Help me understand- some questions

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Doublete, May 27, 2019.

  1. Doublete

    Doublete Songster

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    I used to think I was smart...
    Then I decided to try to get into chicken genetics...

    And I failed chemistry in college... so keep this in mind.. I was an English major

    Sooo...
    When one puts a type of rooster over a type of hen what determines what you get?
    IE.. if your goal is an Easter Egger what rooster over what hen? If your goal is an OLIVE Egger what roo over what hen?

    Here’s why...
    For roosters I have: cream legbar, BBS ameracauna, white ameracauna, wheaten ameraucana, bbs marans, and birchen marans

    For hens I have each of those PLUS welsummer.

    I am also still trying to figure out the color genetics, but the breeder of the birchen sent me all sorts of photos and help to sort through and cull/decide which to breed or just keep for eggs, etc.


    Thank you for helping me get through being an idiot.
     
  2. BarnhartChickens98

    BarnhartChickens98 Crowing

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    As far as i understand an Amarcauna mixed with any hen will produce an Easter egger because EE is not a real bred, kinda just a slang term for a blue egg layer that dosen't fit with any other breed. As for the olive egger i would cross the Ameracauna rooster with a wellsummer hen to have an olive colored egg. @The Moonshiner does this sound correct?
     
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  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I don't know your criteria, what you want. I don't even know what you mean by EE, there is no specific definition as EE's are not a recognized breed. That's not you being dumb, experts disagree over definitions. To some people if you cross two different color/pattern Ameraucana so you get an unrecognized color/pattern that is an EE. To others it's still an Ameraucana, just not a recognized color/pattern. Does an EE hen need to lay a blue or green egg to be an EE? Some people say yes, others say that one of her ancestors needs to have hatched from a blue or green egg and she is still an EE.

    The difference in an EE and an OE is just egg shell color. Even then, different people have different ideas on what shade of green an egg needs to be to call it and olive egg. That can change during her laying cycle too. The later the hen is in her laying cycle the less brown she often puts on an egg. So some eggs are darker when a hen firsts start to lay after a molt than just before she molts, often a significant difference. Since there are no accepted definitions of EE and OE that everyone agrees to, it gets complicated pretty fast. You don't know what someone else means by those terms. It could easily be different from what you think it should be.

    Egg shell color genetics and feather color/pattern genetics need to be looked at as two totally separate things. Basic egg shell color genetics aren't that complicated though when you start talking about exact shade it can get messy. There is one gene pair that determines the egg shell base color. This is not a sex linked gene pair, both the hen and the rooster contribute equally. Roosters don't lay eggs so you can't tell by looking what they contribute, but Blue is dominant. If just one of the genes at that gene pair is Blue or if both are Blue, the hen will lay a blue egg. If neither is the dominant Blue the base color will default to white. That is pretty straight forward. By definition your Ameraucana should have nothing but the Blue egg shell color gene so both males and females will contribute a Blue shell gene to their offspring.

    Brown and Green egg shells are just brown added to the base colors. This may help you understand that.

    Blue + no brown = Blue
    Blue + brown = Green
    White + no Brown = White
    White + brown = Brown

    There are several different gene pairs that affect the shade of brown. Some are dominant, some are recessive, some only act if another specific gene is there, at least one is sex linked, and one can bleach brown to white. Exactly which ones are present (if any) determines the exact shade of brown. That's why you can get so many different shades of green or brown. You don't know which ones are actually present by looking so you can get some surprises in the shade the pullets lay.

    If you want an olive colored egg, your best bet is to cross one of your Ameraucana or Legbar roosters over the Marans or Welsummer hen that is laying the darkest brown egg. There is no genetic link of feather color/pattern to egg shell color. Some Birchen Marans will lay lighter or darker eggs than other Birchen Marans, let alone your BBS or Welsummer. To me the best way to determine which hen or hens will contribute more dark brown egg shell genetics is to look at what they are leaving in the nest. The reason I suggest an Ameraucana or Legbar male over a brown egg laying hen for an Olive egg is that roosters do not lay eggs. You could use a Marans rooster over an Ameraucana or Legbar hen and probably get something OK but you don't have a way of comparing which male contributes the darkest shell genetics.

    That's a lot of typing but if you boil it down it's fairly simple. The base color is straight forward as only one gene pair is involved. The actual shade of brown is more uncertain because there are more possible genes involved. Feather color/pattern genetics gets a lot more complicated because there are a lot of gene pairs involved. If you are not going to show them or sell chicks or hatching eggs of a specific accepted color/pattern then the only reason it matters is your personal preference. Personal preference is really strong and I don't know what yours are. So I'll quit here.
     
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  4. Doublete

    Doublete Songster

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    To answer a few questions... I want to create/breed an EE and an OE that is marketable in my area and desirable.

    Also, I do want to breed the ameracauna to standard for showing. So I’m trying to understand how the colors work.
    I’m getting some self blue which will add more confusion for me.

    Breeding quality race horses for the last ten years you would think would have been harder than this but it wasn’t!
     
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  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I looked at different horse color/patterns a few days ago. I'd be totally lost with horses. And that's just colors, let alone conformation.

    I was hoping the Moonshiner would show up since he has been tagged, he knows a lot about this stuff. If you are going to show any chickens, get a copy of the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection (SOP) and study it. Start going to shows to learn what the terms mean. Talk to judges and breeders to learn what you can. Then decide which breed you want and concentrate in a specific color/pattern of that breed. Get the best stock you can and get to work. Hopefully you can find a mentor at a show.

    I don't know what would make a marketable EE. As poplar as they are I'd think breeding Cream Legbar would give you a marketable chicken. Last I heard Cream Legbar have not been recognized as a breed by the APA so there really aren't any standards in the US. There is a group working to get them recognized, if you could find out what they are going to propose as the SOP you might try breeding to that for practice. Or maybe even decide to join that group.

    For an OE my advice stands. Which hen is laying the darkest brown egg? I might be able to give you some suggestions as to what color certain crosses might give you if I knew which hen.

    I don't know if you have seen this cross calculator. In some ways it is simplistic but you can learn a lot playing with it. One lesson is how mixed up it can get if you mix colors and patterns. The hardest part to me is determining what genetics to actually start with. For example, you have White Ameraucana. Are they white because of Recessive White genetics or Dominant White genetics? Those two behave quite differently.

    Cross Calculator

    http://kippenjungle.nl/Overzicht.htm#kipcalculator

    This has practically nothing to do with breed though. There are many different things that define a breed. A big one is body conformation, but even things like ear lobe color, eye color, comb type, and many other things are important. That's why you need the APA SOP. Some people feel that if a chicken meets all the requirements of a breed except color/pattern it is still a member of that breed, just not an approved color variation.
     
  6. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Professional Chicken Tender

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    Sorry I didn't get an alert for this.
    Anyways for starters with the breeds you listed personally I'd go with a splash marans (if you have a splash) over legbar hens for OE.
    Just my experience is that marans lay darker eggs then welsummers and you'll want the darkest egg layers to get the darkest green eggs.
    With that cross you'll end up with 100% blue chicks (although the cockerels may show leakage as adults) and they'll be sex links. At hatch males will have head spots and feather in barred. Females will not have head spots and feather in solid.
    Blue birds are popular and guaranted pullets would be a huge plus for buyers.
    If anything else just ask. I'll also go back over this thread and see if I have other info that may be helpful.
     
  7. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Professional Chicken Tender

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    For the EEs I think I'd just go with the pure legbars. They're autosexing and will lay blue eggs and yes I would think sell better and for better price then any EEs.
    You could also throw a legbar rooster over the welsummers. The offspring would look mostly like the legbars with the roosters being a bit darker looking because they would only have one barring gene. Both sexes would also only have one copy of cream and one copy of mahogany so hackles on pullets and hackles, back and saddle on males would be closer to that of the welsummers then the CCL or in between the two.
    That cross wouldn't produce sex links but would give you green egg layers. Probably not quite what I'd consider olive but with those three I mentioned you'd have blue eggers, green eggers and olive eggers.
     
  8. Doublete

    Doublete Songster

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    This is all so awesome info!
    When I’m on my computer wed night I’ll see if I can download the APA SOP book.

    And yes there is so much to breeding horses but it’s been my life blood for so long I practically breathe them lol. This is a refreshing change and what a challenge it is!!!
     
  9. Doublete

    Doublete Songster

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    Regarding the splash marans being used for an OE... is it ok for them to be a splash Birchen? I will have that at this time for sure. I haven't hatched the breeding stock copper marans so no idea what I have.
     
  10. Doublete

    Doublete Songster

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    I do think the muffs on the amer are so darn cute....

    Now @The Moonshiner I am going to complicate things. I just got my hands on some self blue amer... They are being shipped now. As well as pure black from paul smith's line. The breeder is trying to explain to me how the pure black can be bred to be split to self blue.

    Given all the options I have, I want an EE with the muffs because I just think theyre cute. Can I do a legbar over an amer and get the muffs? Any way to make that sexlinked?

    I am figuring out pens now and thinking all my hens will stay in their respective breed flocks... and ill have a breeder pen or two to move the rooster in with the hens and hatch only those eggs.. so the hens will never be exposed to a rooster unless i intend to hatch then. It will limit me... But the only flock at this time I intend to keep full time intact is the cream legbars.. and possibly an amer flock.
    At this time, I also plan to keep two breeder roosters and be able to switch out so that the offspring I keep can then be bred to the other. This is going to be a LOT of records.
     

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