White Plymouth Rocks are ?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Hi! Someone asked me about white Plymouth Rocks and I have no clue. Dominant white, recessive white --- and what does that mean whatever they might be?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It will be interesting to see what the experts which White Rocks are. I'd also like to know if they are also supposed to always have Silver if I may add to your question. I've seen various comments about their genetic make-up. It would be nice to have an agreement from the experts about what is there or at least should be there.

    Dominant white and recessive white are totally different genes. Since they both influence white, it is easy to think of them being somewhat the same gene but they are not. I'm learning with chicken color genetics, it is never as simple as you would think it would be. There are lot of different genes that influence color and pattern. How these mix and match will cause one gene to express itself differently at different times, depending on what else is present.

    Some of the chicken genes are either turned on or turned off, like barred. Either the gene makes the chicken barred or it does not make it barred. Either the gene throws Mahogany in the mix or it does not. Recessive White is one of these.

    But then there are some genes, such as Dominant White, that can throw a twist into this. There are different versions of dominant white. One version seems to be pure white, but others may throw a dun, smokey, khaki, or maybe another twist into this. Or it may be turned off totally. In combination with certain other color or pattern genes, it can have widely different effects.

    With that general disclaimer, for the recessive gene to express itself, it needs to have two copies for you to see it. If one parent contributes the recessive white gene and the other parent contributes the not recessive white gene, you won't see it. If both parents contribute the recessive white gene so the chick is pure for recessive white, the chick will be pure white. The way I understand it, of the recessive gene pairs up, the chicken is pure white, regardless of what other color or pattern genes may be present.

    Dominant white, on the other hand, will show up if only one parent contributes a dominant white gene. Exactly how it shows up depends on which version of dominant white shows up and what else is there. You may get a pure white chicken or you may get a grey or smokey colored chicken instead of black if the right version of the "black" is present (black is another of these that has several different versions. I said it is not simple!), or maybe the pattern and colors of those patterns will change.

    I'm not one of the experts. I'm trying to understand but i could easily have some of this wrong. Hopefully someone that really knows what they are talking about will correct anything I got wrong. I think this is basically correct.

    Hopefully this helps more than confuses.
  3. tadkerson

    tadkerson Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    They can be recessive white only or recessive white and dominant white at the same time.

    Recessive white X nonwhite chicken= nonwhite chicken

    Recessive white and dominant white x nonwhite chicken= all white chicks or 50% white chicks and 50% nonwhite chicks

  4. Thank you both. I'll pass along the information.

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