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Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by KirkKoop, Mar 24, 2013.
How did these two chicks end up looking so different? They're from the same parents.
One or both parents are not pure genetically for colors or patterns. They are not purebreds but are crosses. When you mate crosses, you can get a variety of poults, colors and/or patterns.
To be able to answer properly, we would need to know what the parents are. For example if you mate a blue slate hen with a blue slate tom, you can and most likely will get three different looking kinds of chicks.
The blue slates carry a gene for blue and a gene for black. The chicks receive one of each gene from each parent. If the chick gets a blue gene from its father and a blue gene from its mother, it will be a self blue and won't get the black splotches that the blue slate have. As a chick it will be a very light gray color. If the chick gets a blue gene from one parent and a black gene from the other parent, it will be a blue slate and as a chick will have a darker gray color than the self blue chick. If the chick gets the black gene from both parents then it will be a black turkey and as a chick will be mostly black.
One way to be sure to only raise blue slate chicks is to cross a black variant of the blue slate with a self blue variant. One parent can only give the black gene and the other parent can only give the blue gene to the chick resulting in only blue slate chicks.
Without knowing all the facts and without seeing a better picture of the two chicks or their parents they look very similar to a self blue chick and a black chick, both variants of blue slate turkeys.
You are right. I also forgot that you can get sex links using a Narragansett tom. That would not explain the color of those poults, just another flaw in what I said. They don't have to be crosses to get different colored poults. The parents can be purebred, just different breeds.
This isn't quite right. Blue slates carry two black based genes and one dominant blue gene paired with a recessive "not blue" gene. So when you breed two blue slate, all the offspring still have two black-based genes. One-fourth will have two blue genes and be self blues, one-half will have one blue gene and be blue slates, and one-fourth will not have any blue genes and be blacks.
Back to the poults in question, if both the parents look like blacks, then they are both not pure blacks. Black crossed with blakc are black. Even if one of the parents is a pure black, then the offspring should have the patterning (but maybe not the color) of the poult that looks black...the black based gene is dominant. Maybe the lighter poult does have a slight black pattern? It's hard to tell. I guess we need to know more about the parents before we start speculating about what color the light poult is. There are just too many possibilities.