The genetics of black... and other colors.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by LTygress, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. LTygress

    LTygress Songster

    Sep 12, 2012
    So clearly black is a dominante color - AT LEAST over buff. This isn't too surprising, because black tends to be dominate in many different animals. That's why black cats, dogs, rabbits, etc., are usually the most difficult to sell.

    Well yay for me because I got a black frizzle rooster. Good on the frizzle, bad on the black!

    And breeding him with two buff cochin hens has resulted in a lot of black babies. Nothing but, actually.

    Now if I breed these babies back to any other color, I'm likely to get a rainbow - since I know they now only have ONE black gene, each. And the mothers have blue, buff, white, and brown in their background.

    But what I'm curious to know, is how they got white spots - bellies, necks, etc., and NEITHER parent has any white! The hens are solid buff, and the roo is solid black. So how did we come up with PART white?

    Does anyone have a list of colors and how the genotype (actual gene combination) matches the phenotype (appearance)?
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Buff is a complicated genotype. Black is not. Also, genes are not dominant over other genes; only over other alleles of the same gene. Genetics of Chickencolors and Basics is a good starting point. Generally when you cross varieties you can get an assortment of offspring. Juvenile feather patterns are not the same as adult plumage will be. The white you are speaking of will almost certainly grow in black with adult plumage. It is a trait of the E allele of the extended black gene.
  3. LTygress

    LTygress Songster

    Sep 12, 2012
    Thanks for the link! That is definitely the kind of information I'm looking for! It's going to take some time to read it all and sort it all out though.

    As for the black, I know my Sumatras had that when they were young. And they are pure black now with green and purple sheen. But it threw me off that these little guys actually grew in white bellies when their feathers came in. The entire underside was white feathers! My sumatras only had the white when they were still sporting chick down. The feathers came in solid black. That's what is throwing me off for now. But this link is probably going to help me understand why.
  4. Henk69

    Henk69 Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
    Actually, not true.

    First, buff can carry the Db gene, which is one of few genes that is able to express on/disrupt a full black chicken.
    Second, black in cats and rabbits is recessive.
    1 person likes this.

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