Genetics for Pieds

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by MinxFox, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. MinxFox

    MinxFox Crowing

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Just when I "thought" I understood genetics for pieds and that even though I no longer have a pied male for my pied hen I thought I could still get pieds using other birds, but now I don't know. I need someone to help clarify some things...

    Okay so I really wanted to get into breeding pieds, so I bought a pied pair. This year I got 2 dark pieds, one white from pied, and one pied chick. Since my pied male was killed the only adult pied I have is a peahen. Also, Ice was the one that hatched out three of these peachchicks (the pied, younger dark pied, and the white). Ice is from the zoo so maybe she could be pied but she doesn't show it at all that is why I thought she stole the pied's eggs. Ice matted with my pied peacock but my pied hen matted with him also.

    Okay now if I bred my male dark pied to my pied hen would I get pieds? Another thing I don't understand is whites. I read that a white bred to a pied would get you 50% white and 50% pied, but then I recently read that the white has to be from a pied, not just any white. Is that true? If that is the case then I can't breed my pied white to my pied hen because that white is a female and my male whites are just regular whites. What about a dark pied to a white...Could I get pieds from that?

    Basically a major thing I really really need to know is if I can even get pieds from a dark pied ever. For a while I thought breeding two dark pieds would get you pied but then I read that they only get you more dark pieds! If there is no way of getting pieds from dark pieds I might not really want to even have dark pieds...Or I might just free-range them. Of course I would keep the two dark pieds I currently have cause I love them too much to sell them.[​IMG]

    I know the easy answer to this would be just going out and getting a new pied peacock. I might have to end up doing that, but it can be kinda hard to find pieds around here.[​IMG]

  2. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Ya know i thought i had the pied thing figured out but when i went to pick up my pied peas none of the parents were pied looking not even white wing flights so go figure how the breeder gets their pieds from that pen.
  3. Arbor

    Arbor Songster

    Aug 14, 2011
    Aquaeyes is better suited to fill you in on the pied genetics. I comprehend it, but am more knowledgeable on the colours and bs pattern.
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Legg's basic genetics page has a list with good info pertaining to Pieds and Dark Pieds, here's the link if you need it.
    And deerman's breeding chart posted here on BYC is really good one too.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011

  5. Frosty

    Frosty Songster 10 Years

    Mar 30, 2008
    My male is a dark pied, the only white is a spot on his throat and a small white spot on his belly. My hen is a Silver Pied. Those were the only two I had and the one chick that I got so far is a Silver Pied cock.
  6. MinxFox

    MinxFox Crowing

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Okay then maybe the breeding chart I have printed out is wrong. It sure is confusing the one I was looking at. It was talking all about white from pied to pied can only get you pieds and whites and not regular white...

    So I guess I was right before thinking that just any white can be used to be bred with a pied or a dark pied. That is great now my dark pied male can be paired to a white peahen and my adult pied and my dark pied hen can stay with her pied sister that she loves and will be paired with a white male!

    Okay now I think I get it thanks I need to throw out those papers we printed out, I think there are way better versions I should use to reference than those because they are confusing.[​IMG]
  7. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Quote:Dark Pied to white = 100% pied so really you get more pied from a dark pied than pied

  8. Quote:Dark Pied to white = 100% pied so really you get more pied from a dark pied than pied

    Deerman is 100% dead-on, according to what I pieced together from others. Unfortunately, I don't have peafowl of my own, so I have to keep checking in here with people who do to find out if I'm on the right track. Here's what I've gathered so far about what people call "Pied" in peafowl.

    First off, to avoid confusion, let's call the birds that are about half white and half colored "Loud Pied." You'll understand why as I continue.

    There are two genes that work together to create "Loud Pied" in peafowl. One is the White gene, the other is the Pied gene. Each is what's called Incomplete Dominant. This means that if a pea has one copy of a gene, it will look different from a bird with no copies -- thus the genes "show" even with just one copy. This makes them dominant to the "normal" IB pattern, which has no white feathers. If a bird has two copies of either gene, the trait will be "stronger" than in birds with one copy. This is what is meant by "Incomplete", because "Complete Dominant" (or just plain Dominant) means you can't see a difference between birds with 1 copy of the gene or 2. It's like how Normal is Completely Dominant to Bronze -- birds that are IB split to Bronze look the same as birds that are IB with no Bronze gene. But that's not how the Pied and White genes work.

    Now, for how the genes work -- think of them as "erasers", and White is a bigger "eraser" gene than Pied. If a bird has one Pied gene, a tiny bit of color is "erased", and you have a few small areas of white. If a bird has two copies of the Pied gene, more areas are "erased" and you have what is called "Dark Pied."

    White is a bigger "eraser." Birds with one copy of the White gene have more white feathers than birds with one copy of the Pied gene. If a bird has two copies of the White gene, EVERYTHING is "erased", and the bird is solid white.

    Telling apart birds that are Dark Pied or split to White is something I don't know how to do just by looking at them. You'll have to ask others what the differences are in appearance.

    What "Loud Pied" is is a pea that is more "erased" than Dark Pied (2 Pied genes), but less "erased" than White (2 White genes). And here's what happens.

    The White and Pied genes are different versions of the same gene -- they sit in the same spot on the chromosome. Since chromosomes in peafowl are in pairs, a bird can have only 2 copies of this (or any) gene at the same time, and there are 3 total versions that are possibilities -- White, Pied, and Normal. A bird that is "split to Pied" has one Pied gene and one Normal gene (and no White genes). A bird that is "split to White" has one White gene and one Normal gene (and no Pied genes). A Normal bird has two Normal genes (and no White or Pied genes). So what is "Loud Pied" you ask? This is what I think -- these birds have one Pied gene and one White gene (and no Normal genes).

    How does this work? Well, what happens when you breed two "Loud Pied" peafowl together? Each parent can give one gene -- either White or Pied. What are the results of "Loud Pied" X "Loud Pied" in breeding practice?

    PW X PW = 25% PP, 50% PW, 25% WW

    or, to say it another way...

    25% "Dark Pied" (2 Pied genes)
    50% "Loud Pied" (1 Pied gene, 1 White gene)
    25% White (2 White genes)

    So if you want to breed for all "Loud Pied" offspring, you should have one parent that is "Dark Pied" and the other that is White. Let's say the male is "Dark Pied" and the female is White. <ETA -- but it would work just the same if vice versa -- this is NOT sex-linked>

    Dad has 2 Pied genes. That is the only version of the gene he can pass on to his offspring, so all his offspring get 1 Pied gene from him.

    Mom has 2 White genes. That is the only version of the gene she can pass on to her offspring, so all her offspring get 1 White gene from her.

    So all the offspring have 1 Pied and 1 White gene. The result? All the offspring are "Loud Pied."

    PP X WW = 100% PW

    Going further, I supposed that "Silver Pied" is a bird that is "Loud Pied" and also has the White-Eye gene. The White-Eye gene is also Incomplete Dominant. Birds with one copy have some ocelli that are white, but birds with two copies have more (all ocelli are white, I think...). So if you breed a Dark Pied with two White-Eye genes with a White bird that came from Silver Pied breeding (this White bird will be genetically White-Eyed White, but because two White genes "erase" everything anyway, there's nothing left for the White-Eyed gene to act upon, so they look the same as "regular" Whites -- you'll have to know what the White bird's parents were to know if it has the White-Eyed gene), you'll have 100% Silver Pied offspring. The same principle is at work -- they all get a White gene from one parent, and a Pied gene from the other parent, as well as a White-Eyed gene from both parents.

    Does that make sense?

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  9. Quote:If the father is Dark Pied, he has 2 Pied genes but no White-Eyed genes. If the mother is Silver Pied, she has 1 Pied gene, 1 White gene, and either 1 or 2 White-Eyed genes (I don't know how to tell the hens apart in this respect....Deerman?)

    Let's say the hen has 2 White-Eyed genes. That means all her offspring will inherit 1 White-Eyed gene from her, but none from Dad. So they'll have 1 White-Eyed gene in total. Half of the offspring will get their mother's Pied gene, and the other half will get their mother's White gene. They will all get their father's Pied gene, since that's the only version he has to give. So the half that got their mother's White gene will look Silver Pied (but males may have a few ocelli that show color, since they have only 1 copy of the White-Eyed gene). The other half will be Dark Pied White-Eyed (again, with just 1 copy of the White-Eyed gene).


    1) Your Dark Pied male is really split to White. From what I've read, it's hard to tell them apart, but some people can.

    2) Your Dark Pied male is really split to Pied. Again, I'm fuzzy on the distinction in the birds themselves, so you'd have to ask the others if you aren't sure of your male's genotype.

    3) Your Silver Pied hen has only 1 White-Eyed gene. If that's the case, then only half of her offspring will get a White-Eyed gene. But I don't know how to tell by looking.

    4) If either 1) or 2) is true about your male, AND 3).

    Any of the above situations will further decrease the probability of offspring being Silver Pied, to either 25% or 12.5%.

    I can tell you how I think it works on paper, but you'd have to be sure of what genes your parent birds have for my probabilities to be correct.

  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    AquaEye think that should help alot. you are also correct in the dark pied and split white are hard to tell apart. Unless you know that parents or after breeding them, then see what chicks are produce

    Darkpied (2 pied genes) X white (2 white genes) = all pied(one pied gene, and one white gene) one gene from each parent

    this works no matter which are what sex.

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