Author Topic: Genetics of blue chickens  (Read 1169 times)

John W Blehm

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Genetics of blue chickens
« on: May 11, 2018, 12:36:56 PM »
Chickens with blue (not lavender...both are similar, but different shades of gray) feathers have genes for both black and splash (mostly white, with splashes of blue) feathers.  One blue (Bl) gene dilutes black feathers to blue.  Two blue genes will dilute black to splash.
Blue to blue does not breed true. 
Black to black and splash to splash do breed true and they are co-dominant, so black to splash produces all blue offspring but generally not show quality.
The following combinations are achievable:
* Blue X Blue = 50% Blue, 25% Black, 25% Splash
* Blue X Black  = 50% Blue, 50% Black
* Blue X Splash = 50% Blue, 50% Splash
* Black X Black  = 100% Black
* Splash X Splash = 100% Splash
* Splash X Black = 100% Blue


The same is true when breeding wheaten, splash wheaten and blue wheaten...but just consider the male’s breast color (black, splash or blue) for the various wheaten varieties.

Holly Frosch

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 01:17:59 PM »
Has anyone here worked on a Blue improvement project in their Ameraucanas by outcrossing to Andalusian? Have you had any issue with getting back to pea comb?

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 02:25:44 PM »
Has anyone here worked on a Blue improvement project in their Ameraucanas by outcrossing to Andalusian? Have you had any issue with getting back to pea comb?

Max Strawn has with real good success.   And Russ Blair has some of his stock.    Quite a few other breeds with single comb have been used to make different Ameraucana varieties.   So no need to re-invent the wheel. ;)
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11-13

Holly Frosch

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 02:47:06 PM »
Has anyone here worked on a Blue improvement project in their Ameraucanas by outcrossing to Andalusian? Have you had any issue with getting back to pea comb?

Max Strawn has with real good success.   And Russ Blair has some of his stock.    Quite a few other breeds with single comb have been used to make different Ameraucana varieties.   So no need to re-invent the wheel. ;)

Oh heavens, no. They say "never say never," but I don't think I'd ever cross outside of the breed other than for test mating. I just don't have that sort of time ... plenty to monkey around with as is. I was just curious if anyone had witnessed this issue with blues, specifically. There is a candidate region on Chromosome 1 proposed for Bl. You are likely familiar with some of the other loci for genes found there, pea comb being one of them. I recall some folks here had made this cross and would have the experience ... thought I'd ask if there might be any hint of linkage found.

ETA Sourcing: https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/85397/Li_J_D_2017.pdf
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 03:27:50 PM by Holly Frosch »

Suki

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 11:39:16 AM »
Outcrossing to the Andalusian isn't really necessary.

Stan Alder

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 11:48:24 AM »
I was able to talk Max out of a trio of F2s three years ago...I still see a few messed up combs, but most are getting pretty decent peas this year after a couple of crosses to another line...it is a slow process... it's very easy to lose the lacing genes...just that many more possible genetic combinations increase the odds of putting everything together but I believe we're get there...I know Max has very good type on his laced birds now, combs included, and so does Russell...the end result is worth the trouble...true lacing is correct by the standard and so much more distinctive than the edging we have been living with..

Russ Blair

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 12:00:07 PM »
Believe it or not most Ameraucana traits are dominant. Well at least first generation crosses tend to exhibit strong Ameraucana traits. I noticed this years ago when I crossed barred rocks with my Ameraucana to make olive egg layers. Max is a few years ahead of me on the laced blue project and has his type pretty close to perfect in my opinion. Hopefully I will be there in two more years lol
S.E. Michigan

Holly Frosch

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 03:53:46 PM »
Thanks, guys! I think it's cool how much of chromosome 1 is implicated in Blue Ameraucanas, especially. "Blue" egg, pea comb, melanotic, lacing, and now perhaps even blue plumage dilution. You know how we have blue eggshell/pea comb linkage? I'm just wondering if we might see this at all with blue dilution or if it is independent (like recessive white). It will probably be some time before studies nail things down any better ... I was just looking for anecdotal clues that our members might have.  :)

Outcrossing to the Andalusian isn't really necessary.

Suki - The outcross to Andalusian was necessary to efficiently bring the genetics for proper lacing into the Ameraucana gene pool. A worthy outcross for a worthy cause, IMO.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 04:01:05 PM by Holly Frosch »

Suki

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2019, 03:55:10 PM »

Suki

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2019, 03:56:49 PM »

Suki - The outcross to Andalusian was necessary to efficiently bring the genetics for proper lacing into the Ameraucana gene pool. A worthy outcross for a worthy cause, IMO.

I wish you the best on that endeavour Holly et alia.  I'm just referring to blues I have had from breeders who did not follow that track.

Best Regards, Suki

Holly Frosch

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2019, 08:54:20 PM »
I wish you the best on that endeavour Holly et alia.  I'm just referring to blues I have had from breeders who did not follow that track.

Suki - To be clear and to repeat, this is not my endeavor ... I just had a specific question about a specific cross. (IF there were any issue in getting proper comb and egg color in these birds, the information above might help explain why. I really don't care other than I found the recent study interesting - that, genetically, blue likely isn't what we thought it was.)  :)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 10:14:18 PM by Holly Frosch »

Max Strawn

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 12:35:56 PM »
I haven't posted an update in a while so here are some pics of the F4's. The first batch of F5 chicks are due to hatch on March 3rd. Type is getting better. Two things that seem to be persistent are long backs and pinched tails. I hatched enough F4's to get about 60 blue chicks to choose from. I only kept one male and three females to use for breeding.

I am pleased with the lacing so far but it still has a ways to go. Achieving Andalusian quality lacing is proving to be very difficult, if not impossible. At least within the near future. The sharply defined contrast between the lacing and the feather color of Andalusians is what sets them apart from other blue varieties.

Read more: http://showbirdbid.proboards.com/thread/7831/blue-andalusian-ameraucana-lacing-project?page=2#ixzz5gwRhRH7U

Michelle Muldowney-Stevens

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 12:50:50 PM »
Wow! Beautiful, Max!

John W Blehm

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2019, 02:26:23 PM »
Max,

Slow and steady progress, but you knew that getting into the project.  I saw your post a few days earlier on Show Bird Bid and was hoping you would make it here also.  Thanks.  Hatching as many as possible and culling heavily is a big part of the solution.  I'm sure you wish you had at least two males to breed from this year, but being able to stick to your guns and only breed the best to the best is the way to go.

Max Strawn

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Re: Genetics of blue chickens
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2019, 03:28:03 PM »
Thanks John. Yes, I was hoping for another good male but none of the others were anywhere near what I was looking for in respect to quality AND disposition. I will breed this quad back to the offspring splitting them into two lines, hopefully concentrating the desired genes even further. That's the plan anyway, but you know how plans can get changed...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 05:36:14 PM by Max Strawn »