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Got the blues

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1 Got the blues on Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:59 pm

Blue Hill Farm

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Blue Ameraucanas that is.  I love you 

Some of this years blue (and blue/silver) chick crop...I'm excited to see how these guys grow out over the summer, especially the splits.  Smile 
and if S/-s really will help guard against brassiness caused by sun damage. Question sunny  study











2 Re: Got the blues on Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:24 pm

mirycreek

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Nice! I see you got the zip band thing going too.  Now bluehill farm makes so much sense!

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

3 Re: Got the blues on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:25 am

CynthiaM

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Oh boy, you have some beautiful looking blues there. I don`t think the genetic selection of trying to breed brassiness on blues done by sun damage out is possible. could be wrong. Sun can damage the blue colour for sure and cause the brassiness, but that is not the same as what is known as red leakage, aka autosomal red showing up, that is genetic. sun damages blue and causes that brownish hue for sure. I would like to find out if the breeding S/s- helps, I personally don't know enough about this, and as a blue breeder, really should do more homework, but just have not, sigh...time constraints. this is awesome and I sure would love to hear the results. I believe that I have rid my breeding program of the autosomal red leakage in my blue cochins, haven't seen much of that in last years breedings. With the cochins, blue, that is, I have never seen any leakage occur until about the 16th week of life, then if it is present, it does show up. I had a few last year, a couple of really bad cases, really bad, but they went to the processor. The others are crystal clear blue, keepers. It will be interesting this year for me to see if that shows up in any offspring. Can't wait for around week 16, smiling....nice work. Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM

4 Re: Got the blues on Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:57 am

KathyS

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They are looking so nice, Blue Hill Farm! And as they mature and develop their adult plumage, the color should even out some more and the lacing become more distinct. You are doing great work with your Ameraucanas! Isn't it a great feeling to see such a promising batch of youngsters growing out! I love you

http://www.hawthornhillpoultry.com

5 Re: Got the blues on Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:21 am

Blue Hill Farm

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Thanks guys.  Smile I love my blues best of all. in fact, if I could only have ONE variety, I'd be hard pressed not to choose blue. I love you 

Miry, I do indeed. Zip ties are wonderful things....so many useful applications around the farm. Including chicken leg bands. lol I'm working up the nerve to try out my new zip style wing bands...I need to get another permanent ID on everyone soon. Toe punch is fine and dandy for marking family lines, but not as good for tracking individuals I've discovered....

Cynthia, you are right. Silver is a sex linked dominant gene and will express in a single dose. It changes gold (s+) into Silver (S), but has no effect on AR. Thankfully I don't think I have much (if any) autosomal red in my flock, except maybe carried by one single hen from another strain. I will be keeping some of her offspring to grow out and see if AR is hiding there.... According to my genetic book, Silver has no effect on black (and therefore its dilution to blue) but a huge effect on gold, as it's converted into white. Silver is often used to improve 'white' in some breeds as it creates a super, clean white. As well as prevents the white from turning yellow. My goal is to have a silvery white base as opposed to a creamy golden one. And no rusty brown sun damage. Not sure if I'm even barking up the right tree, but I'm definitely having fun!  cyclops I'll be sure to post updated pics as they grow...

Kathy, it's a great feeling alright. Very Happy I'm expecting mild to moderate leakage in the F1 splits as they mature, but hope they will retain what lacing (edging) they have... I'd love to get my hands on a well laced specimen in a few select breeds...just super hard to find, and convince somebody to part with...but I'm getting ahead of myself again. Baby steps!  Wink I'm so glad I went ahead with pair mating this season (even though it was a ton of extra work, egad) because I'm learning first hand that not all pairings/and their offspring are created equal. Still can't believe how vigorous the split chicks are in comparison to some of the others...also happy to say I've had my first ever 100% hatch, and not just once, but twice!  cheers

6 Re: Got the blues on Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:21 am

KathyS

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Thank You 
That's a great explanation of the influence of silver when breeding blues, Blue Hill Farm!  But I need a bit more detail from you!

So can we do this here or would you prefer a new topic, BHF?   I'm just gonna carry on because I know how easy going you are!!     Very Happy

First of all, you used the word "edging" as opposed to "lacing".  I've done some reading on this as well, and some folks seem to think that, when referring to most blue poultry, edging is a more correct term and is not the same as true lacing (ie Silver Laced Wyandottes).  The true lacing of the SLW results from greater pigmentation along the outside of each feather.  In contrast, edging is believed to be the result of a lack of pigmentation along the outer edge.  since Blue is just a dilution of black, the edging gene allows the dark feather color to come through.  Interesting eh!

Secondly, (and here's my real question!).  About removing gold (s+) from Blue...how long should I expect this process to take?  And how exactly to go about it in the best way?  

Here's where I'm at with my Blue Cochins.  Last year I found myself in that situation that Brian Reeder refers to as an impasse.  After 6 years with little new blood I felt I had reached the limit of what could be accomplished from within my flock and wasn't seeing much hope for further improvement.  I had been watching for possibilities of new Blue breeding stock, but couldn't find those desired traits in the other lines of Blue Cochins I came across.  Most seemed to be dealing with the same issues as me.  I felt I had no option but to bring in an exhibition line of Black Cochin for an outcross.

Now, I realize that crossing blue with Exhibition blacks is considered risky, since they are most often based on gold rather than silver.  I'd been bracing myself for problems with brassiness, as well as a loss of crisp edging, since pure black lines do not carry the lacing/edging gene.  I think it's been mentioned that the brassy leakage is sex-linked, and is more persistent or noticeable in males.  I'm seeing this already, in both female and male offspring.  I'll attach a picture here of a pullet that has an off-color tone that isnt quite brass or bronze, but more of a washed out muddy tone.
But believe me, I have no regrets with this outcross as a whole!  I can't believe the improvements I'm seeing in size, shape and other important traits.  I just need a good solid plan to bring back the proper color as quickly as possible.  I'm thinking this will involve breeding a good male cockerel f1 back to the mother who I believe had no gold in her background?  Input most appreciated!


http://www.hawthornhillpoultry.com

7 Re: Got the blues on Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:29 am

Beep

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Beautiful blues!!! I love the blues too, blue silkies and blue marans, and slightly different "blues" - as in blue wheaten ameraucanas. Love the blues!!

8 Re: Got the blues on Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:09 pm

k.r.l

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Nice looking Blue Cochin. Looks like it should have some good size once it is mature.

I believe you have a good plan breeding an F1 cockerel back to an original blue hen that has proper colouring.

9 Re: Got the blues on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:07 am

Blue Hill Farm

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Kathy, sounds like a solid plan to me. I know old time breeders often write ‘there is no sire like a close bred sire’. Just takes time and patience to implement. Your pullet is lovely btw.  Smile 

The majority of blue poultry I’ve seen (including my own flock) lack the necessary pattern genes to ever achieve true lacing. The best I can hope for is nice edging, which well pretty enough, isn’t the real deal. I like how you explained the difference between edging (lack of pigmentation) and lacing (more pigmentation). A neat way to tell the difference between edging and lacing is to take a feather and put it up against a white surface. The edging will be clear against the white and the lacing will be dark. I thought that was pretty cool. And it works!

The formula I have down for lacing is: the pattern gene (Pg)  melanotic (Ml) and Columbian (Co) in homozygous form; on either birchen (ER) or extended black (E), and preferably sex linked silver (S)

Unfortunately there are no laced varieties in Ameraucanas (not yet anyway) for outcrossing too, so I will need to go outside the breed to find what I need. Then the real fun begins.  bounce 

By my calculations (and help from my friend the chicken calculator) it’ll take me a minimum of one to two generations to get E/E back as pure, and to select wild type (e+) out. That’s if I don’t mess up, lol. It’s not quite that easy either, because I need to bring along the right modifiers so everything expresses as it should….so having a large quantity of chicks to select from will be important to increase chances of the right genes combining. That and a lotta luck. And my mother thinks I don’t like to gamble.  Razz 

I will try to answer your second question, but please keep in mind my understanding of poultry genetics is rudimentary at best. Hopefully I'm not mucking stuff up...  Embarassed and someone will correct me if so...

Providing you only use pullets from a pure S/S male, you should be able to get ground colour back pretty quick, along with silver. But if the male is split for gold (S/s+), you could run into minor complications because he’ll produce more split sons (and it will be hard to tell the difference between the two) as well as daughters that could be either S or s+ (they can’t be both, only one or the other). Evaluating chick down may help somewhat, though just one dose of silver will turn both sexes down silvery blue, where as gold will make chick down yellowish. Does that make sense?

Ya, it's amazing how much a good outcross can effect vitality in the first generation. Will be interesting to see if it can be maintained in the following ones as well... cyclops

10 Re: Got the blues on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:30 am

Blue Hill Farm

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Say....don't LF Cochins come in Silver Laced?  Exclamation Twisted Evil cyclops

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