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I'm hoping that someone with a knowledge of pigeon genetics can help me with two questions.

1- So I have a high percentage of this years babies that are slate (or pencil as some call them). I haven't ever had them before from my pairs. Can a sickness experienced by the parents effect the color of their babies. I went through a tough bout with PMV in my breeders early in the year. I don't know of anything that could suddenly produce a color shift in the babies. Anyone seen anything like this?

2- I have a rather normal, standard looking pair and they are a new pairing, cock is a blue bar, hen is a blue check. No white flights, no pied markings, NO WHITE. So not only are their babies slate (see #1), they have white flights. Their first round also had a slate color but barred wings, no white. Are the white flights even genetically possible from parents that have no white flights? I thought white flights are a dominant trait and that if either of the parents have one white flight gene they will show it. Is this right? Doesn't this imply that if both parents are without white flights, it is impossible for their babies to have them?

So anyways, maybe I have a sneaky slate with white flights sneaking in the loft and visiting my hens. Can't think of anything else it could be.
 

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1st question: No, there is no such thing as sickness will alter babies to look different.. You probably meant mutation. Mutation is a random of chance. Anyway sick parents will only produce sick babies! Not good to breed sick birds. Must cure them back to health before breeding.


2nd question: If you got a slate babies, that means both of the parents carries the smoky gene. If you got babies with white flight and the parents do not have any, its common. The pie/splash gene is responsible for it. Its very possible. That means either one of the parent birds must carry a pie gene for the babies to have with feather.

Also slate is not pencil. Smoky is slate while Sooty is pencil. The best way to get more accurate information is to post up picture of your birds.
 
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