Massively confused here...blue strikes again

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Blisschick, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Okay, I thought I had it all down about breeding blues and splash. Leave it to one roo to throw a wrench in the works.

    I have my splash Jersey roo in with 3 black, 1 blue, and 1 white hen. I know the black hens are either pure black or black carrying white because they are the daughters of the white hen. The blue hen and splash roo are from another flock.

    I thought out of this bunch I should be getting either blue or splash, but somehow I've been getting black chicks too. Am I missing something? I've gone over every possible Punnett square I can think of...my head is hurting now. [​IMG]
     
  2. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    8,431
    135
    331
    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Are you sure they are just not very dark blue???? That could be an option to think about.
     
  3. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,517
    658
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Good answer actually. Just yesterday I visited a neighbor who wanted help with picking out the better silkie pullets and cockerels out of her pen with a black roo, several black hens, a few blue hens (no splashes).

    There were two splash young birds in the pen.. I asked her if she was sure those two were from that pen She was quite sure about that and swore she did not get eggs mixed with others (she has blues and splashes in other pens). The rooster does look jet black.. however picking him up showed down feathers close to the body that looked rather "greyish" so if those splash chicks REALLY were his, it proves he was actually a very dark blue.

    You're not confused about the genetics or Punnett square. Those black chicks of yours have to be blue if they really are his and absolutely no chance another rooster could have jumped the fence or bred any of the hens within the past two months.

    If you REALLY want to know.. save those black looking chicks and breed them with a blue.. if they produce splashes, you have your answer(that is, those black birds ARE blue, just dont look it).
     
  4. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    `I had the same problem here, until I finally figured out that my splash hen was not a splash. She is very light with dark feathers mixed in but breeds true to blue not splash.

    [​IMG]

    Good chance yours that appear black are really dark blue, but in the polish there is no doubt in my mind that my blacks produced are black as they have the beetle green sheen on their adult feathers.
     
  5. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I've had various blue chickens for years, and these are definitely black. You can't mistake the down color on a Jersey. The only other thing I can think of is like your hen verthandi -- my splash roo is not actually a splash, but a light blue. He sure looks like it though! My other blue roo is very dark, but he's definitely not black. I have a black cockerel, and you can tell the difference by the green sheen. It's very bright and distinct compared to the thin sheen sometimes found on blue feathers. Neither of the other two roos are in the pen, so the only reasonable, logical conclusion that fits is that my roo is actually a light blue.

    I have the same thing going with my BLRW. Some of the roos will be very dark charcoal, and as chicks, the feathering looks nearly black. I know I don't have any black laced because I only breed blue to splash. I was told you can tell black from blue by looking at the shaft of the feather. If it's black, it will be the same color as the rest of the feather. If it's blue, it will be lighter.
     
  6. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    8,431
    135
    331
    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    FYI

    I did have a blue roo with green sheen......but you could tell he was blue. Maybe the hen is blue and not splash. This is another example of why I do not breed blue to blue.

    Anyway as Spongebob would say, "Good luck with that."[​IMG]
     
  7. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,517
    658
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    The silkie roo I mentioned above LOOKS jet black. Shiny, super nice solid black. Bought and sold as black.

    So really, that leaves with simple two possiblites: He is black and the lady got the eggs mixed up. Or he is actually blue but looks honestly black.

    That is why I suggest keeping a black chick and breeding to a blue or splash.. if they produce (obvious)splashes, that is your answer, the blacks are genetically blues, end of story.

    As for that Polish, is there a chance she's dominant white? Black or blue birds with single dose of dominant white look just like that too.
     
  8. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    Quote:Possible as I purchased her without much background information. Do you have any good resources to read more about dominant white?
     
  9. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,517
    658
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Hmm.. not that I can think of unfortunately, other than maybe The Coop forum.

    Leghorns have what is dominant white. If you're aware of California Whites, which if I remember right, are a cross of Ca. Gray and a White leghorn.. the result are white birds with varying amounts of black speckling. This is due to the birds not being pure for dominant white, it is not "totally dominant" so some color shows through here and there.

    Dominant white primarily affects black pigment, with a much lesser effect on red/gold coloring. Good examples of this are WLR Cornish, which are the same as dark cornish except with dominant white changing the black lacing to white while still leaving the red centers.

    It so happens DW is present in Polish- Buff Laceds pretty much are gold laced with DW, basically.


    The tricky part is blue and DW can exist in the same bird. One way to find out is to see if she throws birds with white lacing or white that doesn't seem to have any blue or a "splash" offspring that does not produce any blues when bred to non blues.. The clincher would be something like she was bred with a (heh) true black rooster and produced whitish offspring. That's proof of DW being present.. one other clue is if the breeder also had buff laced previously in the mix.. What did you breed her with and what were the results? I'm not at all saying she couldn't be a flecky blue or a splash, just like to "rule out possibilities" with birds of unknown ancestry. It's fun..
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  10. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    Kev, very interesting information. I am a little bit of a genetic freak, but I have done my research with dun horses. The blue gene appears to work similarly. In most cases if it is there it shows, but other factors can effect the color.

    The hen in question orginally was crossed with black producing some nice blue or black chicks. The blues developed darker blue edging to their feathers. The second cross to a blue produced more blue chicks with similar coloring and no blacks. The only fluky thing that has occurred is that the males develop tan/grey saddle feathers.

    Thank you for your input on this...probably time to start a new blue thread so I don't hog this one. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by