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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:23 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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The Blue Gene

In Australia, the gene responsible for Blue, either in lacing or in ground colour is the Blue diluter (written as Bl).

It is the same gene in all breeds.

This gene acts to dilute Black (shown as bl) to Blue in one dose (it is more correctly grey, being between Black and White, but called blue in poultry terminology). The geneticist's name for Blue is Andalusian Blue, this differentiates it from Lavender which the Americans call Self Blue.

One Black Gene and one Blue gene = Blue (or Bl/bl = Blue).

What does it look like?

Here is a blue pullet (thanks Melschooks) she is all Blue (the edges of her feather are abit darker, due to hormonal reasons);

Image

Here is a group of blue laced wyandottes of mine , where only the lacing is blue;

Image

Note in both pictures that the lacing and feathering is Blue where it would otherwise be black.

Breeding Blue

You can tell if a chicken has blue or not straight away, just by looking at it. There is no need to do test matings to find out if it is present. Because Blue is dominant, and effects black only, having little effect on red, and so one gene will change a black bird to blue where 2 genes will change black to a whitish bird with splashes of black/blue.

If the gene isn't present in a chicken, then the chicken is black. If one gene is present, it will be blue. If the bird gets 2 doses of the gene it is a splash.

Blue is not sex-linked. As long as a parent has it then about 50% of the offspring should have it. A blue male will pass the trait on to both his sons and daughters. The same holds true for the female that has it. This is unlike the barred factor, where the male will pass the trait on to his sons and daughters. However the female will only pass the trait on to her sons.

Mating Results;

There are several different matings that can be used for the blue gene.

Blue X Blue. This will give you 25% black (without the gene) 50% blue (with 1 gene) and 25% splash ( with 2 genes).

Black X Blue. This will give you 50% black and 50% blue.

Black X Splash. This will give you 100% blue.

Blue X Splash. This will give you 50% blue and 50% splash.

Splash X Splash. This will give you 100% splash.



What is Splash

A double dose of Blue (Bl/Bl) will give splash. Splash shows up as nearly white, with flecks of blue and or black. As stated above, splash will actually breed truw. Splash cross Splash = 100% Splash

This is splash pullet (thanks again Mel'schooks);


Image




This is a pullet of mine who's lacing is splash;

Image



She doesnt have many flecks at present ( I am going to see if I can breed this line of splash laced wyandottes and select for no flecks).

Many breeders don't like the Blue gene. In part because they don't understand it. Some want their breeding pens all one color. But then they will keep several different breeding pens with each pen being a different color (variety ).

Because of this, the 3 different color combinations can be maintained in one breeding pen. There is no need to keep each color separate. A blue male with 1 black hen and 1 splash hen will produce all 3 color variations, as will a blue male with a blue hen. What other gene allows for 3 different colors from one breeding pen.

So how does the Blue gene turn Black to blue?

Imagine a feather as being a whole lot of long thin tubes that are filled with pigment. The first pigment that is laid down is black and the tubes are filled quite quickly.

One dose of blue (Bl/bl)+ alters the filling process by interfering with the rate of black fill, causing a resulting grey (Blue) colour. But, the interference does not act evenly on every feather tube, giving black specks, which if there are enough, give feathers with black portions.

Also note, it is beleived that Blue is incomplete dominant gene but with variable penetration.

Not to be confused with....

Lavender - Lavender can look like blue, but there will be no Black or Splash offspring as Lavender is recessive, needing two genes to make Lavender (lav/lav). Lavender 'Breeds True'. Lav cross Lav = 100% Lavender.

Here is a thread which discusses all there is to compare between Lav and Blue.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=7968443


Recessive White - Again Two black parents might throw a white chick, but it wont be splash. Also, a black and a white parent will not throw a blue (unless on the rare occasion that the white partent is hiding the blue gene).


Advanced Genetics

It has been discussed that the colour of the Blue also relates to the quality of the black being diluted.

I.e, a black chook, with all the Black enhancing genes present (there are many) will give a very dark blue when Bl is present. Whereas in a Black with only one black gene, the blue will be very light.

So breeders of blue need to be aware when selecting the colour blue, that they may well be selecting for a lack of black genes. At some point they will need to cross back to a very black chook (with all the genes present) to darken up the blue.

Here is a website that anyone interested in learning more genetics should bookmark and read every month for the next 12 months, like I did, until it all sticks.

http://edelras.nl/chickengenetics/

I hope that this helps and that it can be used to direct interested members to answers regarding their questions on Blue

Cheers
Raf

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Breeder of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.

See www.bluelacedgold.wordpress.com for details


Last edited by rwood on Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:55 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Wise One
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Excellent...thanks Raf :D After thought...how do you know if you've got a splash (didnt know it could be black) or leaky white then?


Cheers,
Michelle

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Champion Bird
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That was very interesting raf and written so i could understand it .


cheers squeak1

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:38 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Rita, Im not sure I get you. Splash is not black, it is almost white. It does vary from very light blue to white, but as per the pictures, it is white. The flecks are blue or black, but just the flecks. See the thumbnail picture.

Squeak - I didnt mean to dum it down that much :hmmm:

Raf

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See www.bluelacedgold.wordpress.com for details


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:41 pm 
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Wise One
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Yes as you said the flecks are blue or black (didnt know the black) Ive had chicks who are white out of blacks with single black feathers and been told thats a leaky white gene...so could it have been a splash or does it have to be specks rather than random feathers?


Cheers,
Michelle

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Two blacks cannot make a blue, and you need two blues to make a splash, so your chicks are leaky white and the Blue gene is not involved.

You need to have Blue in at least one parent for it to be blue, and 50% of the hatch will be blue, so you will know.

Raf

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See www.bluelacedgold.wordpress.com for details


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks for the great summary.
... but what does a blue bird who is also homozygous for lavender look like?
Is it a lighter shade of blue?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Champion Bird
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:swords: :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:59 pm 
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Superior Bird
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Very well done. I would say that is sticky worthy as questions about blue always come up and this covers pretty much any questions people might have. :geek:
Nice pics too! :bounce:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:59 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Rubber Neck wrote:
Thanks for the great summary.
... but what does a blue bird who is also homozygous for lavender look like?
Is it a lighter shade of blue?


Cheeky!! :hmmm:

Yes, I suppose it would. Blue has its own Locus, seperate to the Lavender Locus, so both can be present at once.

Lavender however dilutes gold as well. This is not a thread on Lavender though, its not my thing.....

Raf

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See www.bluelacedgold.wordpress.com for details


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:04 pm 
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Superior Bird
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I had a blue bird with lav, she just looked blue.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:05 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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coopslave wrote:
Very well done. I would say that is sticky worthy as questions about blue always come up and this covers pretty much any questions people might have. :geek:
Nice pics too! :bounce:


I would love to have a genetics corner where this kind of thing could be stickied (along with Lavender etc...), but I fear that if I suggest it, I will be putting my hand up for moderators role.... :bolt:

Quote:
I had a blue bird with lav, she just looked blue.

Post a pic Coops. How do you know it has blue and lav?

Raf

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:07 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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:geek:

Geek!! You used GEEK? How rude... :cry:

My wife just called me geeky for posting a thread on Blue.....

I prefer ungeeky :ugeek:

Genetics would be written as gk/gk

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I kill me.

:geek:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:13 pm 
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Superior Bird
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I have posted a pic of her before for other things. Looking at her she was just blue (an nice shade though I think). The only way I knew she had lav was because when I crossed two F1s by her I got a lavender cockerel. So the son and daughter must have both been carrying lav and when bred together produced lav/lav.

Image

I only used geek in the kindest, way because to me you gave us very knowledgable, interesting information. :wink:

Genetics would be Gk/Gk

or

so is :geek: Gk/Gk
and :ugeek: gk/gk

or the other way around.

By the way, now that I know you like him so much, he may be useful. (we really need a devil smilie!) :biggrin:


Last edited by coopslave on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Showy Hen
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...yeah...maybe, but lavender intersects with black/blue/splash quite often (Pekins and Araucanas at least)
Your summary is so almost comprehensive that adding a bit more info on lavender would be useful to those pointed to it in the future.
I think that maybe lavender also turns the black flecking in a splash to lavender flecking, but I'm not sure.
If someone can confirm this then maybe you would consider adding the info.

Also as I understand, both blue and lavender depend on the quality of the black, in that neither are effective in eliminating red/gold.

Edit: Coopslave: that lavender/blue looks to be quite pale, not a dark blue I suggest. Due to the lavender further diluting the black?


Last edited by Rubber Neck on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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