New Hatchling Breed Questions

jnbelknap

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
94
5
76
Arroyo Grande, Ca
I am 7 months new to chickens. My 7 month old Olive Egger went broody, so I gave her a small clutch to hatch from all different hens fertilized by my 7 month old Easter Egger rooster. I have been learning along the way about the process since this is my first time.

At day 9, I candled the eggs and found that 4 of the 5 I gave her were developing. Unfortunately, her one egg that she started trying to hatch was not viable. She has been an amazing mom so far as she is protective yet still trusting of me.

Today is day 21, and two hatched last night, and the remaining two have peep holes. I am very excited about my soon-to-be four chicks. I need help understanding the genetics side of things. Here are several photos followed by my few questions.

The Roo: Easter Egger Father to all new chicks




Chick #1: Lily--Black with Gray Chest

The Mother--Lavender Orpington who lays light brown eggs


Here is her baby:





Chick #2: Maxime "Max"

The Mother--Easter Egger who lays blue eggs


Her chick:



Chick #3: Gabriella "Gabi"

The mother--Easter Egger who lays pink eggs


Her chick:




Chick #4: Hermione

The mother--Easter Egger who lays green eggs


Her chick:




Questions

1. Why is my Lavender Orpington/Easter Egger chick black? What can I expect her to look like when she feathers out?
2. Will my white EE chick be white when she feathers out?
3. When will I be able to sex the chicks?
4. What color eggs can I expect from these chicks if they end up being hens?


Thank you very much for reading and for your help! I am just trying to know what to expect.

*edited to add question
*edited to add/update photos and names
 
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jnbelknap

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
94
5
76
Arroyo Grande, Ca
Thank you, autumnhearth! What a coincidence with the names! Your friend must be a Harry Potter fan too:) All 11 of my chickens have HP names, and the 4 new ones will be getting them too.

I get a lot of compliments on Sybill's look. Hawkish. I hope her baby is similar. I am glad your Clara is as pretty!
 
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dheltzel

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,807
1,863
331
Pottstown, PA
Questions

1. Why is my Lavender Orpington/Easter Egger chick black? What can I expect her to look like when she feathers out?
2. Will my white EE chick be white when she feathers out?
3. When will I be able to sex the chicks?
4. What color eggs can I expect from these chicks if they end up being hens?
1. Lavender (also called "self-blue") is a recessive diluter of "extended black". Your Orp hen is truly a black bird with 2 copies of a gene that dilutes the black to lavender, but only with there are 2 copies of that gene. Since your chick got one copy from her mom, but no copy from her non-Lavender dad, she is black and will stay mostly that way. Extended black is an incomplete dominant trait and so with only one copy of that, you may see some other colors "bleed through". This can make for a very pretty bird. If it is a roo and you were to breed him back to his mother, about half the babies would have the 2 copies of Lavender needed to make them look like their mother.

2. Not sure here, white can be from a dominant or recessive gene. The chick is unlikely to be pure white in any case because even the dominant white is incompletely dominant (like the extended black mentioned above).

3. I find it takes a long time to sex EE's, perhaps 3 - 4 months, or longer. Sometimes the behaviors of young roos give them away, but if they don't act like a roo that does not mean they are pullets.

4. Almost any shades are possible, but I would say most will tend to be green, the rest probably shades of brown. Without pure lineages, predicting egg color is tough.
 

autumnhearth

Songster
5 Years
Feb 5, 2014
737
212
158
Berea, Ohio
Thank you, autumnhearth! What a coincidence with the names! Your friend must be a Harry Potter fan too:) All 11 of my chickens have HP names, and the 4 new ones will be getting them too.

I get a lot of compliments on Sybill's look. Hawkish. I hope her baby is similar. I am glad your Clara is as pretty!
Yes, her first batch of chicks all had Harry Potter names. She has a Buff Orp named Molly, a red named Lily, a SLW named Rowena etc. My husband didn't want to do a theme. But after I started calling our sex-link Amelia, my son wanted to call his EE Clara, companions from Doctor Who. I love the hawk-like EE's! Your Fleur is beautiful as well!


This was taken at 19 weeks, she lad her first egg at 21 weeks and is now 24 weeks.


1. Lavender (also called "self-blue") is a recessive diluter of "extended black". Your Orp hen is truly a black bird with 2 copies of a gene that dilutes the black to lavender, but only with there are 2 copies of that gene. Since your chick got one copy from her mom, but no copy from her non-Lavender dad, she is black and will stay mostly that way. Extended black is an incomplete dominant trait and so with only one copy of that, you may see some other colors "bleed through". This can make for a very pretty bird. If it is a roo and you were to breed him back to his mother, about half the babies would have the 2 copies of Lavender needed to make them look like their mother.

2. Not sure here, white can be from a dominant or recessive gene. The chick is unlikely to be pure white in any case because even the dominant white is incompletely dominant (like the extended black mentioned above).

3. I find it takes a long time to sex EE's, perhaps 3 - 4 months, or longer. Sometimes the behaviors of young roos give them away, but if they don't act like a roo that does not mean they are pullets.

4. Almost any shades are possible, but I would say most will tend to be green, the rest probably shades of brown. Without pure lineages, predicting egg color is tough.
That's fascinating about the Lavender!
 

jnbelknap

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
94
5
76
Arroyo Grande, Ca
@dheltzel Wow. Thank you so much! I love learning about all of this, and I rely on the knowledge of all you. I am very excited to see how they turn out.

@autumnhearth They are twins! Absolutely incredible. Beautiful bird.
 

dheltzel

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,807
1,863
331
Pottstown, PA
That's fascinating about the Lavender!
Chicken genetics are fascinating because there are so many variations on the standard dominant/recessive stuff, and it's pretty well researched.

Their is a more common blue color, famous in the Blue Andalusian breed, that inherits completely differently. If your Lavender hen had been that sort of blue (and it exists in Orps, but it's not called Lavendar, just "blue" or sometimes "BBS blue"), then you would have a 50/50 chance of getting a blue chick, the other case being black. And it's possible for a bird to have both genes present and show either or both depending on how many copies of each.
 

dheltzel

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,807
1,863
331
Pottstown, PA
Yes, very typical, and no indication about whether that gray will remain as an adult (I'm thinking it will not). Extended black affects both the chick down color as well as the adult color, but they are often very separate things. In both cases, the EB gene can get affected by the presence of blue (either lavender or BBS blue), which turns the parts that would be black to a grey color. or by the barred gene, which often shows a white headspot on the chicks (as in barred rocks and black sex links), but looks very different in the feathers. It's also possible to haver blue barred birds or blue sex links, combining the effects
 

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