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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:59 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Ok say you have a sudden unexplained gene pop up where it shouldn't In a line. Say the line in the breed can be traced a long way back and never had silkie in it. But a chic hatches silkie feathered.
Is it the same gene as in the silkie breed or a different gene, a mutation causing the same or similar feathering effect? How likely is it a throw back from a very long time ago? What if silkie had never been crossed in the line?

You take this silkie feathered bird with no silkie in it and cross it to a silkie (pure silkie breed) and all chics hatch silkie. Is there anyway to test or find out if the genes causing silkie feathering are the same in each parent?

I ask for a reason... someone 'might' want to add to this topic... as we think something a bit interesting is going on. All by accident.

But just think on the first question genetic experts and see what you think. I am not a genetics expert so I have no idea at all. I think it is the same gene possibly a throw back... because I can not see anyway else it could happen. No arguing or I will get out my whip :swords:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:19 am 
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Recessive genes can hide in your line for a long time, especially if you keep your blood fresh.

If cross to genuine silky gives 100% silky then the "gene" is at least allelic to it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:31 am 
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What if no fresh blood was added to the line for a long time? It isnt my line so I don't know I am just curious.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:40 am 
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A lot can happen in an unknown line of chickens... ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:58 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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The silkie allele was caused by a mutation at some indeterminate time in the past. It could be that the mutation or a similar one has happened again. More likely however is that it has been carried in that line unseen until now.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:30 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Ok, if the "silky" gene is hidden , both parents would need to carry it to bring it out ? What if say you crossed the "suspect" line with an unrelated line ( a different gene pool and different breed) with traceable ancestry... And out of a batch of chicks from this cross one pops out with the mutation??? How likely is it to be a mutation at work here ?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:39 am 
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If the gene is recessive and has been hiding in the line, then if you cross your mutant out to a chook from a different line of known ancestry with no silky and none of the chicks are silky-feathered with seven or more hatching, you can be 95% certain it's a recessive gene that has made an appearance, one copy from each of your 'mutant's parents, and could well be the silkie gene, or an equivalent.

If however you make the above cross and half of the chicks are silky feathered (again you want six or more chicks total) then the gene is dominant and likely a de novo (new) mutation in your mutant chook and will not be the same mutation as that which causes the feathering in silkies.

I would love to hear the results if you make that cross!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:02 am 
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I have made numerous "experimental" crosses. At present I have only had cockerals hatching with the feathering.... Which is itself interesting . It will show up crossing lav to lav and now lav cockerel over different breeding... Only have 3 chicks out, one of which is differently feathered.

What was happening is I was getting around 10% of chicks hatch like this from the lav birds. So after thinking ok if this is a recessive gene appearing in both lines ( hen and cock bird But different lines) then by crossing out to an unrelated breed carrying no silkie blood then it should not appear. But lo and behold there it is in one of the first 3 chicks ......

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:21 am 
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That is interesting. It sounds like it's a sex-linked gene.

Is the original affected bird a cockerel or a hen?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:29 am 
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Now that you've mentioned lavender ~ there is a feather fault that is linked to lavender. Perhaps you have a more extreme version of that?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:47 am 
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Hi andrewschooks, yes I am aware of the feather fault linked to lavander, but this feathering is like the silkie feathering, not like the distressed broken feathering one can see in the lavs.... It's a mystery.

I "think" ... Though I am not 100% sure(95% maybe) that the gene is coming through from my original cockerel. He seems to be the most probable and common factor. His son is sire of the 3 chicks from the unrelated breed hen, one of which is differently feathered . I am unsure if his daughters carry. I plan to do a test pairing with a small black Cochin cockerel to see if I get any differently feathered chicks, I haven't got that far yet. If I don't then perhaps it is carried by the cockerals ? Affecting only cockerals ? .... Is this possible ? Or should I expect to see some differently feathered chicks from the hen.. And if only cockerals affected again leads to a good chance it is sex linked

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:51 am 
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Bearing in mind that in birds the sex linkage is opposite to humans, so cockerals carry two copies of sex linked genes and hens only carry one, you would expect to see it in the hens if it was sex linked. Unless is it hemi-zygous lethal, heterozygous dominant and any carrying hens are dying in the shell.

So are you saying that you had a cockerel with normal feathering, who had a son with the same odd feathering, and the son is siring the odd chicks on the unrelated hen? Was the son's mother related to the original cockerel, do you know?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:01 pm 
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The original cockerel and the son are both normal feathered. I don't keep the birds with the defective feathering. The original lav cockerel I paired with an unrelated lav hen who produced normal feathered cockerel who I kept and his sibling( silky feathered ) who chookster has. The normal feathered son I have paired with an unrelated hen of different breeding (different breed) to produce 3 chicks, one of which is silky feathered. I wanted to see if it were a recessive silkie gene at play or some form of mutation. It interests me, I like the puzzle. So basically all lav. Stock I am
breeding from are normal feathered.

The hens are unrelated to the original rooster.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:35 pm 
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Ok, I'm working out the family tree on a piece of paper. (I have a genetics major)

Two more questions:
1) Is the hen of a different breed that you crossed to your normal-feathered son lavender?
2) Do you know the sexes of the three chicks which that cross produced?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Thanks for all your help with this.

Answers:
1. Yes the normal feathered son is a bantam lav araucana, the hen I put him to is a Cochin x leghorn ( I have both her purebred parents so I know her makeup)

2. I believe I have in the chicks , ( they are still very young) 1x silkie feathered cockerel and 2 x normal feathered pullets.

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