Leucism in Chickens?

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by chippy99th, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. chippy99th

    chippy99th Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2016
    Does leucism occur in chickens? Might be a silly question but I couldn't find anything on the web regarding leucism and chickens specifically. The reason I ask is that I have a young chicken I think is leucistic and some roostersI think have partial leucism (random white feathers). They're just barnyard mutts, but none of the original birds were white and the parents of this particular young bird are not white (though the father has some white markings).

    Here are the parents:

    McClellan (dad) has white markings but not random white feathers. Only one of his sons had as much white as him -also not random, but in specific places like his -but three of his other sons have turned out to have random white feathers. All of those are your typical mostly red game-bird looking mutts.

    Princess (mom) has no white markings. Her mom was a silver phoenix and her dad was a mutt who also had no white markings.

    Here is the young cockerel I was talking about, he's between 6 and 7 weeks old:

    He's starting to grow in random colored feathers, like the one below. A couple are calico, a few have a scattering of gray speckles and a few are pale blond/cream colored.


    I've just in all my chicks never had one with so much white. There was one other in this clutch that was growing in white feathers, too (we gave away most of the chicks when they were a few days old, so don't know how that one turned out). Their ancestors, except the silver phoenix grandmother, are all generations of mutts from the feral bantam mixes in our neighborhood, and I've never seen any white ferals roaming around either. Their dad has the most white of any of them by far, and even he doesn't have much.

    So, not an urgent question, I'm just really curious. If anyone has opinions or info about leucism in chickens, I'd be very interested in hearing them.
  2. Andre33

    Andre33 Just Hatched

    Sep 30, 2017
    I guess both parents were carrying one dose of recessive white gene (C) and this chick is now homozygous for C so he's white.
    AMERAUCANAS4REAL likes this.

    AMERAUCANAS4REAL Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 8, 2017
    My Coop
    But white should mask all colors, so he could be luecistic or however it's spelled. I have seen albino chickens, so I don't see why not.
  4. Natanya

    Natanya Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 2, 2017
    Your young white cockerel most likely inherited recessive white genes from both parents. Recessive white genes do indeed cause a form of leucisism. It's a trait that was discovered a very long time ago in chickens and was heavily selected for, because people like white birds. This means a leucistic chicken is a very common sight, while leucisism is rare in most other species because those species lack the selective pressure for leucisism. In fact, leucisism is normally selected against because being white or having white patches makes you more visible and more likely to be ate in the wild.

    The little color splotch on your cockerel is also normal for a recessive white bird, it's called color leakage and is to be expected. Dominant white leaks more heavily than recessive white.

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