Leg/Foot Feathering Questions

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Klorinth, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,

    I have a question that people may not be able to answer. I thought I should ask though.

    I am curious about the leg/foot feathering of the Brahmas and Cochin. Both of these are appealing breeds to me at that moment, but I have noted some comments about this feathering being a problem when birds are kept in a yard, not confined, because of it getting covered in mud. On the other hand it looks to be a good idea in the winter. Ptarmigan in the arctic and northern prairies use this same strategy to deal with the cold and snow.

    Any ideas as to dominance or recessiveness genetically? How is this trait passed on? Is it male or female dominant? Do these breeds pass this on when crossed with another?

    I was just thinking about possible results with a mixed flock. I will start with Chanteclers, but am curious about a couple of other breeds as well.

    Thanks for all of your thoughts.
     
  2. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Foot feathers do get covered in mud, but it's generally only a major problem if you want to show the birds. I also find when I free range my feathery footed birds that the feathers break off close to the foot, about an inch or so will remain of the feathers and again I don't find it bothers the birds as much as the people [​IMG]

    Whenever I've had feather footer, non-feather footed cross chicks they have always had feathering down the leg to a certain degree. Some will have it more than others, but they all have leg/foot feathering of some sort.

    Cheers,
    Urban Coyote
     
  3. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    incomplete dominant, not sexlinked.
    There are 3 known footfeather genes.
    In the one least common gene it behaves recessive.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    My brahmas free-range on pasture, with very little dirt except in their dustbathing hole. If it's really wet outside their foot feathers get a little muddy, but given a few hours to dry they look fine again.
    In nine months time I've had one hen break off a foot feather. It bothered me more than her and hardly bled at all. By the next morning I couldn't even tell it had been broken.
     
  5. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. That helps.

    Henk69,

    Can you explain further what you mean by your last two statements?

    When I look at this it makes sense that this would be a polygenic trait. Multiple genes or autosomes working together to create the visible trait. It would also explain why you would have the trait express itself to a varying degree.

    This still makes me wonder about how to breed for it in a cross. Should be vary possible to do. Although it will take a fair amount of back breeding in order to not loose the original breed in the effort.

    Curiosity is getting the better of me. Breeding chickens this way is far faster than breeding our dogs. Not to mention far cheaper. Dogs cost a disgusting amount. I shouldn't even be thinking about this yet. I don't even have a foundation flock yet. LOL

    Thanks for the thoughts though.
     
  6. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    FWIW, I have a silkie cross with absolutely NO foot feathers :O Pretty bird, though, a really unusual mix of red and blue, and not really a partridge parttern. Not quite sure what to call it.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you.

    I knew there would be someone here that would have an answer. Not that I was expecting an easy answer. But this actually better than I expected.

    Now I just need to get my wife to print off the full article at work. I don't have access to PubMed files.

    That little synopsis does kind of reinforce my thinking that crossing for "feathered-shank" would be a trial and error situation. It does still seem possible though.
     
  9. Portia

    Portia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know much about cochins and brahmas, but I've my first brood of chicks fathered by a salmon favorelle (feather foot breed). None of the hens are feather footed. So far 4/6 of the 6 week old chicks display foot feathering.

    As for mud, etc on the foot feathers. My birds free range and I hadn't noticed a problem with the roo and his feathery legs.

    Klorinth, that pup in your avatar is adorable. what kind of dog is it?
     
  10. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Portia,

    I figured that the feathering should not be too much of a problem as long as the birds had an adequate area that remains dry.


    I am wondering if it may be possible to introduce the feathered shank genes/trait into the Chantecler. This is the breed that I would like to focus on. But I have this problem with liking to improve things. So, I can't help but think about it. A truly cold tolerant breed should also have snowboots. Shouldn't they?? Of course they should! LOL


    Ps. We breed Norrbottenspets. They are a medium sized spitz type hunting dog. From Sweden/Finland. That is one of our puppies when little. [​IMG]
     

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