Lethal gene???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sianara, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    In spring 2011 my then 1 year old pair of Blue Head Australian Spotted bantam ducks hatched five eggs. One male blue head, one male green head and one female green head survived. Of the two other eggs one silver head duckling hatched overnight (I never saw it) and was dead in the morning and lastly another silver head hatched then died on the fourth day.

    Spring ahead to last week. One blue (I think) head and one silver head hatched. The silver head was slower than the other one and on day four I found it dead. The third duckling died in the shell while half hatched. I believe it was a silver head as well. I'm now suspecting that with this particular mating pair (Bo & Bella) there is a lethal gene affecting the silver heads. I don't know much about genetics so I could really use some information so all the silver heads don't keep dying. [​IMG]I don't know if its a specific gene between this particular pair that is causing the deaths. Is it possible that bringing in another male/female ould make a differenc?
  2. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Where are all the breeders that have genetic knowledge?

    Hmm I'm really surprised to have no responses :(
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  3. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    Not that much information on duck genetics out there.

    If it is a lethal it would most likely be recessive because both parents are alive. If this is the case then only one fourth of the offspring would be effected by the gene pair. You have too many offspring that are dieing.

    If the lethal gene is incompletely dominant and one parent survived the hatch but its offspring are not then less than half of the offspring should die. Possible

    I would say the incubation conditions are the problem. That is my guess. I do not know duck genetics so take it for what it is worth.

  4. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    The mother and daughter brooded together. This was their second attempt. They had another clutch in June and them abandoned the nest but then a month later tried again. Well I guess I'd better do some research on my own. Thanks for the reply.
  5. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    It happened again this year. All five of their ducklings died. I took the remaining one to the vet, trying to save her (see my Facebook post here)...


    Turns out it was an "overwhelming bacterial infection" the mothers were passing on to their ducklings. [​IMG] I'm dealing with it but it's still so sad. The adults never showed any signs of illness at all.

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