Partridge Silkie Genetics Questions

Fur-N-Fowl

Fluffy Dinosaur Breeder
May 25, 2019
2,555
8,464
437
UK
Hello Everyone!
:frow

Before we begin, I find genetics pretty confusing but I'm doing my best to understand it better.

In my breeding flock, I have a gold partridge pullet and a recessive pure white rooster that is partridge based.

He produces beautiful pure whites with my white hens and beautiful partridges with my partridge pullet.

However, there's one thing I'm confused about...

I've hatched partridge chicks that are gold partridge (like the mother), darker brown 'standard' partridge, super light almost all 'lemon' partridge and Moorhead partridge.

From what I believe, all of those chicks will carry one pure white recessive gene but the white won't show through on them, only their chicks if they mated to a white gene carrier or a sibling. However, I don't know how I'm hatching so many 'varieties' of partridge?

I thought all chicks from these two parents would be the same or very similar partridge to one another.

Does the partridge gene have multiple genes that play a part in it's colouring or is something else going on that I don't know about?

Don't get me wrong, I love the mixture of partridges I'm getting, particularly the moorheads :love

I haven't got photos of all the chicks since I've sold some but here's some photos to give you an idea:

Mother:
IMG_0712.JPG


Father:
IMG_9707.JPG


Chicks:
IMG_9790.JPG

IMG_9791.JPG

IMG_9973.JPG

IMG_0017.JPG

IMG_0018.JPG

IMG_0025.JPG

(That almost white chick is partridge, it's the one that turned out an almost all lemon coloured partridge).
IMG_0519.JPG

IMG_0522.JPG

IMG_0698.JPG

IMG_0701.JPG

IMG_0702.JPG

IMG_0705.JPG

IMG_0707.JPG

IMG_0708.JPG

IMG_0709.JPG

IMG_0725.JPG

IMG_0729.JPG

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IMG_0944.JPG

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IMG_0996.JPG
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,862
22,026
907
Southeast Louisiana
Are you familiar with the cross calculator? It might help your understanding if you play with it.

http://kippenjungle.nl/Overzicht.htm#kipcalculator

What I'm going to say will probably not be approved by the genetics gurus but it is the way I look at it. If you look at the E locus you have five choices - Extended Black, Birchen, Wheaten, Duckwing, and Partridge. I consider these the basic canvasses you have to start painting a chicken in color and pattern. Some are more dominant than others and you can combine them, but you are just talking about Partridge.

There are a lot of other genes that modify these colors and patterns. Some are dominant, some recessive. Some are even partially dominant. Some only have an effect if certain other genes are present. These can be mixed in a lot of different ways to get a huge variety of colors and patterns. Some modify all feathers like Recessive White when it pairs up. Some only modify red feathers, some only modify black feathers. Some do other weird things.

What I think is happening is that your parents are not pure for a lot of these genes. Pure means that both genes at that gene pair are the same. Instead it looks like several of them are split, which means that the two genes at that gene pair are different. Since those genes are passed down randomly you can get different-looking chicks depending in what combinations get passed down.

Go to the calculator and select partridge for both male and female. The hit the tab to the right in English that says "To Chicken Calculator".

Leave the hen alone but change the rooster at the S silver locus to split so it is S/s golden. Then split the rooster's Mh Mahogany so it is Mh/mh. The capital letter signifies it is the dominant version, the lower case says recessive. Now find the "calculate crossing" tab and hit it. That will show you the possible results with just two of the genes on the rooster only not being "pure" and the hen pure. That's with all of the chicks still being pure for partridge. The likelihood is that both the male and female are split for different genes.

I warn you that calculator can be addictive. It is kind of simplistic, there are some interactions it does not show, like leakage or certain interactions between some genes. It does not show down or some juvenile feathering color or pattern, just adult feathering. But I think it is a good educational tool in getting a basic theoretical understanding on how the genetics work. To me, the hardest part is determining what genetics you have to start with.
 

Fur-N-Fowl

Fluffy Dinosaur Breeder
May 25, 2019
2,555
8,464
437
UK
Are you familiar with the cross calculator? It might help your understanding if you play with it.

http://kippenjungle.nl/Overzicht.htm#kipcalculator

What I'm going to say will probably not be approved by the genetics gurus but it is the way I look at it. If you look at the E locus you have five choices - Extended Black, Birchen, Wheaten, Duckwing, and Partridge. I consider these the basic canvasses you have to start painting a chicken in color and pattern. Some are more dominant than others and you can combine them, but you are just talking about Partridge.

There are a lot of other genes that modify these colors and patterns. Some are dominant, some recessive. Some are even partially dominant. Some only have an effect if certain other genes are present. These can be mixed in a lot of different ways to get a huge variety of colors and patterns. Some modify all feathers like Recessive White when it pairs up. Some only modify red feathers, some only modify black feathers. Some do other weird things.

What I think is happening is that your parents are not pure for a lot of these genes. Pure means that both genes at that gene pair are the same. Instead it looks like several of them are split, which means that the two genes at that gene pair are different. Since those genes are passed down randomly you can get different-looking chicks depending in what combinations get passed down.

Go to the calculator and select partridge for both male and female. The hit the tab to the right in English that says "To Chicken Calculator".

Leave the hen alone but change the rooster at the S silver locus to split so it is S/s golden. Then split the rooster's Mh Mahogany so it is Mh/mh. The capital letter signifies it is the dominant version, the lower case says recessive. Now find the "calculate crossing" tab and hit it. That will show you the possible results with just two of the genes on the rooster only not being "pure" and the hen pure. That's with all of the chicks still being pure for partridge. The likelihood is that both the male and female are split for different genes.

I warn you that calculator can be addictive. It is kind of simplistic, there are some interactions it does not show, like leakage or certain interactions between some genes. It does not show down or some juvenile feathering color or pattern, just adult feathering. But I think it is a good educational tool in getting a basic theoretical understanding on how the genetics work. To me, the hardest part is determining what genetics you have to start with.

Thankyou I'll have a look on there soon!

I did have a go at a calculator a while back but I found it pretty confusing to work :lau I will try this one!

As for the parents, I know that my partridge pullet is definitely pure partridge. She came from a well known breeder that has been keeping a nice bloodline for a good few years now.

On the other hand, my pure white rooster is hard to tell what 'type' of partridge he is underneath. I know he definitely had partridge parents but they obviously carried the recessive white gene, hence why he is white. I guess it's possible that he is a mix of two different 'types/shades' of partridge underneath his white.

Maybe his father was a Moorhead type partridge and his mother a dark partridge etc.

I have no doubt it's him carrying the wonderful mix of partridge genes.

I'm most confused at the Moorhead Partridge chicks he's produced (Charcoal gene I believe?). I read that it's a dominant gene. If so, how don't all of his chicks have the black head? Or is it not always passed onto every chick.

Thankyou for helping! :)
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,862
22,026
907
Southeast Louisiana
I'm most confused at the Moorhead Partridge chicks he's produced (Charcoal gene I believe?). I read that it's a dominant gene. If so, how don't all of his chicks have the black head? Or is it not always passed onto every chick.

There are two genes at each gene pair. The chick get one from its father and one from its mother. When both are the same in one parent then the same gene will get passed down from them. But if one parent has both the dominant or recessive version, say they are split for Charcoal and have both Cha and cha, either one may be passed down. You don't know which one will be passed down. So if your Recessive White rooster is split for this gene, some of his offspring will get the dominant Cha version and show the darker version. But some will get the recessive cha and be lighter.

I'm not familiar with the Moorhead terminology so I cannot speak to that. From what you describe I'd think the mother is pure for the recessive cha gene and the father is split for the Dominant/Recessive Cha/cha. But I'm guessing.
 

Fur-N-Fowl

Fluffy Dinosaur Breeder
May 25, 2019
2,555
8,464
437
UK
There are two genes at each gene pair. The chick get one from its father and one from its mother. When both are the same in one parent then the same gene will get passed down from them. But if one parent has both the dominant or recessive version, say they are split for Charcoal and have both Cha and cha, either one may be passed down. You don't know which one will be passed down. So if your Recessive White rooster is split for this gene, some of his offspring will get the dominant Cha version and show the darker version. But some will get the recessive cha and be lighter.

I'm not familiar with the Moorhead terminology so I cannot speak to that. From what you describe I'd think the mother is pure for the recessive cha gene and the father is split for the Dominant/Recessive Cha/cha. But I'm guessing.

I'm not the best with genetics but that's sounding promising from what I've learnt so far!

Thats helped me out though! I was under the impression that all dominant genes are always passed over and show in chicks but in a way I'm glad they don't. I like being able to have such a range of partridges.

I have a similar question about the recessive white gene. Will all chicks produced from this pairing always carry a copy of the recessive white gene? Or is that also a gene that can be passed onto some chicks and not to others?

I've always thought all chicks will carry a copy of it so if I was to say, breed siblings together or them back to their father, their chicks would all hatch pure white since there would be two copies of the recessive white gene.

Also, say if I was to breed this chick (pure gold partridge mother, recessive pure white partridge based father) to a pure partridge rooster, would it's chicks be (physically) partridge too? And would their offspring carry the recessive white gene too?
IMG_0947.JPG
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,862
22,026
907
Southeast Louisiana
I'm obviously not making myself clear.

For that Recessive White rooster to show recessive white, both genes at that gene pair have to be Recessive White. That means the only gene he can pass to an offspring is Recessive White. All of his offspring will have at least one Recessive White gene.

If the hen does not have a Recessive White gene at that gene pair, she cannot pass a Recessive White gene to her offspring. She does not have one to give. Both parents contribute one gene to their offspring at each gene pair so that offspring will have one Recessive White and one not-Recessive White.

The symbol the geneticist use for Recessive White is "C". An upper case "C" represents the dominant gene, the not-Recessive White. The lower case "c" represents the recessive gene the Recessive White. So your rooster has c,c and passes a c to his offspring. The hen has C,C and passes a C to her offspring. So all their offspring has C,c.

It is entirely random as to whether C or c gets passed down to the next generation. If you cross a pullet C,c offspring to her c,c father, he will give each chick a c. The pullet will give some chicks a C, others a c. So some of their offspring will be C,c and not show white. Some will be c,c and be white.

If instead you breed that C,c pullet to her brother who is also C,c you can get several combinations. You can get C,C - C,c - or c,c. The c,c will be white but the others will not. You will not know which non-white ones carry a c.

Get rid of the idea that only the dominant gene gets passed down. It does not work that way.
 

Fur-N-Fowl

Fluffy Dinosaur Breeder
May 25, 2019
2,555
8,464
437
UK
I'm obviously not making myself clear.

For that Recessive White rooster to show recessive white, both genes at that gene pair have to be Recessive White. That means the only gene he can pass to an offspring is Recessive White. All of his offspring will have at least one Recessive White gene.

If the hen does not have a Recessive White gene at that gene pair, she cannot pass a Recessive White gene to her offspring. She does not have one to give. Both parents contribute one gene to their offspring at each gene pair so that offspring will have one Recessive White and one not-Recessive White.

The symbol the geneticist use for Recessive White is "C". An upper case "C" represents the dominant gene, the not-Recessive White. The lower case "c" represents the recessive gene the Recessive White. So your rooster has c,c and passes a c to his offspring. The hen has C,C and passes a C to her offspring. So all their offspring has C,c.

It is entirely random as to whether C or c gets passed down to the next generation. If you cross a pullet C,c offspring to her c,c father, he will give each chick a c. The pullet will give some chicks a C, others a c. So some of their offspring will be C,c and not show white. Some will be c,c and be white.

If instead you breed that C,c pullet to her brother who is also C,c you can get several combinations. You can get C,C - C,c - or c,c. The c,c will be white but the others will not. You will not know which non-white ones carry a c.

Get rid of the idea that only the dominant gene gets passed down. It does not work that way.

Ah right! I'm only going off what I've previously been told when asking before, I think I must have been given mixed information somewhere along the line.

I was originally told that the white gene is like an off switch which just covers other colours.

I asked a while back about what my blue pullet crossed with my recessive white would produce. I was told that it would depend on what my white rooster came from, which is partridge. They said then it would be like me crossing a blue with a partridge and that the recessive white gene will play no effect on the chicks colour.

From that I gathered that the father must be passing some form of the partridge gene over as well as the recessive white one with it.

Of course, this is why I then thought when crossing my partridge hen with my white rooster, he was still playing a part in the partridge colouring and passing on the recessive white too.

Maybe best for me to buy a Silkie genetics book and I may have a better understanding than what I've been given previously. It'd be an interesting read I guess :)
 
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