Excellent Blue Eggs

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by dannypritchett01, Aug 5, 2011.

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  1. dannypritchett01

    dannypritchett01 Chirping

    Mar 24, 2008
    Marietta, SC
    Morning Peeps,

    I am having a gene question. I used to know this but when I got away from laying breeds then i brainwashed myself. I have been watching the egg market lately and everyone is looking for blue eggs in my area but everyone I know sells brown or white. I had this idea many years ago but never did it. I was thinking of breeding the best white laying chicken known to man (White Leghorn) to a few Araucana or Ameraucana hens. I am aiming for a leghorn sized, feed ratio, and egg producing bird but only with the blue egg gene added. I guess my best luck would be to only use a white ameraucana or araucana hens for the project. Anyone got any they wanna trade on or anything. Anyhow here is my plan...

    Gen 1: White Leghorn X White Araucana or Ameraucana
    Gen 2: White Leghorn X Gen 1
    Gen 3: White Leghorn x Gen 2

    and so on and so on. Keeping only the chickens that are mostly white or pure white in color and laying blue eggs. I am not positive on this but if I were to keep breeding a new white leghorn rooster over all the blue egg hens each generation they should remain blue eggs if I am correct. So someone give me some pointers on this, you can post or text me at 864-423-2924. Nothing better then Chicken Texting. [​IMG]

    Advice, Ideas, All is appreciated.

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I'm not sure why you are set on white chickens, but your method should work. The blue egg gene is dominant, so if the hen is split for blue/white, the egg will show the blue. Since the Leghorn lays a white egg, not brown, the split hen will actually lay a blue egg. The green colored eggs come from an egg that has the basic shell color of blue topped with the brown coating. If you look at the inside of an egg shell, you can see the basic color, either blue or white. I've had some "whites" that look pretty brown, but that is due to the effects of something else.

    Look at it this way

    Basic blue shell + no brown coating = blue egg
    Basic blue egg with a brown coating = a green egg

    Basic white shell + no brown coating = white egg
    Basic white shell with a brown coating = brown egg

    The actual shade of green or brown depends on how much brown the hen puts on it and can vary a bunch.

    After you get the size, efficiency, egg laying ability and all that where you want it, you would need to then breed the offspring back to itself to try to get rid of the recessive white egg shell gene. By always breeding a leghorn rooster to a hen with the blue/white egg shell gene, you will never get a flock that will be pure for blue. Half the offspring from a split hen willl produce white eggs. It will take you a few generations to get rid of the recessive white, but it can be done. You may need to do a few special test breedings with a leghorn to see if any eggs turn up white. That way you will know if your project chicken is pure or split for blue.

    I can't remember the official symbol for the blue egg gene. I think it is O or o, but I'm not sure and I am not sure if capital of small represents blue or white. Lets say that O is blue and o is white. The Ameraucana should be OO. The leghorn is oo. The offspring will be Oo and lay a blue egg.

    But if you breed an oo leghorn to an Oo hen, half the offspring will produce Oo and lay blue eggs, while half the offspring will be oo and lay white eggs. You will never get a chicken pure for the blue egg gene.

    But if you breed the Oo offspring with the Oo offspring, you will get

    1/4 OO laying blue eggs.
    1/2 Oo laying blue eggs
    1/4 oo laying white eggs.

    Of course, these are odds and not actual results. You have to breed enough chickens for the odds to mean a lot. The trick is determining which ones are OO and not Oo. You test by breeding the chicken to an oo.

    If the test chicken is OO, when bred to an oo, all offspring will be Oo and lay blue eggs. If the test chicken is Oo, when bred to an oo, half the eggs will not be blue. You'd have to test your roosters as well as your hens.

    Hopefully you will get something out of this that helps. Good luck!
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