Polish Genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Purely Prairie Polish, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Purely Prairie Polish

    Purely Prairie Polish Chillin' With My Peeps

    So I guess I'm nieve when it comes to the colors and genes. I always assumed it was a no-no to cross the colors, and the babies would be polish, but mixes. From what I have been reading in the forums I'm getting the idea that as long as a bird shows true in its feathers, the parent lineage doesn't matter. Is that true? I have had golden laced and silver laced polish for six years now, LOVE the polish, in fact that's all I keep for breeding and incubating(another topic I could spend hours talking about, gives me a bit of a god complex I think). Due to my prior assumption, as soon as spring hits my breeders are separated according to color and only eggs collected two weeks after that are incubated and sold, etc. All the chicks have shown true to their parents color, figured that is what people who bought from me would want, and felt better knowing people were getting what I told them they were getting.

    So back to the original question, if you cross different colors and the babies show true to a color group, does that make the bird "pure" or can you call it by the color group? Or is it a color cross?

    I've got lots more questions but I'll leave it at that for now and ask more as I get responses. Thanks
  2. dickhorstman

    dickhorstman Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Crossing colors does not make the chick pure even if it looks like one of the parents.
  3. Purely Prairie Polish

    Purely Prairie Polish Chillin' With My Peeps

    For the laced? Or all the colors? Because I have two blue splash hens and I've been trying to figure out what to breed them with. Some things I've read say you should add a solid once in a while to get better color in the splash, otherwise they will eventually have white offspring. I recently got a pair of WCB, should I breed the splash to him, and would their babies still be splash if they look it, or do i get a splash rooster or a blu one (both of which are very difficult to get up here in canada) or how does that work? I'm confused?

    I know there is solid blue somewhere in one splash hen at least since this past summer she disappeared on me. I looked everywhere and eventually figured I fed the local wildlife. 24 days later, once I had finished getting over the loss, she showed up with 11 little blue grey chicks. I couldn't figure out why her sister(who I thought she was) was all fluffed out, walking funny, and clucking softly...until I saw her sister with the rest at the feeder and then noticed the tiny balls of fluff. In any case, the males matured as blue with golden splash and hens as solid blue. I'm assuming dad was my golden laced since some young had golden splash feathers. Since everyone was free range because I was done incubating, I can't say 100% who dad was.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  4. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    Crossing colors within a breed makes a "pure" bird, Where it may not be pure is Will the offspring breed true to that color. I think this is what you actually trying to ask right?

    Well to be honest it all depends on what colors you are crossing. Within patterns, no at least not the first time. It USUALLY takes a second back cross to get 1 more round of the color these in most case will now breed true.

    Say you cross duckwing and blue, well you'll get all blues the first time. They are physically a normal blue bird. BUT inside them they carry the color and pattern genes for the duckwing you crossed in. IF you take these now to another unrelated blue, yep that's all you get, blues. BUT if you were to cross the blue babies from the first mating BACK to each other, you'd get some that were a blue duckwing. Breed these blue duckwings together and their babies will then breed true to a blue duckwing.

    It's kinda hard to explain but that just a ruff example of how color genetics work. We do it all the time, that's how folks get all these new colors in birds that dont exist in a breed.
    Like me, I have 30 colors or more in d'anver but they only come in 14 and only about 3 of them are common.

    Hope that helped a bit.

    Now with splash that you mentioned. All a splash is is a blue bird with 2 copies of blue in it. You can breed them to blue or black and get "pure" color birds.
    They vary in the ratios
    splash to blue, you get 50% of each
    splash to splash 100 % splash
    splash to black, all blue
    blue to black = 50% of each
    blue to blue = 50% blue, 25% black 25% splash

    These all work together without messing up any color, and what ther is what they are.
    SO in this case, you could even use a wc black to your splash and get all wc blues. Now breed the blues together or to the splash again and get more splash

    It's just knowing your genetics a little

    Heer's a cheat sheet. Just plug in the colors you have and it will show you what you'll get. You can then use those babies back to a parent or to each other and do it again and it'll show you the next generations color. Play with it a bit, you'll figure it out. And once the calculator shows 2 birds breeding true, then that's when you can call them "true " to color


    Maybe that was easy enough to follow??
  5. Purely Prairie Polish

    Purely Prairie Polish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Boggy Bottom Bantams, thank you so much for your response. I wasn't really sure how to ask what I wanted to know since I have a million questions and am trying to ask them in the right order so I don't confuse myself or forget to ask a critical question.

    So right now I have a trio of silver laced, a trio of golden laced, a pair of WCB, 2 Blue Splash hens all standard size or LF as I noticed everyone says, and a young pair of WCB that I bought as LF but even though I have hope for the hen, I'm sure the roo is a bantam. And oh yah, 1 young blue hen that came from the unplanned returning hen with chicks that I mentioned earlier, and 6 of her brothers that I am trying to get rid of because they are blue with some white in their crests and some golden saddle feathers.

    My SL and GL I will continue to keep true to color as I always have, but should I put the splash, and blue hen(1st gen) with my WC roo?

    And is there any reason to try and do anything with the blue/golden birds? Or has that been tried and determined a lost cause, so sell them to the local mixed chicken farmers that usually take my culls? And should I cull the solid blue hen too? We just don't have blue up here much.

    I think that's enough questions for now, I just find it hard to decide what's worth doing when there isn't as much interest in breeding true color and quality in Canada and very few sources of polish birds, let alone, breeders with SQ Birds. I'm lucky if I can get polish from a hatchery up here and I know a lot on this forum frown on the quality from hatcheries. I didn't even know how many colors the polish came in until I found this forum and the polish associations web site. If anyone knows how to get birds over the border I would love some info, I imagine it's a LOT of TROUBLE!
  6. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    your splash and blue are self colored I guess, meaning not white crested? You can breed those to the wc blacks or wc blues no problem. WC is dominate in polish, so the chicks will just be mainly wc birds and the ratios will be the same color wise off the post above. That's no big deal there. I do that for sure. No need to cull them, especially if blue is rare in your area. BREED 'EM!! and get some going. The one with gold leakage I'm betting is a gold lace cross. That there will kinda show you what I was talking about in my hypothesis cross I posted above. It's a blue birds true, but it's not genetically pure to the color. It is carrying something else, that if you knew exactly what it was, could be bred for.

    Say it was a gold lace. Now if you bred it to a gold laced, you could get blue laced golds which are very pretty. BUT you have to know for sure what it carries. That's where breeding program records come into play.
    On it, you could try that, knowing what is in polish, I bet that's what it is, but if you wanted to cull that's fine too. But definitely keep the blues and splash and bred them to wc blue or wc blacks. They'll make true colored birds from them .
  7. Purely Prairie Polish

    Purely Prairie Polish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks again BBB.

    So I was wondering, I haven't been able to find a splash rooster, but a lady called me with a Black Crested White Rooster. She said that's what she got him as as a day old chick, but he's matured with very little black in his crest, she says that gave him a splash look. Would it be a good idea to breed him with the splash hen? Or am I better off using the WCB?

    Ps. Still looking for a Splash Polish Rooster if anyone in Canada has one available. I have very nice hens, don't want them going to waist.

    Would love to post pictures of my birds, but can't seem to post them off my IPhone which is my main Internet source.
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Breed your splash girls to a white crested black. All offspring will be white crested blues.

    As Boggy Bottoms said, you can take the gold laced blue offspring and breed them back to your gold laced. Lacing requires a combination of genes, and only displays well when all are homozygous (pure, 2 copies).

    Unless you are playing around, or doing a project, I'd recommend that you keep the laced pens pure.

    I think that crossing the border to Canada with birds is a lot less of an issue than importing/exporting other countries. I'm pretty sure that US hatcheries ship to Canada, and if they can, individual breeders should be able to as well. I know I've seen it discussed before; you might try searching through BYC to try to find out what has been said, and any links to Canadian import regs.
  9. Purely Prairie Polish

    Purely Prairie Polish Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know it can be done. (importing into Canada) because some hatcheries offer the paperwork, and I have to physically do the importing. I found at least one hatchery in canada that has the usual colors, but to get any color out of the ordinary or a frizzle, i'd have to go state side and dont know of any hatchery with them either. The question is, would any breeders be willing to do what required, at my expense of course, to get the papers for me to bring something here (adult, chick, or hatching egg)? And be willing to take them back if I can't get through, even with the papers?
  10. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    That's correct, you can but it still requires paperwork just like any other import (on both ends) most just arent willing to do it. There are some though. In the US, the US Dept of Agriculture APHIS division handles all this.

    here's a link, you can look around on it, It has all the rules for import/export of poultry for the US end, you'd have to check yourself and find out the Canadian part.


    Canada is the easiest though on our end.

    Now as for the bc white question...Lord no dont do that. I had those blasted things for years and even to each other they were a nightmare to get to breed correctly. They are such a mess genetics wise that they dont breed true even to the same color.

    Got with a WC Black or WC blue for your blue or splash hens you have no mate for. That's the ONLY way you can breed those and have the normal colors that arent a split project thing.

    Sonoran was also right on the laced, unless you just want to play around with them or run a project for a new color, they are best bred to the same color. Same goes for any patterned bird for that matter. But the blacks, blues and splash can be mixed and still only make pure colors. Whites can be put in there too, they will make blacks that carry white but still just a black.

    wc cuckoo males can be used over any of these solid bodied birds too to make that color in cuckoo too. Basically the only one worth the effort would be blues. I use to have the blue cuckoo. if you wanted to do that, use a cuckoo male to that blue and splash hen. you'd get 1/2 of each color all in barred off the blue and all blue barred off the cuckoo.
    You have to use a barred male though. Cross the babies back to each other the following year to get a second dose of cuckoo in them and you're good to go....Just another possible project to do with them

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