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?

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