Project Genetics ?????

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CrownJewelDanes, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. CrownJewelDanes

    CrownJewelDanes Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm curious about many of the" project" colors, and how they are achieved. Also understand that my understand of genetics comes from the view point of being a breeder of harlequin and mantle Great Danes for the past 17 years. So I'm guessing there is no similarity lol. Anyway, are the colors that are achieved in a project group achieved by breeding one breed of chicken that has the color to another breed that doesn't, and from there breeding subsequent generations with the goal of 100% pure ?

    How difficult is this ? I ask because as a dog breeder we don't cross breed one breed to another. Cross color breeding is done on rare occassion, but not often.

    Also is there a registry for chickens like AKC? I know that may sound silly lol. Up until now I have only had chickens and other birds for pleasure, but now I'd like to have a more focused approach. Instead of having two or three of 15 different breeds I'd like to have 15 or more of 2-3 breeds and potentially get into exhibiting. Besides how different could shoing chickens be than s howing dogs ?? LOL LOL JK......But seriously I'm just a little fuzzy about how the whole "project" thing works.

    Also can someone point me to any good color genetics articles.

    :)
    Rebekah
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  2. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope there is no chicken registry.

    Some projects are easier than others. If you want to get just one gene into your birds like say..LAV (not saying it is easy to breed lavender) you would breed in the bird that carries that gene and follow a breeding plan to get than gene into more birds.

    Some projects take a long time and a lot of chicks hatched to get the right combination of genes that you are looking for.

    It is definitely different than breeding dogs. But because of your back ground you will probably have no problem with the concept of culling and breeding qualities that complement or compensate each other. I am really just a beginner but love the genetics part of chickens and have been trying to learn all I can.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Sometimes crossing breeds is necessary, sometimes it is not. It depends on the goal, and what is already in the breed.
     
  4. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I ask a return question?
    Is the harlequin gene lethal when the merle gene is absent?
    And what is "mantle"?

    To breed in a dominant gene is very simple. Cross the desired breed with a donor of the gene (whatever breed) and keep backcrossing to the desired breed.
    For sexlinked genes you may want to start with a rooster instead of a hen (desired breed or donor breed, depending on wheather the gene is to be introduced or kept in the cross)

    For a recessive gene like lavender you have to interbreed the first generation.
     
  5. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Mantle:
    [​IMG]

    It like the Boston Terrier pattern.
     
  6. CrownJewelDanes

    CrownJewelDanes Out Of The Brooder

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    Actually, from a conformation stand point it's just the same in dogs lol. What I "think" is the difference is that not only does the chicken breeder have to contend with color, and pattern, but conformation as well all at at same time. ( am I in the ballpark?) I as a harlequin/ mantle breeder have the same problem except I am only dealing with the conformation of a single breed. Where as in a chicken " project" , the breeder is dealing with more than one conformation type, and trying to breed out one of those types. ( still on track ?) So I see what your saying about it not being like breeding dogs. I would pull my hair out if I had to cross breed conformational types all while trying to breed for color/ pattern. Granted there are particular conformational traits that I breed to lock in or to eliminate here and there but if I had to breed to , let say a German Shepard, to get the color I wanted I think I'd run into the street screaming lol. Rebekah
     
  7. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Well, just remember, chickens have shorter life spans than dogs. [​IMG] Not only that, it's a lot easier to keep 50 chickens than 50 dogs. Thus, you can get results much faster.
     
  8. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, chickens and danes have just about the same life span, bigger dogs dont live as long as the little ones.
     
  9. CrownJewelDanes

    CrownJewelDanes Out Of The Brooder

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    First I have to tell you that this like the millionth time I've answered this question:lol:. I type the answer, I don't like the way I explain so I retype it. At one point I was even going to copy and paste from and article :p. Needless to say its not easy to answer because the answer requires an explination which is the hard part. Hard because there are many factors in Harlequin genetics. But for the sake of this conversation I'm going to pretend that the Harl gene and Merle gene are he only factors ;). First I'm assuming you have some sort of understanding of color genetics. Second I'm assuming, based on your question you have been reading about Harl genetics. I'm also assuming that as you were reading you began to go cross eyed and got a headache :lol:. Harlequin genetics are not the easiest to navigate. So with that in mind here goes..... First Harlequin does not breed true. In order to have Harlequin the Merle gene must also be present. Theoretically if two Harlequin genes were to combine it would result in a non-viable embryo. This is theory because from what we know about Harl tells us it can not exist. So in that respect yes it would be lethal. However the Harlequin gene can, and does exist without Merle, but it is not expressed. Also know that the same can be said about the Merle gene. However, a double Merle will , about 50% of the time, be viable, BUT these pups are albino and deaf and almost always have additional defects such as sever sight issues and even blindness, nervous system issues and various other health problems. These dogs often dont live more than a few years and for usually half of that time are dealing with health problems. Keep in mind there are albino deaf Great Danes that are healthy and have no significant health issues but these are not genetically a double Merle. There are other factors that can produce an all white and/ or deaf Great Dane one being the pie bald gene, but we won't go there, this is long enough :lol: As far as Mantle goes.... Another poster put pics up of examples of what can result when the Mantle gene is seen and it's variations, also you can see in my pics a few examples of a correctly marked mantle. Before the Mantle pattern was accepted as an allowable pattern to show, it was referred to as Boston because it was the same pattern and color seen in Boston Terriers. But once accepted the term Mantle was instituted. It refers to the fact that the black looks like a cloak or "mantle" across the body. We Dane breeders refer to the gene that produces this pattern as the mantle gene but in fact is is more correctly called the Irish Gene. I hope my answer wasnt as clear as mud, but I promise I gave the short version of the answer to your question, but if you have any more I'd be happy to answer them or if you would like to read more I can send you TONS on the subject. :) Rebekah
     
  10. CrownJewelDanes

    CrownJewelDanes Out Of The Brooder

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    Actually while this may be true for other giant breeds, and used to be true about Great Danes, this is not the case anymore. Well I should say that depending on the genetics and nutrition it's not the case anymore. If bred ethically and bred with health as a number one concern Danes can live just about as long as smal breeds. In my breeding program and many other breeders I know, healthand temperament is the number one concern, with conformation and color being next. My Danes and many other lines typically live for between 10-12 years and a few to 13. The focus in the breed over the past 20yrs has been ( among many other things) on health and as a breed we have made tremendous strides. But sadly, as with everything else, there people breeding who either breed for the wrong reasons or who don't have an understanding of the breed itself, breeding haphazardly. So the results are still those Danes that don't live long etc. As a side note ....you would know I would join a chicken site and end up talking about Danes, and I've dragged other people down with me ....so typical of me :lol:. Sorry :p Rebekah
     

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