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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:09 pm 
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I have a cayuga drake and cayuga ducks, all of which are totally black. I have hatched out some ducklings which are now 5 weeks old. As babies they had a yellow chest, which has now turned to patchy white. Will this white colour remain or will they turn totally black? As parents are totally black, shouldn't the ducklings be also entirely black?

Thanks, Ginny.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:47 pm 
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Even the very evenly black Cayugas can start to show some white as they age (not meaning old, just from 12-18 months onwards). It does not reverse: white patches will not become black. If your solid blacks had a parent with some white, that can show up in the next generation (your ducklings).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:32 am 
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The white feathers on the chest will remain.

As they get older they do develop more white all over the body but that's different to the white on the chest that you're seeing in these ducklings. The white on the chest is a patchy bib. It can show up in black birds as white bibs and black feathering seem to 'go together' (the genes co-occur). All you can do is avoid breeding from anything showing White on the chest....

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:05 am 
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Thanks for your replies. In that case I can't really sell them as purebred cayugas? As both the drake and the ducks are totally black I don't know which side the white is coming from. Just about to hatch more in a couple of days!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:08 pm 
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Well, it is not that unusual to have white pop up on the chest.... As I mentioned the white bib genes do tend to very closely follow the extended black genes....where you get one you tend to get the other.

Some bib genes are dominant and some are recessive. If your parent ducks have no visible bibs then I'd say you're dealing with the recessive kind, which also means that both parents are carrying a single gene for it. So you should get some ducklings with a bib and some without (but you can't tell by looking which are carriers of one gene only).

If you have room it'd be worth keeping a male and female bibbed duckling so you can test whether or not your unbibbed ducks carry the bibbed gene or not. If the bibbed one and unbibbed one together produce a bib you know the unbibbed one is carrying the bibbed gene. That way you can weed out the bibbed gene from your flock. Or you could just carry on with the luck of the draw and hope for very few bibs.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:15 am 
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Hi Rach, it all sounds a bit complicated. So, what you are saying is keep a bibbed male duckling and a bibbed female duckling and in time mate the bibbed female duckling with my unbibbed drake and mate the bibbed male duckling with the unbibbed female duck? As I have 3 female ducks which are related, how would I know which one has the white gene (or maybe they may all have it)?
Thanks, Ginny.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:41 am 
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Yes, that's the idea :)

Although if you've only been using the one drake then it's reasonable to guess that he's carrying the bibbed gene. So you know that already.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:08 pm 
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Thanks Rach, I will test it out in time and see how I go. Just hatched out a whole heap more ducklings and, looking at them, I think I may have quite a few which hopefully will be blacker than last time, fingers crossed. :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:23 pm 
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That's good! Fingers crossed here too :)

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