Welsh Harlequin Genetics!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Big Dreamer, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Big Dreamer

    Big Dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2010
    Central, FL
    Im needing some help in the gene pool kind of stuff. I have 4 welsh harlequins and 2 are boys and 2 are girls, the 2 girls are definitley golden phase and i have a silver phase boy, and a pet quality boy, he is really pretty, but not correct in the breeds standards, i needed help to see what offspring i would get. When i mate the golden phase girl with the silver boy, what are the offspring? golden silver or can there be a mix? Thanks!!
  2. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2008
    You will get Goldens and you will get Silvers. There are no Golden-Silvers. Even in flocks of pure Silvers and pure Goldens you can have the other color phase crop up.
  3. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    So when you say silver or golden phase, you mean a permanent color. Not something that changes as they mature?
  4. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Have a look here KansasKid - http://holderreadfarm.com/photogallery/welsh_page/welsh_page.htm

    is a photo of the two types of ducks together showing the difference between the two phases. The wing speculums are the most noticeable difference between them. They are slightly different genetically- its not just changes they go through as they grow and molt.
  5. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2008
    Exactly - it's a color thing. You can try to separate out of the colors, but I've never heard of the two breeding 100% true when kept apart. Still, Silver is the only recognized phase, so if you want to show you need to put more emphasis on them.
  6. rollyard

    rollyard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2010
    Look @ it like this; the gene that you are focussing on is the sex-linked recessive brown dilution gene (d) assuming that all other genes/alleles are equal & consistent with that of the harlequin ie m^d/m^d, li^h/li^h. Drakes have two equal positions (loci) for this gene on a pair of like chromosomes because they have the two sex-determining chromosomes ZZ. But ducks only have the one position on their pair of sex determining chromosomes, because unlike the drake (ZZ), their sex-determining chromosomes aren't exactly the same but rather Zw. Only the females Z chromosome will have the locus for sex-linked d just like the drake, but the smaller w chromosome doesn't.

    Now, if the drake is pure for the recessive brown dilution gene he will be d/d, but if impure he will be D+/d. If pure for d/d, then he will (if expression not masked by something else) express the brown colour, but if impure D+/d, then he won't express brown because the more dominant allele will prevent such expression. The duck on the other hand only needs one dose of the recessive brown d/- for brown to express because as per above, she can only have the one gene @ that locus on her single Z chromosome; just like your ducks are from your description.

    Your so called "silver phase" drake could be pure for "not brown" (m^d/m^d, li^h/li^h, D+/D+), or he could be impure & carry hidden one dose of the recessive brown dilution gene ie m^d/m^d, li^h/li^h, D+/d. If pure for "not brown" then when mated to a "golden phase" duck (m^d/m^d, li^h/li^h, d/-) all ducklings produced will inherit the more dominant allele "not brown" from the drake so not express brown (therefore silver), but all the drake progeny will carry hidden one dose of the recessive brown dilution gene ie m^d/m^d, li^h/li^h, D+/d. However, if your drake is impure for recessive brown dilution (m^d/m^d, li^h/li^h, D+/d), then approx 50% of progeny, both male & female will express brown (therefore gold), while the other 50% progeny, both male & female will be silver; the silver males again carrying hidden one dose of the recessive brown dilution gene.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  7. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    I remember those birds! You already have all the info you need really in this thread. I would just add that I would definitely not use that poorly colored drake with the Pied genes for breeding. I do remember the pictures of your Gold hens and Silver drake as well. The simple answer is that the difference between the two colors is as Ross describes above, the Gold has the addition of the sex-linked brown dilution. The Gold does breed true if both the males and the females are visual Golds (the females have to be if they carry brown). The Silver breeds true as well if you can eliminate the brown carrying drakes.

    Otherwise, if your drake happens to be Silver, but carries the brown dilution of the Gold, you might get Gold offspring when you mate him to your Gold hens (and Silvers as well). If he doesn't carry the brown dilution, you will get all Silvers when you mate him to your Gold hens. Good luck!

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