes it difficult...but if you purchased from a quality breeder, your Sapphire *should* be a purebred White Leghorn (parent) with a purebred Cream Legbar (parent)...so a first generation hybrid of those two pure breeds.... or a careful re-breeding of siblings or parents to refine the line to always produce blue layers. That is good as the genetics will work for you....

    The way the egg color genes work is this: There are 2 genes possible for blue shells. Purebred blue layers...pure stock (ie Ameraucana, Araucana, or Cream Legbar, etc.) have both genes...so a pair. That is why you are guaranteed blue eggs in pure lines as every offspring will have both blue shell genes....1 blue from each parent as blue is the only thing they have to offer.

    With hybrids (EE's and Sapphires) one parent is a blue layer and the other is a non-blue layer. The purebred blue layer offers a gene, which will always be blue (considered capital "O"). Blue is dominant, which trumps the other non-blue gene, so you get close to 100% blue/green layers as the other parent will offer no blue (considered empty at that gene slot so little "o"...and thus white shell). Some funk can happen...so that's why I say *close* to 100%.

    The hybrid shade of blue is generally lighter as only 1 blue gene is present....(hence the name for your rooster, "Sapphire" blue, or light blue.)

    If the other parent was a brown layer, the genetics for brown wash pass down and that over the blue shell produces green, varying shades, depending upon how dark a brown line you are working with. (For olive eggers, you work with dark brown lines on one side and blue layers on the other).

    Now let's set down to your math....The riskiest part of your equation is the EE as those aren't closely bred...BUT those are your hens, and you will only set the blue/green eggs so you know the hen has 1 blue gene possible to pass. As the blue-green laying EE has two genes to offer, only one blue, you get a 50/50 chance of whether or not your EE offers that blue gene. That means you statistically get 50% blue/green layers and 50% non-blue (brown or white, various tints depending upon the other parent) if you breed your EE to a non-blue gene bird.

    HOWEVER...you are working with another hybrid blue layer line :love

    Remember, since you are working with EE hens...you only set the blue/green eggs so you know you've got at least a 50% chance for 1 blue gene to pass down from the hen....you have to...it's shown by the egg.

    Now your boy...he *should* have at least 1 blue gene as a Sapphire is a closer hybrid of White Leghorn over Cream Legbar. That means he has at least a 50% chance of passing down a blue gene to his offspring.

    So now the math...and the Punnett Square comes in (which is fun as Punnett worked these equations out using chickens, notably Cream Legbars)....since you've got to calculate the possible combinations of both pairs of genes from both parents....

    setting your EE hen for Oo (Blue/non-blue) and your Sapphire for Oo (Blue/non-blue)...matching 1 gene from each parent....working through all the matching possibilities of O's and o's, you statistically get 25% 2 gene blue layers (your darker blues); 50% 1 gene blue layers (your lighter blues); and 25% non-blue layers (your browns, tints, whites, even pinkish).

    Yes, that is "statistically" as is flipping a coin enough times to get a true 50/50 heads and tails...so set a lot of eggs...but just with a coin, you usually don't have to flip it 100 times....the pattern gets set sooner than that, though not mathematically at a solid 50/50.

    As to plummage...your Rooster is WL/CL.... White Leghorn is dominant white, so you'll get white plummage on all chicks. You will likely get some ghost barring from the CL side in your boy (that barring will have been passed down to your boy by the CL parent) but it's covered up with all that white....so your chicks will be pretty much a white bird with likely a crest. (I find those crests to be pretty dominant, at least in the first generation)....but with subsequent generations, which you will be working with away from that WL, the WL dominant white gets a bit less dominant and bleed through patterns will happen. (Fun starts to happen as white can cover up a lot of hidden plummage genetics...until they leak out).

    So, it should be pretty easy....set your Sapphire rooster over the blue/green laying EE girls. What will you get? 50% light blue layers, 25% dark blue layers, 25% non-blue layers, statistically....add in some brown wash here and there and you get tints of blues and greens.

    It sounds like a great project and a good way to re-coop those blue genes so that you get, by 2nd generation (F2) 100% blue layers (green too if brown genetics are also passed along), using your best offspring bred back to the parents (line breeding) up to 3 times to original parents, then best siblings from different generations to set the line.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
    Trish1974 and Ol Grey Mare like this.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    sorry I can't answer feeling dizzy trying to understand all that :th
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    @drumstick diva LOL...I'm sorry Diva...I probably could be clearer about all that!

    So a simplified version (hopefully)...or at least a better explanation...
    Egg shell color is either base white or base blue. It has to do with the genetics which tell the hen's body to throw bile back into the shell calcium to create a blue tone. If those genetics are not there to add the bile color, then the shell calcium remains white.

    2 genes slots control shell color. They can be programmed for blue (bile) or be empty...non-blue (no bile info).

    Each parent passes 1/2 of their genes to every offspring, so that the offspring are a combination of the parents genes. So of the 2 gene slots, 1 of their shell genes is passed to offspring. It is statistically 50/50 as to which gene a parent will pass.

    blue eggs = blue genes present...2 if dark blue...1 if light blue. Blue is dominant over the non-blue slot. Bile pigment in white shell calcium is blue....solidly throughout the egg. (Crack open a blue egg, and you see it is blue on the outside and blue on the inside).

    Brown or green happens if the genetics for brown wash are present....brown wash takes about 13 genes and instructs the hen to add brown pigment (from hemoglobin) later down the egg tract. It's literally a brown paint applied over the top of the shell. On dark brown eggs, you can scratch the pigment to show the lighter white base. (That's why those of us with darker layers will keep soft bedding so that those eggs don't get marred until the "paint sets.")

    Brown wash over white base produces brown eggs; brown wash over blue base produces green eggs. (Crack open a brown egg, and you see white shell inside. Crack open a green egg, and you see blue shell inside.)

    Pure breed blue layers have both slots filled, so 2 blue genes, so they will always pass 1 blue gene down to their offspring. If the other parent is non-blue, then the hybrid offspring receive only 1 blue gene.

    That leads us to the hybrid EE's and Sapphires. If bred from pure parents, or controlled lines, they will have 1 blue gene present. (It won't take investigation with the EE's as you will see a blue or green egg to know 1 blue gene is present...a hen consistently lays the same color of egg...it won't be white one day and blue the next...if she has the blue gene, she will always lay a shade of blue).

    So mathematically, a hybrid EE or Sapphire will have a 50/50 chance of passing down to its offspring that blue gene. If a blue hybrid is bred with a non-blue bird it creates 50% blue layers (with 1 blue gene) and 50% non-blue layers (no blue gene...the "non-blue" or the "empty" slot).

    Add genetics for brown wash, from at least one parent, and you get green or brown results in that offspring too. (Brown is trickier...*usually* the offspring color is halfway between the lighter parent and the darker parent).

    The math comes in when you breed two blue bearing hybrids as you have to match those 2 slots from each parent, remembering, each parent has only 1 blue slot filled and the other slot "empty" or "non-blue."

    Punnet square math produces statistically, taking Oo bred to Oo
    OO 25%
    Oo 50%
    oo 25%

    So our OP Sapphire rooster over EE hens should statistically produce 25% dark blue/green layers, 50% light blue/green layers, and 25% white or brown layers (varying shades).

    Hope that was clearer!
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    @Lasher Meadows ...and at risk of beating a dead horse here...

    We haven't talked about combs, yet.

    Your Sapphire boy should be single comb. WL and CL are both single comb, and both of those breeds are known for pretty floppy big single combs...that can add some funk to the equations below.

    Your EE hens are probably pea comb (especially since the pea comb and blue gene is closely related on the chromosome). I'm making the assumption that Ameraucana (American style) are in the background of your EEs, since Araucana are not often used (being much rarer)...Ameraucana EE hybrid will bring in beard/muff and pea combs, and often willow legs. (American style Araucana are single comb, rumpless...which is dominant...and tufted...which is not dominant but lethal to 25% of the chicks who receive it)....so let's make life easier and presume Ameraucana in the EE's...OP can confirm if she's got muff/beard, pea comb and willow leg EE's....or single comb yellow leg (which makes calculations really easy...see at far bottom).

    Pea comb is dominant (as is rose comb, but we will eliminate any rose comb genes unless you have any walnut comb EE's).

    We won't know the pea comb genes in your EE's, but if they are showing pea comb, you can assume they have one P in the 2 slots, with probably no-pea in the other (since the EE is a hybrid usually to a layer type, often a single comb type as production layers are usually used for production quality of the EE eggs).

    Doing the math with that Ameraucana hybrid EE, you'll get 50% peacombed offspring if you use a single comb rooster...however with the large WL/CL type combs, I suspect you'll get some funk in those combs...weirdly large pea combs...sort of pea sort of single flop. You will also get 50% single comb offspring, varying single comb sizes.

    As said before, crests tend to be dominant, however, the beard and muff often fades away the second generation away from the original Ameraucana...so you'll likely get crested but not bearded or muffed offspring.

    Leg color is the hardest. Yellow is sort of dominant, but so is the darker leg grey (at least what I've seen in my flock). With the EE willow leg/yellow leg, and the WL/CL yellow leg, I should think you'll get mostly yellow legs....but leg color can surprise you. The genetics for that aren't fully understood yet. I matched a Cal Grey hen (with yellow leg front black wash) to a Barnevelder rooster (yellow leg) and got grey legged offspring.

    Your CL/WL body type is lighter (from both sides) and your EE's will vary depending upon their genetic make up. *Usually* a heavier bird bred to a lighter bird produces offspring sort of in the middle, but you'll get a variety of body types....none of these will be meat birds....they should be excellent layers though.

    ..and to follow up if you are using EE/EE hybrids, you'll likely have single or pea combs and yellow legs with no beards or muffs, and tailed.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Can you tell I am having the time of my life breeding for egg color and feather color?
    I've color coded my chicks so that I can look by plummage to know what egg color genetics they have. :D :D :D


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