I got a phone call from someone who had newly joined the sport and was looking for genetic information so he could obtain some ideas on what he might breed. He was fascinated with Spangles, but the outcomes did not match what he had read in his books.
I suppose part of the joy of raising Budgerigars is that what a bird is carrying is frequently very different from what is seen. I recall purchasing a Dark Green cock. This bird was divided blue, redeye, and cinnamon, which I had no idea about. I got a Light with this combination. In the first round, there was a Green Cinnamon, a Cobalt, an Albino, a Lutino, and a Sky. It was somewhat shocking, but also quite intriguing.
Four birds were imported from England by a syndicate in which I was engaged. These have been raised for four seasons, and we have probably produced around 600 birds in the three aviaries that were part of the syndicate. These birds are all line-bred, and a Greywing has arrived in one aviary this year. This suggests that one of the original birds was split Greywing and passed it on to some of the offspring until two Greywing-carrying birds were coupled up and threw a Greywing. It will be fascinating to observe if and when any more greywings appear.
How many pairings?
I’m not sure how many matings are considered when determining what A partnered with B will produce. That is not always the case. When you cross a Lutino cock with a Normal hen, you should receive 50% Lutino hens and 50% Normal/Lutino cocks. However, you may receive all of one and none of the other.
According to what I’ve heard, the new Dominant Pieds bred better than 50% Pied. My first round included one Pied and four Normals, and my second round had five Pieds and one Normal, thus I made more than 50% throughout the two rounds.
So, how can one tell whether a bird is carrying more than meets the eye? Specifically, Bt breeding. Colors may be carried in three ways: visually, recessively, and sex-linked. Visual or dominating indicates that at least one of the breeding pairs must be of the desired species.
For recessive birds, both birds must have the color or type you desire to breed either aesthetically or physically. Blues may be bred using two visual blues, one visual blue and one split blue, or two split blues with both sexes split for color. If there is just one recessive in the pair, you will get some splits and the visual color will not show up till that bird is paired with another that has that recessive characteristic.
Only the Cocks may be divided for color in sex-linked birds, and the hen must be visible. Cinnamon’s, Redoes, and Opalines are all sex-linkage variations. When a Cinnamon cock mates with a Normal hen, the outcome is Cinnamon hens and Normal cocks that are split Cinnamon. When a split Cock is used instead of the Cinnamon, you will see Cinnamon and Normal hens, as well as split and Normal cocks. You will obtain split cocks and Normal hens if you utilize a Normal cock and a Cinnamon hen.
The spangles are a prominent variety, yet they choose to stand out. When you mate Spangle to Spangle and get a double factor, the Spangle markings vanish and you get a clear colored bird that will breed 100% Spangles when matched with a Normal bird.
When two yellow-face blues are coupled together, the double factor bird will appear like a Normal blue with the yellow-face traits concealed, but when partnered with another blue Normal, it will fling all yellow faces. When used with a green series bird, the yellow-face may likewise cause confusion. The green can carry the yellow-face, but only by breeding can you know. The interesting thing about this is that there is no loss of yellow color in these green birds, so you won’t get a lemon-face green.
Without going into detail, this is simply scraping the surface of genetics, and although it is enjoyable to experiment, there are certain advice about which species of birds should not be mated together. In his book The Bird Man, the late Harry Bryan mentions several of his suggested pairings as well as combinations to avoid.
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