"Lacing"...how does that work?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ninjapoodles, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    No, I'm not asking how to tie my shoes. [​IMG]

    I was just looking at pics of [email protected]@2four's gold-laced Polish birds, and was wondering...how does that coloration come about? Can anyone direct me to an explanation that can be understood by someone who is *not* a geneticist? I have a rudimentary working understanding of simple recessives, homo/heterozygosity, etc., from years of breeding horses and dogs, but nothing terribly complicated.

    Did the lacing pattern occur on its own at some point, in some form, and get selected for so that it was enhanced, or is it a result of combing several color/pattern traits over many generations?
  2. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 30, 2007
    Deer Park Washington
    Well I cant really help that much with this but I do know that there are two different types of lacing. There is the lacing found in Sebrights and Polish where they have lacing in the tail which I belive has birchen in it. Then there is the other lacing which is found in wyandottes and cochins and such where they have solid tails.
    One thing I noticed is when we gave a show type SLW cock to a friend who had nasty looking hatchery SLW hens that were mostly black, some looked like they had ghost pencilling. Anyway when she hatched out chicks about 95% of them had good lacing like the father.
    Another thing I noticed with the dun laced project is that crossing a solid bird to a laced birds gives mostly solid chicks that may have some color show through. When those 'solid' birds are bred back to a laced bird they look laced. I was talking to a breeder that said they did the same thing to get better type. When they crossed a solid looking bird into their black program they thought nothing of it until they got bad laced birds from their blacks a few years later.
  3. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    I suspect, but don't know for sure that lacing occured on its own. If you look at pheasants or prairie chickens, their feathers are laced. I would think that that lacing would be a protective coloration, like a tabby's stripes.

    I can't help you on genetics. Chicken genetics baffles me, but since I'm not breeding I don't worry about it too much.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Maybe Kev or Tim will happen along and give their answers.
  5. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    I don't own any of the laced breeds, but I'm fascinated by the pattern. And are breeds like Barnevelders (I am interested in them--I love the "roundish" shaped chickens!) always "double-laced?"

    I'm amazed at how much more complicated this is than color genetics of horses or dogs. [​IMG]
  6. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
    Sebright type lacing requires at least 5 mutations: E^R (birchen), Co (Columbian), Db (Dark brown), Ml (Melanotic) and Pg (Pattern gene).
    Sebrights also have henny feathering.

    It resembles the genotype of spangling (as in Hamburghs) which lacks the Columbian mutation.

    Pg on its own produces multiple lacing on "wildtype" birds (eg brown/partridge e^b).
    Add Ml and you get double lacing as in Barnevelder.
    Add Co upon that and you get single lacing as in Wyandotte.

    Birchen would hide all this but if you add Db that problem is solved and you get sebright or polish type lacing.
  7. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    my brain hurts!!!!
  8. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    I agree. I've tried to wrap my brain around some of the pattern genes and it sends my brain into a coma every time.

    I sometimes wonder if we have it right, or make it more complicated than it has to be.

  9. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008

    Heterozygous Pg and Ml on eb Co base:

    Moore & Smyth (1972) found that by itself the pattern gene caused an incomplete lace – restricted to the distal tip of the feather. Melanotic (Ml) was required to complete the lace, with the two genes functioning dose dependently. The following diagram is based on a drawing from the following article by Smyth: Genetic Control of Melanin Pigmentation in the Fowl (1976).

    This is what they segregated from test breeding Silver Laced Wyandottes (from memory, to an eb test line?): The following are eb Co based:

    eb Co Pg Ml patterns


    * Note, I’ve changed Lg (from the original drawing) to Pg (& I’ve changed ground colour from silver to gold).

    So heterozygous Pg-Ml/pg+-ml+ on Co looks similar to spangling, & Pg/Pg on Co produces an incomplete lace on the tip of the feather.​

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