Egg laying Experiment

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by EagleTheHenpecked, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. EagleTheHenpecked

    EagleTheHenpecked Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Demotte
    DISCLAIMER: this could be in the totally wrong section, but it does have something to do with genetics so i figured it somewhat belonged.

    BACK STORY:

    Okay, so i have a flock of eleven chickens. i have 1 cockerel, and 10 pullets. my 18th birthday just passed this saturday, and i recieved an incubator, so im going to breed my birds. my flock is nearly 27 weeks old at this point.

    ANYWAY, my chickens are not free range, and i get roughly 7 eggs per day. 6 brown, one white. but unfortunately, things arent just white and brown. i get 3 light brown eggs, 2 dark brown eggs, and a strange tan colored egg along with my white egg every day. I have two rhode island reds, two Isa browns, one barred plymouth rock, one Buff orpington, one (i believe california grey) leghorn, one brahama, and three easter eggers. my only cockerel is an EE. as of right now, my two EE pullets arent laying, and aparently neither is one other bird. I'm fairly sure that the brahma is laying the beige/tan egg, and the white egg is definately from the leghorn, but in order to find out which shade of brown eggs are coming from which birds, i have devised an experiment.

    EXPERIMENT:
    I'm going to seperate pairs of birds into cages equipped with food, water and e nesting box. the pairs are as follows, The two Rhode Island reds in one, the two Isa browns in the second, the brahma and the leghorn in the third, the Plymouth rock, my cockerel (i'll tell you why him too later) and one of the non-laying EE's in the fourth, and the Buff orpington and the remaining EE in the fifth. because of the way i set it up, im sure that i'll be able to nearly precisely determine which eggs are being laid by which pullet. I post this becasue im curious to know if there is a flaw in this plan. my mom told me that it might not work because the girls will be too stressed out to lay, i'd figure you guys would know better than either me or her. they would be in these cages for no more than 8 hours. roughly from 7 am to 3 pm.


    GENETICS QUESTION:
    okay. so saying i theoretically find out who is laying which egg, i want more barred chickens more than anything, so is it possible, with the genetics from my plymouth rock and my EE ( he is mostly black, but with quite a bit of white on his head [like a mane] and some dark read and yellowish white on his back and tail, looking like his back is on fire)
    to have a barred chicken that carries the genes for blue eggs? or more simply, would i, COULD i, get barred chicks from this pairing? or do i need to find a new roo? and while im at it, does anyone have any idea about what the cross between Eagle and one of the RIR's could look like?


    all of your help and feedback is much appreciated.
     
  2. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Chickens react differently to stress, but chances are your mom's right. If they're only in the cages for 8 hours a day, most likely they'll try not to lay or the stress of being caught up and put in cages may cause them to stop laying temporarily. I'd say if your main curiosity is the results of your rooster and barred rock and RIR just separate those chickens into cages to see which eggs they are laying. Alternately, applying a drop of food coloring to the vent should help you determine who's laying what without separating anyone. Or you could carry on with your original plan and see what happens. After all, poultry shows are even more stressful than the experiment you propose and there are lots of hens there who lay eggs in the show coops.

    As to the genetics question, yes and yes. There's at least one person here who has (or at least had) barred easter eggers and has posted pictures. And yes, your rooster over your barred rock hen will produce barred chicks. However, it will be a sex-linked cross where all of the female chicks are "solid" (there may be some leakage) and all of the male chicks will be barred. If you want a barred easter egger you will need to then cross these chicks with each other or (probably your better bet for the most barred chicks, although perhaps not the best bet for a colored egg layer) cross one of the males from this breeding back to your barred rock hen. Regardless of whether you use the rooster you have or get another rooster, it's going to take at least two generations to get a barred hen that lays colored eggs. It will take many more generations if you really want a blue egg rather than a green egg. A blue egg layer crossed with a brown egg layer will give you a green egg layer. You can then selectively breed only hens that lay the closest shade to blue to work towards a blue egg rather than a green egg. Furthermore, an easter egger rooster may or may not be carrying a gene for blue eggs. If you want a rooster that you know is carrying the blue egg gene, then you will want to invest in an ameraucana rooster from someone who breeds for egg color.
     
  3. EagleTheHenpecked

    EagleTheHenpecked Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Demotte
    Thank you very much, you've answered all of my questions. I put the girls out this morning so i guess i'll find out how it goes when i get back home. and thank you for the genetics. I've spent hours sifting through all of the threads on here and haven't really gotten much closer to an answer so i figured it would just be easier to post my own thread and get my information straight from those who know. i got all of my EE's from the same place so i assume that they'd carry the same genes, but since they haven't laid yet, its possible that they wont lay blue eggs at all. i plan on getting some pure ameraucanas some time soon to get a more blue/green egg layers.
     

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