Ameraucana Forum

The Official Ameraucana Forum => Breeding => Topic started by: Justin Snyder on April 09, 2021, 07:48:43 PM

Title: Laced Blues
Post by: Justin Snyder on April 09, 2021, 07:48:43 PM
If we are breeding blues with lacing do we want to base them on E or ER?

Here are some of the varieties that can be built from these foundational genes...
E = black, white, lavender, blue, splash
ER = brown red, blue, splash, birchen, lavender, white, black
eWh = buff, wheaten, blue wheaten
e+ = silver
eb = partridge, buff
ey = wheaten, blue wheaten, buff

Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Mike Gilbert on April 09, 2021, 07:58:12 PM
 ER would be my preference.   Also, I don't think buff should be built on eb, as they would have gray undercolor, and Buff should be buff all the way to the stem of the feather.   I have some of those right now in my Buff Chanteclers after crossing them with Partridge.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: John W Blehm on April 09, 2021, 10:38:19 PM
Justin,

Birchen (ER) is what Mike and I have recommended for several years for laced blue.  Note the quote of mine you included with your question lists the e-locus genes I believe the varieties, listed after them, can be based on...but the underlined variety names are the ones I believe would be best.

Quote from: John W Blehm http://ameraucanaalliance.org/forum/index.php?topic=1062.msg7147#msg7147
Some do still breed blues to blacks, but the current opinion is that the best blues are based on birchen (ER) while the best blacks, lavenders and whites should be based on Extended black (E).  E produces the best solid colored varieties.  Blue is really Laced Blue, so it isn't a solid color and some assume ER is a better base color/pattern to build it on.   

Quote from: http://chickengenetics.edelras.nl/
Quote
Further research by Dr Okimoto (quote from Classroom @ The Coop: Blue & E/ or ER/, posted May 02, 2006) ......
Some of us speculated that Andalusian blue used ER instead of E because ER would be more amenable to secondary pattern genes like Pg. I recently tested some Andalusian Blues from McMurray. I had a mixed batch of chicks so I could only tell the gray ones as blues the blacks could have been something else. There were three gray chicks that produced gray chick feathers. Two were homozygous ER ER and the third was heterozygous E ER. My guess is that E probably causes the dark birds and that the show quality birds are probably ER.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Suki on April 09, 2021, 11:08:37 PM
I don't get into the genetics, I just eyeball it.  They either have lacing or don't.  If they don't they're dinner.  What their genetic makeup is between them and Ancestry.com.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Justin Snyder on April 16, 2021, 05:34:50 PM
Mike and John
Thanks, I have actually been trying to base all of my blues on ER for years based on the information in this quote and the fact that it is a pattern gene not solid. I just want to make sure I am building on what the experts think and not screwing up what others have started.  ;D

Suki,
When I get a lot more experience I might eyeball it. But I need all the help I can get so I will try to make it an educated guess rather than a guess.  ;)
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Megan Knowlan on April 20, 2021, 04:48:11 PM
John (or anyone),

I'm still very much a newbie and I don't understand what birchen is. Can you please explain this color to me? I have downsized, keeping only my absolute best for show purposes and have 3 black hens, 1 blue hen, and 2 black roosters. What's the best way to work this combination, other than obviously needing to hatch more blues. How should I incorporate birchen?
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Mike Gilbert on April 20, 2021, 06:14:24 PM
John (or anyone),

I'm still very much a newbie and I don't understand what birchen is. Can you please explain this color to me? I have downsized, keeping only my absolute best for show purposes and have 3 black hens, 1 blue hen, and 2 black roosters. What's the best way to work this combination, other than obviously needing to hatch more blues. How should I incorporate birchen?

Why would you want to?   They are not a recognized variety for the Ameraucana breed, and they have different genetics than your Blacks and Blues.   I am unaware of anyone breeding large fowl Birchen right now.   Birchen is just the silver version of Brown Red.   I had them years ago, but they did not draw any interest at that time.   Both Birchen and Brown Red are very difficult to breed true for correct color - much different than solid colors or even Blue.  You could do an internet search for Birchen chicken to see pictures.   Here is a link:  https://www.cacklehatchery.com/product/birchen-cochin-bantam/      If you are just talking about the "birchen" e-locus, you may or may not already have that.   What you need in addition to that to make laced blues is three other genes, Pg, Ml, and Co.    The best way to get them is to cross in a well laced Blue.   
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: John W Blehm on April 21, 2021, 11:19:53 AM
John (or anyone),

I'm still very much a newbie and I don't understand what birchen is. Can you please explain this color to me? I have downsized, keeping only my absolute best for show purposes and have 3 black hens, 1 blue hen, and 2 black roosters. What's the best way to work this combination, other than obviously needing to hatch more blues. How should I incorporate birchen?

It is confusing because "birchen" is both the name of a variety of chicken and the name of a gene.  In this topic we are mostly talking about the Birchen (ER) E-locus gene and not the birchen variety (color/pattern).  I go into more detail in the Chick Phenotype (http://ameraucanaalliance.org/forum/index.php?topic=559.msg4085#msg4085) topic that is pinned under this "Breeding" subforum.  Also check out the E-Locus topic/thread (http://ameraucanaalliance.org/forum/index.php?topic=33.msg143#msg143) that is pinned there too.  I think those topics will help.  "Wheaten" is another word that is also both the name of a variety of chicken and the name of a chicken gene or two.  And, there are other poultry related terms/words with more than one meaning that can add to the confusion.
 
Although many fanciers still cross blacks and blues calling them "BBS" (Black, Blue Splash) to produce both black and blue chicks, the black and blue varieties should be based on different E-locus genes to produce the best colors/patterns.  So, breeding the best blues among themselves will produce the best blue offspring.  The best blues have the base primary E-locus gene "Birchen" (ER) and secondary pattern genes: Pattern gene (Pg), Melanotic (Ml) and probably Columbian (Co) along with eumelanin extenders.   
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Megan Knowlan on April 21, 2021, 11:15:12 PM
That makes sense. I really appreciate the help from y'all. :) And the links were very informative.. something I'll definitely be referring back to!
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Suki on April 23, 2021, 02:40:35 PM
John wrote... The best blues have the base primary E-locus gene "Birchen" (ER) and secondary pattern genes: Pattern gene (Pg), Melanotic (Ml) and probably Columbian (Co) along with eumelanin extenders...

Maybe but going for Columbians...light sussex, or even those birchens are a lot of work.  Better to get a blue already with it, though I admit anyone with good blues does not sell, at least in Ams, so i am not sure that blue Ams are a viable variety. I write that as i have several blue Ams and when I see blue in the show they are either super light with outlining  or very dark.  The darks win in greater numbers, I have never seen a blue Am as good as the blue Langshan that went Super Grand Champion at the Congress, and I know it took him 15 years to get there.  This picture of Reese's bird is pretty lame; he in reality a spectacular bird.  He is Bob Rhodes,  that Mike Gilbert knows from CFI, son. 

http://www.poultrycongress.com/2016-Results.html (http://www.poultrycongress.com/2016-Results.html)
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: John W Blehm on April 23, 2021, 07:36:21 PM
...Better to get a blue already with it, though I admit anyone with good blues does not sell, at least in Ams, so i am not sure that blue Ams are a viable variety. I write that as i have several blue Ams and when I see blue in the show they are either super light with outlining  or very dark...

Max made it possible for McMurray Hatchery to offer large fowl "laced" blue Ameraucanas.  (http://ameraucanaalliance.org/forum/index.php?topic=1387.msg8821#msg8821) Of course they are McMurray's line, not Max's, that they sell, so depending on their breeding the chicks customers get will be as good as the birds they started their flock with or they could go down hill. 

Quote
On 6/24/2020 8:27 AM, Max Strawn wrote:
Good morning Mike!

I was contacted by Tom Watkins from McMurray Hatchery last winter. He said he had spoken with you about acquiring my line of large fowl Blue Ameraucana. Long story short, he hatched some chicks from the eggs I sent to him. Thank you for the recommendation. It's exciting to know that McMurray Hatchery will be promoting true Ameraucana!

Max
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Justin Snyder on April 24, 2021, 08:22:23 PM
Better to get a blue already with it, though I admit anyone with good blues does not sell, at least in Ams, so i am not sure that blue Ams are a viable variety. I write that as i have several blue Ams and when I see blue in the show they are either super light with outlining  or very dark. 
http://www.poultrycongress.com/2016-Results.html (http://www.poultrycongress.com/2016-Results.html)

I like the darker birds, but I got one a couple of years ago from someone in the other AM group and I honestly thought he was black when I first opened the shipping container. He didn't stay long. I was able to get some  chicks with lacing. They don't all carry 2 copies so it will take some work. I will be selective until I fix that problem.  That is why I am asking the questions. We need to get the blue Am to the point to beat the blue Langshan.  ;D
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Suki on April 25, 2021, 02:51:28 PM
That's the spirit Justin.  At least with McMurray there is someplace to get a good start and from there hit the shows and see what you can pick up.  Seeing and buying in person is the best way to build up your flock, Best of luck S~
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Suki on April 25, 2021, 10:59:50 PM
John wrote from Okimoto... had a mixed batch of chicks so I could only tell the gray ones as blues the blacks could have been something else. There were three gray chicks that produced gray chick feathers. Two were homozygous ER ER and the third was heterozygous E ER. My guess is that E probably causes the dark birds and that the show quality birds are probably ER..

..so based on that breeding for blue means grey chicks...toss the others.  That's a good tip.  THanks.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: John W Blehm on April 26, 2021, 11:42:19 AM
John wrote from Okimoto...
Quote
had a mixed batch of chicks so I could only tell the gray ones as blues the blacks could have been something else. There were three gray chicks that produced gray chick feathers. Two were homozygous ER ER and the third was heterozygous E ER. My guess is that E probably causes the dark birds and that the show quality birds are probably ER.
..so based on that breeding for blue means grey chicks...toss the others.  That's a good tip.  THanks.

If you are breeding blue to blue I would agree only chicks with gray/blue down will mature into blues and the others will be black or splash. 
In the quote from Ron Okimoto, he is saying out of an assortment of many breeds & probably varieties of chicks from a hatchery order only thee chicks were gray/blue.  He tested those three finding ER as the prevalent e-locus gene and assumes show quality blues are pure for it.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Suki on April 27, 2021, 12:16:12 PM
John scribbled....If you are breeding blue to blue I would agree only chicks with gray/blue down will mature into blues ....


Yes you are right, that's a good clarification. My statement was far too broad.


Thanks Sue
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Justin Snyder on July 03, 2021, 04:41:17 PM
OK, next question. Andalusian Blue were used, single combs. I test bred my cockbird and ended up with a few single from the cross. Should I test breed my pullets and keep only pullets with 2 copies of pea comb or is it type first like usual? Ideally we keep only blues so we can see lacing, but I have a splash that you can see the lacing so I kept her also. She is kinda cool looking.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Mike Gilbert on July 03, 2021, 05:51:19 PM
Combs are a pretty easy fix.  Usually you can tell by their shape.   I would concentrate more on type, docility, and getting white out of the earlobes.  Along with disease resistance and productivity.   Just my opinion. 
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Justin Snyder on July 04, 2021, 06:10:49 PM
Thanks Mike, I ask because yours and so many others opinions are more relative and better informed than mine.  ;)
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Justin Snyder on July 04, 2021, 06:11:36 PM
And thanks for the details and specifics on what I am looking for.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: John W Blehm on July 04, 2021, 08:17:10 PM
Combs are a pretty easy fix...

I agree with Mike that, that is normally the case and in the breeding being discussed here.  Basic single, pea and rose combs and the genetics behind them we can deal with, but duplex combs and both known and unknown comb modifying genes can bring in traits that can be very hard to breed back out.  I've experienced this with crossbreeding Polish with LF buff Ameraucanas and with bantam silver Ameraucana males that have pea combs, but with center ridges much higher than those on either side (http://ameraucanaalliance.org/forum/index.php?topic=220.msg1523#msg1523). 
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Max Strawn on July 06, 2021, 11:19:36 AM
We are lucky that most of the traits we breed for in Ameraucana are dominant, such as the pea comb, beards and muffs. Andalusians share a lot of the same traits as Ameraucana such as slate shanks, white bottom feet. These have made it much easier and quicker to get back to good Ameraucana type. The hardest things I have dealt with are the white ear lobes and pinched tales in the females. You just have to hatch as many as you can raise and cull hard. I try to raise at least 100 blues every year and cull down to the best 10-15.
Title: Re: Laced Blues
Post by: Justin Snyder on September 10, 2021, 03:30:49 PM
One more question, for now...
Are these likely silver based? Do we want to ensure they are silver based versus gold. Do I need to make an effort to keep gold based birds out?