Rhodebar Genetics

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Rhodebar Genetics

Postby Fast Farmer » 04 Apr 2015, 01:51

Firstly hi to everyone who knows me and hello to those who dont. I dont do multiple forums or facebook, I've only been "on" the Pekin Bantam, Bluelaced and the now deceased Poultry Garden ......in the past and one at a time.

I have hatched out 18 Rhodebar x RIR chicks (from 24 eggs through the post). Given the fact a Rhodebar cockerel has 2 copies of the barring gene due to the Barred Plymouth Rock influence in their creation I am having a slight brain drain as to the reason one of the chicks is jet black!!!! Some of the chicks....... which should be pullets have clearly adopted the auto sexing link with barring on their backs, some have smudgy brown markings while others have no markings, they are creamy to light golden in colour and are presumably cockerels of either breed or pure RIR pullets. I just wonder if the black chick is a genetic mutation aquired through its Plymouth Rock history...........or have I been given an extra egg from elsewhere to fill the box !!!!!!
Last edited by Fast Farmer on 04 Apr 2015, 14:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rhodebar Genetics

Postby subruss » 04 Apr 2015, 09:23

This looks like one for HEN-GEN I havent a clue :?
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Re: Rhodebar Genetics

Postby Hen-Gen » 04 Apr 2015, 13:02

Good to see you here, FF. it seems the popularity of forums is in decline as Facebook marches onward!

The expectation from a Rhodebar Cock x RIR Hens mating is that all the pullets should be true breeding Rhodebars and all the cockerels should be impure (single copy of the barring gene) Rhodebars. It should be impossible for such a mating to yield a black chick as the genes responsible for this colour cannot be carried hidden in birds with the Rhodebars genotype. However before accusing the breeder of carelessness one always has to consider the possibility of a true, random mutation having happened, rare though this is. If there had been two or more such chicks then this would be statistically impossible but with only one such chick the possibility cannot be excluded.
My experience with trying to attempt the creation of Welbars from Silver Duckwing Welsummers and Cuckoo Marans (used the Marans rather than barred Rocks in order to preserve the egg colour) is that the degree of expression of the barring gene in the pullets can be quite variable. Some show the effects of the barring gene very clearly and others only show it on the odd feather, usually a tail feather. I think that despite what one reads the creation of these auto sexing breeds must have been dependant on a great deal of selection of birds that were clearly marked even after the necessary genotypes had been created.
Sorry I can't be more informative but even Cream Legbars, which are the most numerous of the auto sexing breeds, are extremely variable.
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Re: Rhodebar Genetics

Postby Fast Farmer » 05 Apr 2015, 00:26

As ever, thanks for your help H.G. The black chick, I suspect, is a "gift" from the breeder. It is much smaller than the Rhodebars, has very little fluff, is pure muscle and quite a character, in hindsight I do remember one of the eggs was much lighter in colour than the others, Ive no idea what it could be........Indian Game?.....no idea, but will interogate the breeder in due course.

Regarding the Rhodebars, the breeder mentioned she has one pure Rhodebar cock running with 33 !!!!.....yes 33, utility RIR girls!, she mentioned "another" cockerel picking up the spare bits of totty. Now the interesting bit, the other boy which is clearly shown on her website is a Rhodebar carrying a single copy of barring, how would that affect the outcome on pure RIR ? Could that account for poor barring/stripes on the backs of some of the pullet chicks or indeed the lack of anything on the others? I appreciate some of the chicks with no markings will be the result of normal auto sexing and will be cockerels but could there also be pure RIR pullets as a result of crossing with the cockerel carrying the single barring gene? I'm not that bothered either way, will grow everything on until pullets are identified for sure. I have Bielefelder eggs coming next week with the intention of breeding them on in true fashion and the occassional cockerel cross with Rhodebar to give an auto sexing hybrid of nice large eggs. Well, thats the plan........ :?
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Re: Rhodebar Genetics

Postby Hen-Gen » 05 Apr 2015, 08:51

Your explanation is correct. The other boy would throw RIR pullets as well as Rhodebars.
Your over all project sounds a good one. It has been my observation over the years that many breeds are inbred and substandard. A bit of judicious outcrossing would work wonders.
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Re: Rhodebar Genetics

Postby Fast Farmer » 06 Apr 2015, 00:48

Cheers again H.G.

I do enjoy a little genetic post mortem on this sort of hatching result, the breeder did state they may not show as auto sexing should do..... without explanation......which leads to the question why !? Hopefully there are a few RIR pullets in the hatch which would otherwise have been culled.

As to the single black chick, Mrs Farmer will be distraught if its a cockerel............she loves looking after outcasts no matter the colour.......Hmm, maybe I should re-phrase that :-'''
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Re: Rhodebar Genetics

Postby organic chick » 06 Apr 2015, 17:20

Still popping in here as well as FB. I find that the stored forum information here is brilliant and I am often looking things up!!
Penny and Freckles - the WArren Girls'
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The Lady Isabella Pickford-Fiennes, a feline of distinction and excellent mouser
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Re: Rhodebar Genetics

Postby Fast Farmer » 06 Apr 2015, 18:15

Well, well........all has come to light!!

The guilty hen, the breeder was given a few eggs a couple of years ago from someone who was trying to produce "something" along the lines of Black Rocks. She bred from her last year, I dont know if it was either the Rhodebar boy showing 2 or the other lad with a single copy of barring but got 3 pullets - as per the second pic and 1 completely black. My chick is in the third pic, unfortunately it lost some fluff off its back while pretending to be a Hermit Crab during hatching.

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