Genotypes Help!!!

Chicken Crazy12

10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
I'm just now getting to the point with my chickens that I want to know all about the different color genotypes. When I raised show rabbits I was very good with the genotypes, chickens are definately not like rabbits. So I've been trying to find a website that explains chicken genotypes and the resulting phenotypes of those genes, but can't really find a good one that explains it in terms for beginners to grasp. So I bookmarked the chicken calculator page and am now trying to teach myself. So naturally I have some questions

If anyone wants to chime in and explain the sequences for me please do.

First off on the calculator is E - Extension of black / so does this refer to a solid black chicken? is the E dominate? like with rabbits if I was to have a solid black rabbit that wasn't hiding recessives the genotype would look like this: aa,BB,CC,DD,EE,enen

What would be the genotype for a solid black chicken that wasn't carrying any recessives? Are there recessive genes in chickens? Dominate? Co-dominate?

Then the calculator goes on to list in the drop down different E combinations

e+/e+ silver duckwing/light brown { does this mean a light brown body with duckwing pattern?

e+/e^eb what does this one mean?

e+/e^Wh and this one?

The calculator remains black patterned gold duckwing.

Are ducks and chickens alike or totaly different?

Thanks if anyone can help or point me in the right dirrection.


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
This is a link from Henk's calculator. I think it might help.

I think you will find there are many ways to make various colors, white and buff immediately come to mind.

Are there recessive genes in chickens? Dominate? Co-dominate?

Yes to all.

I am an extremely ignorant person on genetics and get confused very easily on this topic. I hate to mention names because I will probably insult someone by leaving them off, but I find Henk and Tadkerson to be extremely knowledgable and helpful with genetics. Colorado Silkies is pretty good but not in Henk or Tadkerson's league.

There are some terms that you will run into. A basic one is Columbian pattern. I used to think it was a gene that puts pattern color (usually black) in the tail and neck areas. Wrong!!! I think it is a gene that restricts black (and maybe other pattern colors, possibly dominant white for example) from certain areas, like most of the body except tail and neck.

Leakage is where theory says the chicken should be one color, but another color leaks through. A black sex link is a good example. Theory says the hen should be solid black. In practice, the black sex link hen is almost always black with red or gold (depending on what breeds are used to make the sex link) around the neck and maybe other body areas.

You've picked a fun topic. It is not as simple and straightforward as you would initially think.


10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
New Vienna, Ohio
I can tell you that you’ve put in for a tall order. The best thing to do is hang in there and hope that one of the resident geneticists will log in and see your question. They can give you the direction you need. My background in genetics has been with horses, which I thought was difficult, but it doesn’t hold a candle to chickens.
I do know that yes there are dominants and recessives, but the real kicker for me was to find out there is a dominant white and a recessive white.
I believe the default position for the calculator is the base or wild color pattern, e+/e+. If you look at OEG chickens, they have some really good examples of most of the color patterns, so you can use them as the gauge to see what they are supposed to look like.
As far as the genetic make up of a black chicken……well, I’m not sure about this one, but I think it kind of depends on how you get there. For instance the genetic make up of a black Cochin would look different than the genotype for a Langshan.
I’m pretty sure that e/e^eb is Partridge and e+/e^Wh is Wheaten. I think the ^ means extended, or over the body.
My best advice would be to get some books. None of them are really simple, but you’ve got to get into it somewhere. I just purchased one titled “21st Century Poultry Breeding” by Grant Brereton, not bad (and it has lots of PICTURES!!) The first one I got is called “An Introduction to Color Forms of the Domestic Fowl” by Brian Reeder. The one that was very highly recommended, but I haven’t been able to afford yet is titled simply The Chicken Colour Book. There is a guy in California that is the only person in the US that can broker the book and here is the info that he gave me. $100, which includes shipping.
PayPal to [email protected] or mail to
P O Box 159
Vacherie, La. 70090


10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
New Vienna, Ohio
Sorry 'bout that Henk. I figured I'd be steering her down some kind of wrong path. I was writing as you were writing so I was hoping you would correct me where I was wrong.
Am I correct about the black thing?

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom