How to tell the difference between heterozygous and homozygous (cuckoo) barring?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ChestnutRidge, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    I'm just getting started with Basque Hens (Euskal Oiloa). They are "Columbian lemon cuckoo" or "Columbian barred buff." Basque Hens have Colombian restriction, rapid feathering (k/k), a wheaten base, gold, autosomal red, and mahogany. I'm listing these traits because I don't know what else (other than the first two) might affect the expression of barring. A discussion of EO genetics is here, and some fantastic pictures can be found here and here (the first three pictures).

    Anyhow, I want to identify a male who is homozygous for barring to use in my breeding pen. I have read that a homozygous cuckoo male will be lighter in color than a heterozygous male, but I want to understand this distinction more clearly. It is possible that my stock is already entirely homozygous for this trait, but I can't be certain. Any suggestions on how to tell the difference?
  2. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    Cross a male with a barred female. If the hatch produces females that are not barred; then the male is heterozygous or carries one barring gene. Hatch 20 chicks. The hatch will also produce barred females, homozygous barred males and heterozygous barred males.

  3. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    True, but dont heterozygous males have darker barring that homozygous?
  4. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
    From what they carry (Mh, Ar) I'd expect a redder color.
    Heterozygous males should have (a lot) more color than homozygous ones.
  5. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate it. I know I could definitely test cross to be sure, but if I can identify the right bird, I hope to save myself a generation.

    You think the difference between the homozygous and heterozygous birds will be pronounced? So, a cockerel with homozygous barring would be washed out, for the Basques, maybe a pale buff and grey with white?

    I think I will have a good idea where to start. Thank you!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by