Author Topic: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)  (Read 3074 times)

Kara

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Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« on: October 31, 2018, 06:51:58 PM »
I very much like this young cockerel, but am unsure about the saddle feather color extending into the tail? Should I not consider him for breeding? Genetically will he produce this or worse? Thanks in advance!


Kara

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2018, 06:53:32 PM »
Another image.

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2018, 08:41:35 PM »
I would consider that a minor issue.  I would be more concerned about the blue striping in the hackle.  But it's probably best to work on one issue at a time.   
Mike Gilbert
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Tailfeathers

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2018, 09:04:58 PM »
Kara, the WBS cockerels take about a year to mature before you can really make a final decision on whether to breed or cull unless there is an obvious DQ.

I recognize that particular strain/line of BW I think.  It has some real strengths (cleanest hackles I've seen on any strain/line, overall color - especially in the hackles, bows, and saddles - closer to the SOP, just to name a couple) but I've also noticed some red bleeding in the body color.  So I'd watch for that in addition to the saddle color moving into the tail.  You may find as he matures that goes away. 

Without knowing more about your flock (Where'd they come from, how long have you had them, what's your breeding program consist of, etc.) I'm really unable to offer much in the way of any specificity but I'll try to help with some general and hopefully helpful comments.

As for the genetics and how it's passed on, Mike is the guy to talk to about that.  I really can't help you there.  Sorry.  But let me end this by encouraging you to stick with the WBS.  Start with what you have and work each year just to make them a little better.  The LF WBS still need a lot of work and it's gonna take time to get them to where the bantams are now. 

I believe there is still a lot of genetic diversity within the LF WBS variety in all the different lines out there that you in all probability could breed that bird and get a half dozen different looking offspring from it.  I have now bred LF WBS as a closed flock for over a decade so I think I've probably got some of, if not the, purest LF WBS blood in the country AND I STILL get a lot of diversity in my offspring.  While the majority of my birds are now showing much more uniformity, I still get an occasional bird - usually a pullet - that makes me think "What the heck happened there?!"

So my advice to you is this:  1) Definitely check with Mike on the genetics of that, 2) Then prioritize that info with everything else you have to fix in you birds, 3) Remember, you can't fix it all at once.  Plan your work & work your Plan, and 4) Perhaps most importantly, close up your flock and work on purifying your blood so that you know what you got.  Bringing in "new blood" will never get you to a place where you know what you have and uniformity with the ability to "set" certain traits will never be there.

I realize that the above probably doesn't help you much in getting a direct answer but I think you'll find that quick, easy answers to give us directions are hard to come by.  I hope this was a little helpful.
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Kara

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2018, 09:12:47 PM »
Thank you both. I admit this variety is not my specialty, I took this flock over from a friend. I also have the cockerels Father, who does not have the striping in the hackle... but does have some white in his beard. I need to sell half of this flock because I just do not have room, so I can't keep both the boys.  :-\

John W Blehm

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 01:08:37 PM »
I very much like this young cockerel, but am unsure about the saddle feather color extending into the tail? Should I not consider him for breeding? Genetically will he produce this or worse? Thanks in advance!

I've always considered this off-color in the male's tails as a real problem.  I understand reddish shafting is allowed, but I remember seeing LF wheaten/blue wheaten males at our National Meets and pointing out the brown/red color extending into the tails that the owners didn't notice.  I would shy away from breeding from such birds.  I don't have proof or genetic data to point to on this, but besides it not fitting the written Standard I believe it may lead to other problems with feather colors...maybe in the female offspring. 
We've talked before about the possibility of the male's striping reflecting blacker tailed females, but maybe these males with red in their tails produce females lacking in nice black tails.  Some of this just isn't known for sure, but needs to be considered.  Many experienced breeders of differnent breeds and varieties will tell you that the feather color and structure of one sex will affect the color and structure of the opposite sex.  This doesn't have to be the same area on the different sexes either.  It could be the breast color of the female affecting the back or tail color of the male. 
Keep good records.  Start with chick phenotype.  Identify/mark chicks of different phenotypes and see how they mature...what did the parents look like.  Keep photos to refer back to.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 01:12:27 PM by John W Blehm »

Cesar Villegas

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 01:01:39 PM »
"brown/red color extending into the tails"

How can this be eliminated ? I read what you wrote, about what affects what. But what are your possible thoughts? I wont hold you to it, but my wheaten background is not as strong as yours John

Tailfeathers

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 06:08:32 PM »
Just a couple of quick things in response to some of the comments above. 

Kara, if the cockerels father doesn't have the red bleeding into the tail and does have nice clean hackles I'd keep that one over the boy if I had to make a choice.  All other factors being equal.  I bred birds for 7-8yrs with white in their beards before I got some that were finally fully black o blue.  Remember, it takes about a full year for the WBS to mature and fully develop.  Especially the males.

John, I agree with you on the red in the tails.  I'm not sure why that doesn't get the attention it deserves except for the possibility of a misunderstanding on what "shafting" is.  I know I was told by a former president of the ABC that the red in the tail was required according to the SOP.  An obvious misunderstanding on what "shafting" is. 

Cesar, one way is to just keep selecting the males with the cleanest tails.  I know because it was one of the first things I focused on in the males when I started breeding the WBS.  Took about 3yrs, if I recall correctly, but I eventually got some "clean" tailed birds.  Though I have to say that while I still have a majority of my males with solid colored tails I did have some turn up this year with red in them again.  I have NO clue how or why that happened but it did.

Somewhere on here I posted pics of my W & BW males.  I think earlier this year.  Maybe last year.  Pretty sure they had full-colored beards and tails.
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 07:18:19 PM »
When in doubt about type or color issues, check Bantam Standard.  It is much more descriptive than the A.P.A. Standard of Perfection - which is anything but perfect.  Here is what Bantam Standard says about wheaten tail coloring, quote:   "Tail:  Main Tail - black with slight luster.  Sickles - lustrous greenish black.   Lesser Sickles - lustrous greenish black with tendency toward red shafting AND RED LACING (emphasis mine) as tail coverts are neared.   Coverts - lustrous greenish black, with tendency toward red shafting AND RED LACING."   End of quote.    There are so many other things that can go wrong with the color in wheatens, that I have never considered an all black tail a priority.  And I never will.  Because of what Bantam Standard says.   In the bantam lines I have worked with, insufficient red color in the wing bay has been a much bigger problem.  When there is little red color there in cockerels, I have seen the wing bay go totally black after an adult molt. 
Mike Gilbert
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John W Blehm

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 07:42:13 PM »
"brown/red color extending into the tails"

How can this be eliminated ? I read what you wrote, about what affects what. But what are your possible thoughts? I wont hold you to it, but my wheaten background is not as strong as yours John

As Royce said selection is the key.  Breed from the best year after year to work toward continuous improvement.  Beyond that, on this subject, my answer may be "I don't know".  And thanks for not holding me to it.  ;) 

Jim Fegan and I had a nice conversation, during Fowl Fest, about double mating and the Standard.  Neither of us like the idea of double mating to achive show quality "standard" birds of both sexes.  I feel that if it is needed then you are actually breeding two varieties, due to the fact that without double mating they don't breed true.

As much as a black tail on a male, without brown/red, looks great it is possible that the males with the off color produce females with the most beautiful black tails or some other trait...I just don't know if anything is affected.  If someone had the time and inclination they could take on the project.  If the brown/red in the male's tails is required for properly colored/patterned females then the APA standard should refect that or double mating would be needed.  If the brown/red in the males tails doesn't have any affect on the female's color/pattern then breed to reduce or eliminate it.   


Tailfeathers

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2018, 07:45:14 PM »
Interesting feedback.  Two quick comments and maybe a helpful bit of info,.

Mike, that's news to me.  I've never had bantams and don't have an ABA SOP.  I can certainly tell it is MUCH more detailed than the APA,  That said, I wonder if their definition of "lacing" is the same as the APA.  The brown/red in the tails of the males isn't what I'd call "lacing".

John, I went thru the whole "double-mating" thing with the proposed Barnevelder changes.  You bring up a good point and I think it would be worthwhile to see some kind of a debate where both sides bring out their strengths and their weaknesses can be revealed in the cross examination.  What are the Pro's and Con's and does anybody really know?  I can tell you with certainty that was NOT the case with the Barnevelders.  The way the APA handled that was terrible and just downright sad.  It became a popularity contest with inputs from folks who never owned a Barnevelder saying things like "That's such a pretty bird." 

I'm not sure the "don't breed true" when double-mating is required is correct though,. That said, I don't think it's likely you'll see that kind of inquiry because I honestly don't believe there is one single person dedicated enough to the breeding and perfecting of a breed or variety to do so.  I say this not to trash-talk any other breeders but solely because of the numerous comments I got from many when I brought up the yellow-leg gene popping outta my birds.  MANY told me, "Don't worry about it.  The judges don't care if the yellow is hidden.  Just breed what you have and cull the yellow legged birds."  IMO, that's just not breeding to perfection or doing the breed/variety justice and that attitude is never gonna provide at atmosphere of continual improvement. 

Just as in the case with the project you mentioned, John.  The only difference is I knew I had a Fault/DQ.  You're absolutely right but if folks aren't gonna take the time and effort to start a project to eliminate a know trait that absolutely should not be how many will do so to experiment with a project as you suggest?  I know certain universities have done projects to "experiment" on certain things and great information has been the result.  But we don't see much of that and I doubt you'd see such to determine the correlation between two traits as you mentioned and I doubt you'll find a breeder today who would take that on.  Had I gotten into the Fancy 30-40yrs ago I probably would have.  Now, I just don't have the time nor inclination. 

All I can do is pass on what I've learned/experienced in my short decade of working with the WBS.  As I mentioned previously, when I started out getting clean, solid colored tails on my males was a focus because as I read the SOP the brown/red in the tails should not be there.  (My guess is that the "shafting" shouldn't be either but that's another issue for someone else long after I'm probably planted in the ground and hopefully enjoying my perfect WBS flock on the home the Lord has provided.)  Simultaneously with this I was focusing from Day One on getting more color in the girls tails and wings.

Now, keeping those two focus points in mind, I have achieved both of those goals.  My male birds tails are solid colored (Most of the time. I cull the occasional that aren't.) and the females all have MUCH more color in their tails and wings.  Now, you guys know I'm no rocket scientist but logically that tells me there is no correlation between the red/brown in the tail of males to the tail color in females.  If anything it would tell me that eliminating the red/brown helps the color in the females but I doubt that is the case because the color in the tails and wings of the females is increasingly getting better with time.  It's not an all at once thing. 

Given that there is so much we still don't know about genetics and how genes work with one another I think it may well be that we just never will know.  More importantly, given that discovering these things takes a LOT of time and effort coupled with the "want it now" and immediate gratification compulsion to see things happen NOW there isn't likely to be much, if any, reliable information forthcoming.  Add to that the lack of others doing the same coupled with the joining together to team up on a "project" and move it forward by sharing info to work together toward the completion of a common goal and I think one can get the picture.

Wrt the first part of that, I'm just as big of a culprit as anyone could be.  For example, take any one trait - solid colored tails or beards in the males, better colored tails/wings in the females, etc., looking back now I never really did what I should have.  I never really approached my breeding program from the systematic, methodical detailed POV that it should have been.  I had objectives and I just went from a breed the best to the best each year.  And each year the birds got better somehow but I never really knew WHY!

And, if I had it all to do over again, I'd have kept MUCH better records than I did.  For the first 5yrs I kept much better records and devoted a lot more time to the program.  Regrettably, I haven't done so the last few.  And one thing I never did that I should have was confirm my results.  This is what I was getting to above.  Had I been smart, the first year I got the solid colored tails (or beards), for example, I would've really analyzed that and set up a mating the following year to test why that happened and confirm the results.  I didn't.  I should have.  I think that's what's needed if we're gonna really move the birds forward.  And we can't do it all at once.  That's why it would be best if there were 5-6 folks working together on different traits simultaneously.  I have to imagine that might've been a consideration in having 5 different flocks for 5yrs in order to be accepted as a new breed/variety.

So, with whatever time I have left, I am just going to continue doing what I've been doing.  Breeding the best to the best and moving forward with my goals.  Should there be red "lacing" in the tails of the males?  I don't know.  I do know there won't be in my birds.  Spent too many years getting rid of it and from all I've seen thus far I see no reason to have it there.  Perhaps it'll be found there's no need for it and somebody can work to get the SOP changed down the road.  Or, conversely, it'll be found it needs to be there and all my efforts will have been for naught.  Perhaps somebody can take my birds then and do something with what I've done in other areas and get just a little closer to that perfect WBS.
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Russ Blair

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 11:28:46 PM »
Just some food for thought, based on very few years of breeding bantam wheaten/blue wheaten. It seems to me the males with the cleanest hackles tend to end up with the red leakage from saddle working into the base of the tail. The males without leakage in the tails tend to have striping in the hackles. It may be just a fluke in the hundred or so I have seen here the past few years, but with this discussion it makes me wonder if it might not be connected somehow? Perhaps tomorrow I will get a few pictures of my examples I speak of.
S.E. Michigan

Tailfeathers

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2018, 04:55:39 AM »
Good to know.  I'll keep that in mind and let you know when, or if, I ever get clean hackles.  I do know there is a strain of WBS, specifically BW, that I've seen several times now that has extremely nice, clean hackles but it also seems to have red leakage in the Body plumage. 

It would be interesting to know what that traces back to.
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

John W Blehm

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Re: Question for the experts re: Wheatens ;)
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2018, 09:51:35 AM »
Just some food for thought, based on very few years of breeding bantam wheaten/blue wheaten. It seems to me the males with the cleanest hackles tend to end up with the red leakage from saddle working into the base of the tail. The males without leakage in the tails tend to have striping in the hackles. It may be just a fluke in the hundred or so I have seen here the past few years, but with this discussion it makes me wonder if it might not be connected somehow? Perhaps tomorrow I will get a few pictures of my examples I speak of.

Those are the types of things I'm referring to, not just traits of one sex affecting traits of the opposite sex.  Barbara specialized in LF wheatens/blue wheatens for years and we corresponded quite a bit about her progress with them.  She was often disappointed after concentrating on one area while another area would get worse. 
We've often seen the females with the most black in the hackle also have the most in their tails.
Off color in the male's breast would show after concentrating on improving some other area and so on.