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White Jersey Giant crossed with Rhode Island Red - Black Chicks

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Renegade Rooster, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Renegade Rooster

    Renegade Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    I have both roosters and hens of both breeds, White Jersey Giant and Rhode Island red, and they free range together. I incubated their eggs and most of the chicks are black with a white chest. I had no pure Rhode Island Reds hatch out, and five of forty-six appear to be pure White Jersey Giants. The other forty-one look just like Black Jersey Giant day old chicks. Can anybody explain how/why? Thanks...
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    So - here's the thing about the white gene. It's not an actual color - it's a gene that stops any pigment from being produced. Note that there are two white genes: one dominant and one recessive. The recessive one is most common, since the dominant one can be very leaky, resulting in a bird which is not pure white. Since your birds produced non-white offspring when bred with a non-white bird, they carry the recessive version.

    Imagine a room. There's a light switch in the room - you turn the light switch off, and you can no longer see the room. But just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. The room and all the things in it are still there.

    The white gene is the light switch and the chicken's real color is the room. A white chicken is not genetically white, it's genetically another (unknown) color. You just can't see it. Based on your breedings, your White Jersey Giants are genetically Black Jersey Giants. Black is dominant over most colors, including red; however red has a lot of potential for leakage, so most likely you'll end up with black hens with red hackles (saddles as well in males) when the chicks are mature.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Queen Misha is a great teacher and doesn't holler.
     
  4. Renegade Rooster

    Renegade Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 24, 2010
    Wow, that made total sense. Huge thanks for the clear explanation!
     

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