What will the offspring be?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Grumpypantsmomma, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Grumpypantsmomma

    Grumpypantsmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have bred my EE Roo to my Barred Rock hens and produced sex-link babies, I only got 1 boy and 8 pullets. If I were to breed the boy back to his sisters or different girls of this same cross what would the offspring be would they still be sex-link or would all chicks be barred. I am still a little confused on this!
    I would love to create my own line of barred EE's but don't know haw to go about it?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You cannot use sex-links to make sex links. That only works once, then the genetics are not right to do it again. I don’t know what your EE rooster looks like, but if you cross the offspring you are likely to get several different colored and patterned chicks. It just depends on what genetics the EE rooster has to start with.

    Barring is a dominant gene that is also sex linked. The rooster has two copies of this gene, but the hen only has one copy. The rooster will give a copy to both his sons and daughters. The hen will give a copy to her sons but none to her daughters. That’s what makes it sex linked if the hen is barred and the rooster is not barred.

    Since it is dominant, if there is just one copy present, the chicken will be barred. That makes it a little harder to get pure barred roosters. Since the hen only has one copy, she is either barred or she is not but the rooster may be pure or he may be slit for this gene. But if a rooster has two copies of the gene, he should be a lighter color than the hens or roosters that are split for the barring gene, so you can usually tell if you have a few to compare.

    Using B to represent the dominant “barred” and b to represent the recessive “not barred”, your barred rock hen that is barred will have only one gene. You can represent that by B,-. The EE rooster that is not barred will be b, b. Their female offspring will be, b, - and their male offspring will be B, b. The female offspring will not be barred but the males will be split for barring.

    If you cross the offspring, the hen will give a “b” to all her sons and nothing to her daughters. The rooster will give a gene to all his offspring, but it might be a “B” or a “b”. About half the male and half the female offspring will be barred and half will not. So if you again cross this second generation, picking barred hens and barred roosters, you will get some female offspring that are barred or not. The females are easy. You will get some males that are B, B, some that are B, b. Since you used a barred hen, all the roosters will have at least one Barred gene. So out of this generation, you pick only barred hens and the lighter colored roosters and you probably have barring set in your flock.

    But I think you want colored eggs too. The “blue egg” gene that gives you the color is not sex linked. Both parents have two copies of that gene. The blue egg gene is also dominant, so if one copy of the blue egg gene is present, then the hen will lay blue or green eggs. Since the barred rock will put a layer of brown over the base blue egg shell, the eggs will be green. Use “O” for the dominant blue egg gene and “o” for the not blue, which defaults to white.

    Since an EE is a mix, you’re not sure of the genetics they rooster has. It may have two copies of the blue egg gene, O, O; it may be split for the gene, O, o; or it may not have the blue egg gene at all. The Barred Rock will not have the blue egg gen so she will be o, o. There are too many possible combinations to go into great detail, so I offer two suggestions. Only hatch green eggs if you want to set the blue egg gene in yours. And always select for the pea comb. The blue egg gene is not really tied to the pea comb, but it will follow it about 97% of the time so if you get roosters with a pea comb, the odds of it having the blue egg gene are pretty good. Since the rooster does not lay eggs, you won’t know if it has the blue egg gene or not unless you hatch chicks from it.

    Another complication is that the pea comb is not always real clear. If the chicken is split for the pea comb gene, which means it has one pea comb gene and one not pea comb gene, you can get a wonky looking comb that is somewhere between a pea comb and a single comb. Or if the rose comb gets mixed in, it looks different. Then there are some modifiers that can make it look different too. But if you can identify the pea comb in the roosters, you have a better chance of getting the blue egg gene.

    I know this is long and drawn out. The easiest thing to do is to always breed barred hens (once you get some) and barred roosters to set the barring. Only hatch green eggs to set the colored eggs. It will take a few generations to get the barring and green eggs consistently, but you can do it.

    Good luck!!
     
  3. Grumpypantsmomma

    Grumpypantsmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you that was very helpful!
    So if the little cockerel feathers out darker then then he is most likely B'B ( 2 copies of the barred gene)
    If he feathers out lighter he is most likely B'b (one copy of the barred Gene)
    And it would be best to breed the B'b Roo to what barred hens I do get? or did I get that wrong?

    So once I Get Barred hens with pea combs I should breed them to a Lighter colored pea combed barred Rooster (B'b) and only hatch out the green eggs to help keep the colored egg gene right? Which should result eventually in all barred pea combed offspring. hens that lay green eggs and cockerels that pass the green egg gene.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    So once I Get Barred hens with pea combs I should breed them to a Lighter colored pea combed barred Rooster (B'b) and only hatch out the green eggs to help keep the colored egg gene right? Which should result eventually in all barred pea combed offspring. hens that lay green eggs and cockerels that pass the green egg gene.


    This is exactly what you want to do, except the lighter colored barred rooster is more likely to be B,B, which is what you want.


    Since the cockerel you have now came from a father that was not barred and a mother that was, he now has one barred gene B, and one not-barred gene b. None of the pullets from that cross will be barred. So they will have one b.

    When you cross that offspring, half the pullets will get a B from their father and half will get a b. They get nothing from their mother. So they will either be barred or they will not. From here on out, only use barred hens for breeding.

    The cockerels from that cross will all get a b from their mother, but half will get a B from their father and half will get a b. So half the cockerels will be b,b and not barred and the other half will be B,b and show barring. Choose a barred cockerel for further breeding.

    The next generation, you will get some barred hens and several barred roosters. With two copies of the barred gene, the cockerels will be lighter in color than the cockerels that have only one copy of the barred gene. If you can select a cockerel that is pure for the barred gene and breed him to a barred hen, all their offspring and future generations will all be barred.


    After thinking about it, I think there is a better way. I suggested the above way to try to set the blue egg gene early since it is harder to tell whether they have one or two copies of it. Since you can see the barring, it is easier to tell whether it is there or not. You may have to hatch more chicks the first generation to get enough green egg layers to work with but an easier way to get the barring is to breed the barred cockerel back to his mother and other barred hens, then just hatch any green eggs you get from that offspring. This will save you a couple of generations for the barring but will take longer to set the blue egg gene. You won’t get as many green eggs the first couple of generations as you would crossing the cockerel to his sisters, but you will save that time with the barring. After thinking about it, I would go this route instead of breeding him to his sisters, especially if you have a few barred hens other than just his mother. Or if you want some green eggs now, you can keep some of his sisters that lay green eggs and include them in the mix.

    I’m sure I confused you by giving you the other way. There are always different ways to go about it, some better than others and some just easier to do. I tried to set the blue egg gene in my flock and had a hatch that only gave me one hen that had the gene. I hatched a few of her eggs and none of her daughters laid green eggs, but I only got two of her daughters from that hatch. Then a dog attack killed my only green egg laying hen. I now have several chicks in the brooder that are pure for the blue egg gene so I should have a much better chance of getting it set this time. I allowed my bad experience to cloud my thinking. I do think breeding the cockerel back to the barred rock hens is your best way to go. The more chicks you can hatch the better since it is a crap shoot as to which genes each individual will actually have.

    Either way you go or with the combination, you want to breed only barred green egg laying hens as soon as you can. And you want the rooster to have a pea comb. If you have the option, a lighter colored barred rooster is better.

    Good luck!!
     
  5. Grumpypantsmomma

    Grumpypantsmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well i do have some pure barred rock pullets that are a little older then my little cockerel, also have some Dominiques and cuckoo's. I probably won't be breeding the cockerel back to his mom as i only have barred in that age group and if i separate her she is going to beat up on the younger barred pullets, So I think I will breed him to the other barred Rock pullets and his sisters with pea combs and see what happens. I think i will decide which route i take when they are all old enough to breed in about 5 months! And no you didn't confuse me! Thanks so much for your advice! :)
     

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