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What will I get if I cross an Easter Egger with a NH Red?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by NHDoc, May 10, 2012.

  1. NHDoc

    NHDoc Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Any ideas? Is it worth it to set those eggs to hatch?
  2. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    I'm not 100% on this, so don't go saying I told you to do it!

    I'm thinking with the RIGHT cross, you will get heavier egg laying blue eggers. I'm also thinking, however, they would no longer lay blue eggs... Do to the possibility of a double brown egg gene? Selective breeding may have you create a simple red line of blue eggers, or red easter eggers, but... This is just a short version of the thoughts buzzing in my head with your open question.
  3. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010
    If you are wanting blue/green egg layers any that hatch from these eggs look for and keep the ones that have peacombs as they are the ones that will most likely lay the colored eggs (no Guarantee).

    Should have alot of reddish colored chickens.
  4. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    You will produce more easter eggers. Not enough information to even make a guess.

    1. need a picture of the easter egger ( and a picture of the easter eggers parents would be very helpful)
    2. need to know the sex of the birds you are crossing; easter egger vs new hampshire
    3. if using easter egger hen need to know the color of the eggs she produces
    4. if using easter egger male need to know the color of eggs his sisters produce

    These would be helpful but one would still be making an educated guess.

  5. NHDoc

    NHDoc Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    New Hampshire
    The rooster is the Red, the hens are the EE. The EE produces blue eggs.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The problem is that EE's are crosses. You just don't know for sure what the genetics are for them. But you are a big step ahead in having the hens as EE's. At least you know they have at least one copy of the blue egg gene.

    There are two different things that detemine egg color. First is basic shell color. It is going to be either blue or white. These genes come in pairs, so the hen will have two of these genes. Since blue is dominant, if just one of the genes is blue, the basic egg shell color will be blue. So you know that your hens have at least one blue egg gene but you don't know if they have two copies of blue or are split one blue and one white.

    The brown or green color comes from a whole lot of other genes. I've read that as many as 13 different genes affect the brown that goes on an egg. That's why you can get so many different shades of brown. If a hen puts brown on top of a white base color egg, that egg is brown. If she puts brown on a blue egg, that egg is green. What shade of brown or green depends on how much brown she adds. If she does not put any brown on it, then the egg is either white or blue.

    Since yours are laying blue eggs, the hens don't have any brown genes. But the New Hampshire rooster is from a line of brown egg layers. When you cross your NH rooster with an EE hen that lays blue eggs, the eggs will not be blue. They will either be green or brown.

    The New Hampshire will also not contribute any blue egg genes. That base color is white. So what color the offspring lays depends on how many blue egg genes your EE hens have. If the hen has two copies of that blue egg gene, she will give one copy to each of her offspring, so all the pullets will have one blue egg gene from her and one white egg gene from their father and the base color will be blue. Remember, blue is dominant. Since they will get some brown from their father, those eggs will wind up green.

    But if the hens are split for the blue egg gene where they have one blue and one white, then you will get some that lay green eggs and some that lay brown.
  7. NHDoc

    NHDoc Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Thanks ridgerunner. That is fascinating. I think I'm going to set those eggs, just to see what happens! It sounds like it's going to be an interesting experiment...
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is fascinating. There is something else interesting about it. The blue egg gene and the pea comb gene are really close together genetically. Most of the time, the blue egg gene and the pea comb gene will stick together during genetic transfer. That's why Draye mentioned the pea combs. It's not a guarantee but is a real strong clue.

    There are different genes that make up what the comb will look like, mainly pea and rose, but there are other modifiers. How these all go together determines what the actual comb looks like. If the chicken has two copies of the pea comb gene, the comb will look different than if it only has one pea comb gene. Someone good, like Tadkerson, can look at the chicken's comb and get a pretty good idea if it has the pea comb gene and if it has one or two copies of the pea comb gene. I can't do all that. I'm not that experienced. If it has two copies of the pea comb gene, it is much more likely to have two copies of the blue egg gene. It's not a guarantee, just more likely.

    By the way, Tadkerson is, in my opinion, one of the two best geneticists on this forum, Henk being the other one. If you can post good photos of the EE's combs, he may be able to give you an educated guess. But the proof comes when the pullets you hatch start to lay eggs.
  9. phasianidae

    phasianidae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    You will most likely get black tailed red/buff birds that have pea combs and lay blue/green eggs.
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    EE's come in a lot of colors, With out a pic. of them it is going to be hard to say what there chicks are going to look like.


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