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Help me understand color sex linkage please?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by horsecrazy, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. horsecrazy

    horsecrazy Songster

    Sep 26, 2008
    central CA
    I am going to breed some cochins of multiple colors in the spring. I am reading about Breeders in Storey's guide to raising chickens.
    Under Sex Linkage it says that "all pullets are like their sire and all cockerels are like their dam". So will the pullets be exactly like their sire and vice versa, or will they just have the same color as their sire?

    Also it has a few color combinations. i.e.:
    1. Delaware hen x RIR or New Hampshire cock = red pullets and delaware colored cocks
    2. Barred Rock hen x RIR cock = cockerel will have white spot on head
    3. silver female x gold male = silver cocks and gold pullets.

    So my questions are,
    What are some other color combos with cochins or other breeds?
    What is "silver" and "gold" coloring?

    ** Thanks! **

  2. Kev

    Kev Crowing

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    The book's exaggerating it a little bit.. but the gist of it is correct(so are the sex linked pairings listed).

    It is the particular gene OR genes (a bird can have several sex linked genes). For one example, sex linked barring.. that's the same barring as on Barred Rocks. A barred rooster will produce barred daughters and a barred hen always passes on barring to her sons. So that part is 'true'.

    However.. a rooster can either have a single copy OR two copies of barring. If he has two copies, then all of his offspring will have barring- in both sexes.

    If he has only one copy, then only half of his offspring will be barred, in both sexes.. so that right there refutes that 'pullets will always be like their sire'.. as some daughters out of this rooster will be solid black (barred chickens are solid black chickens with the addition of the barring gene).

    However, it IS true that barred hens will always produce all barred sons.

    Sex linked genes is not limited to color or patterns, there are other sex linked genes such as 'slow feathering', some dwarf mutants are sex linked and so on. What they have in common is all sex linked genes are found on the sex chromosome pair. In birds, the males are "XX" and females "XY"- the reverse of mammals. (to be more technical, ZZ and ZW are used for bird sex chromosomes)

    The silver gene prevents the gold series pigments from showing up on the bird. Red, brown, buff, yellow are gold base pigments. When silver is present, essentially the result is a 'black and white' bird..

    I'll give some examples of birds that are exactly the same pattern but in gold vs silver:

    Buff Brahma vs Light Brahma
    Gold laced Wyandotte vs Silver laced Wyandotte
    Black tailed Buff Japanese vs Black tailed White Japanese etc.

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