Wry Tail.... Genetic, Feeding Related or Incubation Problem?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by mississippifarmboy, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    I've seen information on this, but like most everything else, the "experts" are all over the place. Is wry tail caused by Genetics? Is it something that can and will be passed down to the offspring or is it due to nutritional deficiencies or incubation problems like temperature or humidity spikes?

    Inquiring minds want to know.....
  2. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    It most certainly is genetic. How do I know, you ask? Because I had to see for myself if it is. I had a boy with wry tail and because I have to test this stuff for myself I bred him to one of my girls. Sure as shootin' one of his offspring had wry tail. That's all the testing I needed to do where that was concerned. I don't remember how many chicks there were but they all got petted out.

    The original male was not from my breedings but came from another breeder so I know its not in my line.
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Far as I've always known, it is genetic. But, who knows, I could be wrong all along. [​IMG]
  4. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

  5. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

    May 2, 2010
  6. jocelynpei

    jocelynpei Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2010
    Yes, it's genetic and fairly easy to breed out. I had D'Uccles who had wry tails and crossed to a male who did not. Some of the chicks were normal. I mated those to sibs to get some who also had a normal outside toe, not short like mine. The normal tailed and toed ones went back into the breeding pen with mine, and it was only a few cycles of this till I got mine cleaned up. You need several sizes of bands to band chicks from each mating, so you can sib mate to get rid of the wry tail and short toe, then cross back to less related birds. I don't think I have any pictures on the hard drive of the results anymore, and there are no more with either problem in the barn to show you. Perhaps someone else can post pictures?

  7. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Thanks everyone.
    I've always just culled anything that was "off". Wry tails or necks, incorrect leg color, wrong combs, or any other major fault. I never really thought about whether it was genetic, just didn't see the point in using anything substandard for breeding.

    The reason I posted this was I had a breeder come by the farm this week, we were looking at a few of my breeding projects and I have one hen that is gorgeous, but has a slightly wry tail. I pointed it out as one of the ones I still needed to pull out of the breeder grow out pen (where I grow out all the birds I plan on using for next years breeding projects) and butcher it before I set up next years breeders.

    He pitched a fit, said he would love to have it for his breeding stock. I was just sorta shocked, then got to wondering if it was genetic or invironmental. Like I said, I was just curious, I've been raising chickens for many years, but learn something new every day!
  8. KristenR

    KristenR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Centralia, WA
    I would agree - it's genetic - but I think it is due to a specific combination of a set of genes.. It does not follow typical mendellian genetics is all I'm saying. Your birds may have one or more genes that code for wry tail but do not show it because a third or fourth required gene doesn't allow it to be expressed. In some cases you can have two strains of birds that have been relatively free of wry tail for many generations where one strain carries two genes that code for wry tail but not the third and/or fourth - or whatever. The other strain may carry the complementary (third and/or fourth) genes but lack the first and second genes carried by the first strain. Thus they do not have wry tails either. But then when you cross the two strains you get wry tails all over the place![​IMG] Can you tell I speak from experience? Lol...At any rate - it can usually be bred out eventually with careful breeder selection and records.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
    1 person likes this.

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