Newbie to genetics has a few questions regarding color

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by abcn123s, Jul 5, 2018.

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  1. abcn123s

    abcn123s Songster

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    Hi everybody!
    We've been raising chickens for a little over a year now. I (husband going along for the crazy ride) wanted to start breeding Silkies an Australorps in our little rural part of the world. I think I'm figuring out color, etc on the Australorps, but our Silkies have me a bit confused.

    IMG_0617.JPG What color is this hopefully girl?
    IMG_0623.JPG IMG_0624.JPG How about our roo?

    So here is a quick synopsis of what we currently have. White Silkies hens from our original flock started last March/April. We hatched out (from a breeder) 3 more silkies. Of that new group, we have 2 confirmed boys (1 is above) and 1 hopeful girl (she is also above). The last one is a White boy.

    I know that if we breed white boy to white girl, we get 100% white babies. What I don't know is what would happen if we kept our little brown guy and bred him to the current White girls or even more-so what would we get if the 2 above had chicks?

    I hope I didn't ramble and I hope that someone can help me figure this out :idunno
     
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  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    I'm no expert with silkie color. I would guess Grey partridge pullet, gold partridge rooster...

    If that is right, Gold partridge rooster x silver partridge hen gets lemon/yellow cockerel chicks and silver pullets. In most breeds (Such as OEGBs--I don't breed silkies) the two will be mostly indistinguishable, color-wise, until the boys begin to develop gold leakage around their shoulders. Every rooster is likely to have different levels of gold expression, too.

    As for crossing the whites with another color... unknowable. Silkies are recessive white, meaning that nearly all white silkies carry two copies of the recessive white gene (c/c) and those two genes hide every other color/pattern gene the silkie has. We have no way of knowing what colors are hidden under that fluffy, white, no-pigment topping.
     
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  3. abcn123s

    abcn123s Songster

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    Pardon my talking through this, in typed format! So does that mean that crossing a (Silkie) white hen and white rooster could result in another colored baby?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Nope. Both white hen and roo have two recessive white genes (c/c), (c/c). The chicks have to inherit a c from each parent, and will be (c/c)--recessive white-- themselves.

    Pretend the p's are c's, please:
    [​IMG]
    A punnett square. Traditionally, the genotype of the sire is on top, and that of the dam is on the side.

    The parents have two copies of every gene (except for sexlinked genes) the only difference is what mutation (allele) of the gene they possess.

    c is recessive white. C is an allele of c. It's on the same chromosome, in the same place, and the bird can inherit c or C but not both on that chromosome (however, the bird does have two copies of every chromosome, so it inherits two copies of the gene, one from each parent.)

    (C/c) = no recessive white showing on the bird. (c/c) = entirely white bird.

    So if a chicken only has no copies of recessive white (C/C)and I mated with a recessive white bird(c/c), none of the offspring would be white:
    (Pretend the B's are C's, and that b's are c's please)
    [​IMG]

    I hope that's clear.
     
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  5. abcn123s

    abcn123s Songster

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    OK, so I think I'm understanding.

    - If I crossed my white roo with my white hen = white babies
    - If I crossed my gold partridge roo with my white hen = no white babies, but partridge babies
    - If I crossed my gold partridge roo with my silver partridge hen = no white babies, but lemon/yellow cockerel chicks and silver pullets..

    Did I get that correct?
     
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  6. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Mostly correct, except for the above. If your white birds aren't partridge patterned under the white, then their chicks might not be partridge patterned themselves.

    For instance, if they're E/E (extended black--the pattern that makes solid black birds, among others) that's dominant to partridge (e+/e+). The chicks would have one from each parent and be (E/e+), so they probably would be solid black. That's why I said that that particular cross was unknowable.
     
  7. abcn123s

    abcn123s Songster

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    Ok, So I think I have it now!

    If I cross any color with my white hens.. it will be a hatch day surprise!

    As I plan for more Silkies to add into my mix it is better to error on more color than plain white then and also keep a colored roo. Since I'm hoping to hatch more than just White Silkies, that seems to be the correct thinking, right?!?

    Thank you @sylviethecochin for helping me wrap my head around all of this! :)
     

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