What are the "wheaten" breeds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by gritsar, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    My two HQ turkens have produced a chick that's nearly solid black, with white tips on the wings. His neck is not naked. His legs are nearly red or brick colored. I've been told that my roo's coloring is called buff columbian. The hen is black, with hints of irredescent green. She has "lacing" of gold and dark slate legs.

    I've been told they produced a chick of this color because of "wheaten breeds" in their genetics. What constitutes a wheaten breed?

    I'm asking out of curiousity. I'm nearly 100% positive this chick is a cockerel. He has the start of his dad's big comb already. He will someday be a leader of one of my flocks.

    Please don't use my thread as your soapbox about what is wrong with hatchery birds. I happen to love my HQ birds - friendly, beautiful, productive and healthy as can be. [​IMG]
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    "Wheaten" is a plumage description, a color if you will.
    I think of it as a dark base color, black or brown, with cinnammon wings and hackles. It is an Old English variation of ther game hen, as far as I know. Heres some pics:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...1&hl=en&sa=N&tbs=isch:1&prmd=ivns&um=1&itbs=1

    From your description of your birds' breeding, it is pretty hard to do more than make generalizations. For example, I thought one of the hallmark attributes of the Turkens IS the naked neck. If yours doesnt have that, then just what is it? See what I mean?
    It sounds like your birds have quite a genetic stew working. I can understand your curiosity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Thanks Dave. It's good to see you around. [​IMG]
    Yeah, I checked the chicks out good when they hatched, expecting a naked neck, but neither of the chicks fathered by the turken have the naked neck.
    The turken over EE will be very light and then this chick that is black. [​IMG]
    The third chick is from my brahmas and looks very much like them.
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:You too, sugar![​IMG]


    Yeah, I checked the chicks out good when they hatched, expecting a naked neck, but neither of the chicks fathered by the turken have the naked neck.

    Is the naked neck one of those sex related genes? Carried by the female, I guess I mean?​
     
  5. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Naked neck is semi dominant autosomal gene.. not sex linked and you can see the difference between one pure for it and not pure for it(size of bowtie, tiny with only couple feathers on each side of neck vs. larger one with many more feathers, looks more like a bib).

    Non-naked neck chick is simply proof that the parents were not pure for the NN gene. (in other words your turken roo and a hen have "bibs" not small bowties)

    Wheaten is one of the 'main basic pattern genes'. Black breasted red is another pattern. So are birchen(birchen modern games are good example) and a common type of black(some solid black breeds such as Australorps, called E by genetic folks) and brown(partridge/dark brown). Wheaten, BBR, brown and birchen are very easily affected by various mutant genes that can totally alter how they look. For example you were shown a link to a wheaten rooster. That's how a wheaten looks without the presence of other mutant genes, so to speak. If you add one gene called Columbian, that same rooster would "suddenly" become mostly buff body with black tail(sometimes called buff columbian). Add a couple more genes that get rid of black and you can have a solid buff bird, IIRC, some Buff Orpingtons are Wheaten based but you would not know it by looking at them because they have several or so many 'additional genes' to help them be a clean, even solid color without a visible trace of the wheaten color/pattern. So the wording was a little off, should have been "wheaten based" not "breed".

    Anyways, the basic pattern genes have an order of dominance.. wheaten is in the middle, with birchen and black being dominant over it. Which means if you breed a wheaten based roo over a birchen or black hen, you should expect either mostly or all 'dark chicks' that grow up mostly dark colored but usually with some color leaking through, especially on breast of hens and saddles of roosters.

    From not pure NN parents, expect 1/4 non-NN chicks, 1/2 NN but not pure(big bowties) and 1/4 pure NN(tiny bowties, sometimes totally bare necks). You can see the difference even on day olds, left not pure, right pure:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Pretty close, Kev, but call them base, not pattern as pattern genes are ones such as those that cause lacing or mottling.
    Buff orpingtons are wheaten based. Buff birds are either wheaten or brown based, with those clearest being wheaten based. Wheaten birds have less shafting in hte hackle and tail feathers.

    Without additional modifying genes, wheaten, brown and wildtype (BBR) roosters are nearly indistinguishable from each other; not to the hens. http://www.edelras.nl/chickengenetics/mutations1.html#gen_mut_elocus Scroll down a bit to see photos of the plumage differences for eachh of these bases. Note that birchen is similar, with the huge difference in that the wing triangle is not marked.
     
  7. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Whoops, you are right.. forgot the Pg gene potentially getting mixed up with the word 'pattern'.
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    I speak three languages passably well, have a degree in electronics and know the difference between a compass and a compass... and I don't have a clue what you two just said!
    Chicken genetics... whoooooo [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:That makes two of us Dave!

    Kev, you are correct when you said "So the wording was a little off, should have been "wheaten based" not "breed". My mind was thinking "based" but my fingers wouldn't cooperate. [​IMG]

    I'm just curious about what a entirely black rooster with a gamebird body will look like.
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:That makes two of us Dave!

    Kev, you are correct when you said "So the wording was a little off, should have been "wheaten based" not "breed". My mind was thinking "based" but my fingers wouldn't cooperate. [​IMG]

    I'm just curious about what a entirely black rooster with a gamebird body will look like.

    Kinda scrawny, 'twitchy' in demeanor and well... black. But I'm guessing.
     

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