Inheritance of chicken traits in crosses.

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by pistolero, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. pistolero

    pistolero Out Of The Brooder

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    Are there inherent traits of chickens such as laying ability, or temperament, etc. that are
    more likely to be inherited from the rooster or hen?
    Was wondering because we plan to have two or three different breeds of hens, but probably only one rooster at a time.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    The general answer is no, but due to sex linked genes the rooster can in certain instances provide more input than the hen to the pullets. The way sex linked genes work with chickens is that the rooster gives a copy of one gene from each gene pair but the hen only does that for her sons. She withholds the sex linked genes from her daughters.

    There are a lot of sex linked genes other than the ones we use to make sex linked chicks. An example, there are a lot of different genes that affect the shade of brown on a brown egg. One of those happens to be a sex linked gene. Since the hen does not pass the sex linked genes to her daughters, if she has it that gene will not go to her daughters, just her sons. If the rooster has it his daughters will get it. In that case the rooster can have more influence over final shade of brown than the hen. Of course it depends on what other gene pairs each parent has affecting brown and whether the rooster has one or two copies of that sex linked gene. There are a lot of “if’s” involved.

    Usually when you are looking for egg-laying traits you look to the hen. The rooster doesn’t lay eggs so it’s hard to tell what he is bringing to the table genetically. If you know how his mother and grandmothers laid you can get a pretty good idea of his possible contribution, but not many people keep records that good.

    The same thing apples for the rooster, you look for male traits in the male. The hen contributes to those genetics, but hens and roosters have different roles in the flock. You cannot tell how a hen’s son will act based on her actions, the roles are that different. You can get some clues based on how her father and grandfathers acted, but those records may be even harder to get.
     
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