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Slow feathering and barred pattern

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by onthespot, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    I have been casually reading up on barred and have found several articles and posts that link the very best barring with a slow feathering gene. Anyone here notice the same? Is it possible to have spectaclar barring and not have slow feathering? Also, does anyone have good links to slow feathering chicks compared with normal feathereing siblings?
     
  2. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The slow feathering gene (K) and the rapid feathering gene (k+) are sex linked genes. The genes are located on the Z chromosome. The males will have two Z chromosomes and therefore two of the alleles. The male can be K/k+, K/K, or k+/k+.

    The female has one Z chromosome so she can carry only one gene. Either she is K or k+. She can only be rapid feathering or slow feathering.

    That is true for the male also. A K/k+ or K/K male is slow feathering and a k+/k+ male is rapid feathering.

    Slow feathering is dominant so rapid feathering is recessive to slow feathering.

    On a rapid feathering day old chick, the primary and secondary wing feathers will project beyond the down and wing coverts. On the slow feathering chick, the wing feathers do not project beyond the down or coverts.

    I have had chicks that express an autosomal recessive gene called tardy feathering (t). They do not have tail feathers until they are about 8 weeks old. The gene showed up in my leghorns. The chicks have normal primary feathers but do not have secondary feathers.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  3. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Where does slow feathering genes come from? I know it happens with non-patterened feathers also. What I mean is, is it something that is introduced to a line, or is it something that any bird of any breed can produce with the correct cross to another bird?

    Currently a friend of mine who is breeding Lavender Silkies, has two pullets that were "slow to feather." They were born with what looks like pin feathers and it took MONTHS for them to get regular feathers in. And even still, they are still months behind their siblings. She's kept them around to see how they turn out, and learn from the experience.

    Is it genetically passed from parent to offspring? Will a slow to feather bird be slow to feather for the rest of their life (as in after subsequent molts)?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2008
  4. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:There have to be modifiers that slow the feathering even more in some show quality (SQ) birds. You will find the slow feathering gene in SQ Rhode Island Red and other birds.

    The silkies evidently have a different gene than the slow feathering gene. I have had similar feathering patterns show up in my rhode island red. It is most likely some form of the tardy gene or maybe an altogether different gene.

    It depends on the genetics behind he trait if a trait in a parent will show up in an offspring. I could write a whole chapter in a book on the subject. Not all traits are simple dominance and recessive. Sometimes a dominant or recessive trait will have other genes that modify the trait and that causes a difference in what you would see in a parent and the offspring. Crest is an example some birds have large crest (polish) and others have small crests or tassels (Breda). Both birds have the crest gene.


    Will a slow to feather bird be slow to feather for the rest of their life (as in after subsequent molts)?

    Your last question is very good but I can not answer the question. I have not read any literature that deals with the question and I have not seen the characteristic in my own birds.

    My guess would be that birds slow feather even when they molt.

    Tim​
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    So do show breeders of barreds just take it as a given that every specacular bird out there is K positive and just take it as a cost of doing business, or assume a longer brooder period? I am looking for the best barring to put on my bearded barred (not spectacular) green egg laying girl and don't want to start out with a gene that is considered a bad fault, but if it is an accepted variation, then I would still be looking high and low for a nice cockerel even if it caused slow feeathering...
     
  6. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A bird that has good barring should have all the genes you would need to improve the barring. The slow feathering gene is dominant and sex linked so each of the offspring will get one slow feathering gene.

    Tim
     
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Thank you so much Tim. Do you know any breeders of good barred rocks?
     

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