Olive Egger Genetics

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by Gooseluv, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Gooseluv

    Gooseluv Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello
    I would like to breed for Olive Easter Eggers. I have Purebred Black Ameraucanas, Blue Marans and Welsummers. I would like to cross my Ameraucana with my Marans and Wesummers.
    The Ameraucana has the dominant Blue egg gene, which i believe I can represent in the phenotype OO, if the brown egg is recessive, I can represent it as brbr. If I cross the phenotypes, I get all Obr, so all female offspring should have green eggs.

    I have read that if you breed Olive Eggers, some may lay blue eggs, brown eggs or the desired olive green eggs, you won't know, but how is that possible if the brown egg is recessive to the blue egg?

    If I want to sell Olive Easter Eggers, if the latter is true, then my concern is that I can't guarantee Olive Egger pullets.

    Can someone with a clear understanding of genetics clarify this for me. It's been ages since I took genetics in school ;)

    Thank you so much.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  2. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I will be happy to clear this up for you. Some things you need to know about the genetics of OE's:
    1. The blue is dominant, so a cross with a true Am to a dark egger (either other breed you mentioned) will give 100% olive eggers. However, those hybrids are only heterozygous for blue, so half of their offspring will get the blue gene and half will not.
    2. The brown and blue genes are independent, so neither is dominant over the other. Brown is complex and involves several genes the together determine the shade of brown. These are often also partially lost in the F2 generation.

    The most straightforward way to ensure a chick will lay olive eggs is to keep going back to that original cross (Black Am over WS or BCM). That also provides some hybrid vigor, like a commercial sexlink. You will probably want to keep pens of pure Ams and at least 1 of the others, to provide breeding stock for the future. I've also found that the people buying OE chicks tend to want some other colors as well, so you can sell the purebred chicks of the parent breeds easily.
     
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  3. Gooseluv

    Gooseluv Out Of The Brooder

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    That's fantastic, thank you. I have always planned to breed through an F1 line, never back through the offspring, as I'm not breeding for standards and colours, just eggs.
    Thank you so much ;)
     
  4. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Glad to help. I sold some OE's that I created from a CCL (Legbar) roo over Welsummer hens. They were sexable like Welsummers. I sold all the pullet chicks but really wish I had kept at least one. I did keep some of the roos and free ranged them on the farm, they are the prettiest roos I have ever seen. I will probably do this again next spring, especially if get some good feedback from my customers.
     
  5. Gooseluv

    Gooseluv Out Of The Brooder

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    I would love to see a picture of them, that's interesting. I would love to have Creamed Legbars some day ;)
     
  6. Gooseluv

    Gooseluv Out Of The Brooder

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    I just realized something in your reply, "sexable like the Welsummers", are Welsummers sexlinked? :fl
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    No. Welsummer is a breed, not a hybrid cross.
     

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