Friday, March 8, 2013

Peafowl 201: Genetics, Colors, part 2

In our last post we discussed breeding with the colors that follow the normal patterns, in this post we'll talk about the other colors, referred to as sex-link colors.  This includes Cameo, Peach, Purple and Violeta.
A young pair of Peach (male on the right, female on the left)

Purple Pied Peacock

There are some basic rules that apply to these sex-link colors:

  • Males can be split to a color, females cannot*.
  • A split male can only pass that color on to a female chick(50%); male chicks from a split male will be blue but split to that color(50%) or blue(50%). 
  • In order to produce a male of one of these colors you must have a female of color with a split male or two birds(M and F) of that color.
*Interesting work is being done to study this and the results may prove this rule as not absolute, but it is the general rule for use and most typical result.

Again, for these examples we will use the traditional (or barred) pattern.  We will use Peach in this example but you can substitute Cameo, Purple or Violeta instead. Some examples:

  • Peach male times peach hen = all peach chicks.
  • Peach male times blue hen = all peach hens, all blue split peach males.
  • Blue split Peach male times blue hen = 50% peach hens, 50% blue split peach males.
  • Blue split Peach male times Peach hen = of the males 50% will be peach, 50% will be blue split peach; of the hens 50% will peach, 50% will be blue. 
  • Of the sex link colors, Peach is also unusual as it is believed to have originated from two other sex link colors, cameo and purple.  Notably it has been found that a split to peach male may give an occasional purple or cameo offspring as well as peach.  This gives further evidence that this color originated from the cameo and purple color lines.
At our farm we work with both split birds and full color ones.  We have three males that are split Peach and one Peach male, along with several Peach hens.  

Black Shoulder split Peach Peacock
Silver Pied split Peach Peacock

By utilizing the split Peach boys over blue hens we can increase the number of Peach hens we hatch without having to have more Peach males.

In our next genetics discussion we'll cover the last two colors we haven't yet mentioned, Charcoal and White.  Very interesting genetics on these two!

Now that you know the differences between breeding sex link colors and the others, what do you find most interesting?  Which color do you think would be the most fun to work with?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

TEN years

Today our oldest, Sydney, turned ten.  Wow, ten years.  I thought about doing a list of ten things like I did for the others but I've been doing a lot of thinking about her and what I keep coming back to is the day she arrived.  The day she gave me the best gift I could ever imagine, the day she made me a MOM!
I remember her birth with such detail.  Sydney was born early in the morning (3:45AM) on March 3, 2003.  When the Dr. told me my due date was 3/3/03 I remember saying what a great birthday that would be, he laughed and commented on how something like 20% of babies are born on their due date.  I was still insistent baby would arrive on that day.
I had a very normal pregnancy with her and we spent the last couple weeks eagerly awaiting her arrival.  Of course in my weekly Dr. visits he would say how close I was to going into labor and how I would not be back the next week.  For three weeks that held true!  On that last week, I had an appointment on Friday, Feb 28.  The doctor was sure I would have a baby by the end of the weekend but scheduled me to come back on that upcoming Monday, March 3.  I remember leaving his office laughing at the doctor and thinking of what I would say to him on Monday.
We spent that weekend enjoying our last few days as of our baby-free life.  I had arranged to work from home until the baby did arrive but I was really hoping I would not be turning on my laptop that upcoming Monday.  Hubby joked to the baby that if she would come out today, he would take the whole week off of work to be with her.  I wanted to walk because I thought that would help bring on labor.  We went to a local mall on Saturday and met with hubby's sister and her husband for dinner.  It was a great evening and we all joked that hopefully the spice from the Mexican dinner we had would kick start labor.   Sunday morning I woke to a phone call and surprise visit from one of my oldest, closest friends.  We hadn't seen each other in months and he was marveling at how big my belly was and how odd it was to see me that way.  We spent the day catching up and just hanging around our house.  He kept trying to convince baby to make her appearance right then so he could be there but Sydney was not budging and was happy to stay in her warm cocoon inside me.  Dinnertime finally came around and my friend had to leave to make his was back home (3 hours away) with distinct instructions to let him know as SOON as she did decide to come.  Little did we know how soon that would be!
After he left, hubby and I thought we'd take a short nap and then maybe find another store to go walk around in.  I couldn't get comfortable and felt restless so I convinced hubby to take a little walk around the neighborhood since the temperature that day was unusually warm. We decided to walk down to the ice cream stand about three blocks away for a treat.  As we were making our way back the temperature started plummeting and by the time we were back home it was snowing.  As the evening wore on the snow just got worse too.
As it started to snow we hurried home as fast as my waddling would take me but we were both shivering by the time we reached the front door.  Another friend called to check on me, knowing my due date was the following day, and it was at that time that I first noticed what I thought might possibly be actual contractions signaling labor.  I told her I thought that I might actually be starting labor RIGHT NOW and that I was going to take a warm bath and would keep her posted.  I drew a warm bath, filing our huge tub as full as I could get it.  Hubby settled in to play a computer game to pass the time.  At this point, timing gets a bit hazy but I was not in the bath long when I realized yes, this pains were not stopping and WOOHOO! this could be IT!
I think it was around 7:30 at this point and the only clue I have on that is that we were watching The Simpsons and the shows that followed it that evening.  LOL  We began timing the contractions and found they were about 15-20 minutes apart.  My in laws called for the evening check in and hubby said that we thought this might be IT and to stand by for a bit longer and we would let them know.  We noticed the contractions started going from 15-20 minutes apart down to about 10 minutes apart and knew this was definitely IT!  I told hubby to start making calls and get things packed into the car.  he was hurrying around getting everything ready as I was trying to time the contractions.  Somehow we went from 10 minutes apart to 3 minutes apart!  I remember hubby saying, 'what happened to every 5 minutes? I never got my 5 minutes!'
Luckily we were only about 10 minutes from the hospital because as we got into the car we realized the snow from earlier had really picked up!  It was an outright, full blown snow storm.  By this time it was about 9:30 at night.  We were only a few minutes from the hospital but our parents were over an hour away which made me nervous for their drive.
As we pulled into the hospital it was oddly empty.  Despite having pre registered they still needed to check us in and asked me what felt like a thousand questions (but was probably only a few minutes) while I was wincing in pain from the near constant contractions now.  They quickly wheeled me up to to labor and delivery which would found completely dark.  No women laboring, no doctor's, no nurses, no lights on even!
The person who wheeled me up called and a nurse appeared out of nowhere.  She asked what was going on and I said, 'Labor is eminent.' She laughed and said she had been a L&D nurse for over 20 years and has never heard a woman say that.  LOL  Because I was the only one there I was treated to the largest room they had and ended up with two nurses all to myself. :)  It was this time that we realized we never called the doctor or the hospital earlier to let them know i was in labor.   oops.  The contractions were coming one on top of the other and I just wanted some relief or at the least a chance to catch my breath.  The nurse quickly got me changed and hooked up to the monitors where hubby commented the one showing contraction strength kept going off the chart and never went all the way down.  I could have told him that. LOL
Because we had forgotten to call my doctors they were not there yet so the in house doctor checked me when we arrived.  He insisted on doing an ultrasound because he thought the baby was breech which was fine but hubby and I knew that was not the case from my dr. visit less than two days before that.  They confirmed she was head down and then called my doctor to fill them in.  It turned out one of the midwives was on call that night.
By the time we were settled in all the parents had arrived.  They were able to say a quick hello before they came in to give me an epidural.  Once that took effect I was able to chat with everyone and let my body do the work.  I think it was somewhere around midnight or 1am by this time.  We figured it would be a little while so everyone went back to the waiting room so that hubby and I could get a little rest.  Before that could happen though I started to feel sick like I was going to vomit.  I actually tried to get up out of bed (LOL) but the nurse laughed and said I wasn't going anywhere.  She got me a large container and as I got sick my water broke.  It was at this point they realized there was merconium in the fluid.  Things started moving very quickly after that.
They paged the midwife and the pediatrician that was in the hospital.  We were fortunate he happened to be the head of the department too.  The next thing I knew the midwife was bounding through the door, full of energy (just what we need at that time too!) and proclaimed it was time to get to work and get this baby out.
Suddenly the room transformed with lights coming down from the ceiling and the bed coming apart.  I did not push long and before I knew it they were laying my sweet girl on my belly so I could get my first look before quickly whisking her away to be thoroughly checked over.  I remember my first words to her were "MY BABY!"  I thought my heart might explode from happiness at that point. <3
Hubby followed her over to the other side of the room where the doctors quickly worked to make sure she had not swallowed any of the fluid.  She was measured, weighed and wrapped up tightly.  Thankfully she was perfectly fine and suffered no ill effects at all.  Yet another miracle in addition to her birth itself.  As hubby brought our beautiful little girl over to me I could hardly believe it.  It was just before 4AM, her birth being 3:45 AM on March 3, 2003.
About an hour after she was born I was moved to a recovery room and we settled in for a long day ahead; everyone was excited to meet little Sydney!  I never did get to sleep until almost 11pm that Monday night.
Later that morning my Dr. came in to say hello and I recall telling I had totally forgot to call to cancel that appointment.  How funny that seems now and he even laughed at that saying he would be sure to let them know.
Before we knew it we were being released to come home and start our adventure as a family.  The fun and adventures haven't stopped since. :D

I still can't believe she is ten years old today!  Sydney is an amazing little girl who has exceeded everything I could have ever hoped for in a daughter.  I am so, so proud of her!  I do not want to speed up one minute of the time I have with her but I cannot wait to see what she does with her life.
Pictures from Sydney's first minutes after being born.  The picture in the top right corner is the first time I held her and our first picture together.