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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been thinking of homing gene for homers and trying to figure out whether they are recessive, dominant or sex-linked.

Here is my observation in my loft. I have one pair of breeders where if the babies are cocks, then they are either dumb or have no/poor homing ability while if it is a hen, they are bright and have homing ability. I also have another pair which is surprisingly the opposite of the above. The hens have poor homing ability while the cocks are pretty good.

My experiment is very simple. I toss their children and see who comes back. Then I try to take note which birds come home first, come home the next day or just went missing. And I noticed that pattern above. Obviously the experiment is not really scientific--just one of those backyard experiment.

What is anyone's observation?
 

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How far are these experiment tosses? Motivation will have a lot to do with how quick they come home, as well as body proportions and flight feather shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First toss, front of the house! I have a hen that flew east while the rest flew west where my loft is located. LOL! She came back the next day. Her sons gets lost at 1 mile toss! They are obviously young birds, routed and ranged, but mysteriously some have that look in the face that says "Oh crap I am lost!" when crated and released. Those sons seemed to have that tendency going the opposite direction. I toss them north where my loft is at south. My good birds head south. The dumb, poor ones, head north! And I end up predicting those are gone and it is true. Obviously if they can't make it 1 mile, I don't have those birds to toss anymore because they are lost! They are pretty birds though so I ended up color breeding them--no more toss for those children. I just let them loft fly and ranged one mile+ (living in semi-uphill has an added viewpoint advantage.) I can see them like dots in the sky. But crating them seems to show the worse in them. Hmmm....

So it seems to me that there must be a homing gene as well--inherited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Henry,

This dumb hen and her children are pure homers with racing blood I've been told! My other pair, which I think is a mix, is actually the ones that surprised me. Their children comes home and fast! This confused me ever since. The one I had high hopes for ended up actually the opposite.

But I do agree with your guess. This mix breed can be confusing. Sometimes they get/inherit the homing gene and some don't. Nevertheless it makes guessing about homing gene even better.

If I am going to start all over again, I would just to make sure that I have real pure homers. I do have ones here, but they are mated with mix homers/rollers.

So here at my loft I have the following breeders: pure male homers mix with cross, pure female homers mix with cross, cross with cross, pure with pure (I've been told). Now their children are mated with other children so I am now very confused! I don't have pure rollers.

Because of this confusion I started doing those backyard experiments and I am beginning to notice that there is indeed a homing gene that is passed. I am trying to figure out if it is sex-linked, but both male and female do seem to pass the gene. My cross with cross have the best homing hens, but their cocks have zero homing gene.
 

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Breed the cock that has the smart baby Hens to the Hen with the smart baby cocks. Cocks transfer to daughters and Hens transfer to sons. But to test this theory, breed the other couple also then test both sets of young. Let us know how it goes.

God Bless,
Tony
 

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Guardian Angel
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First thing ROD you are not working with a loft full of RACING HOMERS and your methods are not the best you your self have said that some of the birds are crosses. You do not race so you realy do not have a chanch to compair your birds against others that race.Now when I was racing I had birds that homed real good and were winners in races,when these birds were bred to other birds that were winners they did not produce winners so here we have two winners that homed real well but their young were not as good as their parents. GEORGE;)
 

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You would think by mating two winners you would produce winners but that's not always the case. You can have two non-race winners mated together that produce nothing but winners.....I wish I had the talent to find the right combinations to produce those winners....
 

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You would think by mating two winners you would produce winners but that's not always the case. You can have two non-race winners mated together that produce nothing but winners.....I wish I had the talent to find the right combinations to produce those winners....
Hi Henry, That is just my point,I have had birds that were homers and never won any thing that bred winners.I have had cases where I had two cocks in the same nest one would be a winner and the other just came home yes you guess it the winner bred nothing while his brother bred better youngsters. GEORGE ;)
 

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Hi Henry, That is just my point,I have had birds that were homers and never won any thing that bred winners.I have had cases where I had two cocks in the same nest one would be a winner and the other just came home yes you guess it the winner bred nothing while his brother bred better youngsters. GEORGE ;)
I've had the same thing happen. I got a daughter of Checkers back from a guy I had given her to when she was a squeaker. I had a YB from 2006 that did nothing in the races, but for whatever reason I can't explain, I liked him. So, when YB season was over in 2006, I said, "what the heck" and put him in the breeding loft and paired him with the hen from Checkers. In 2007 and 2008, he produced my best YB's. His latest one is a 2008 cock that has flown the first four races in OB's this year. 202, 217, 277 and 385 miles 4 weeks in a row. He was my 2nd bird on the first race and my first bird on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th race. The 4th race was that terrible race this past week end. He was the ONLY day bird I got. He's earned a well deserved week off this coming week end. ;)
 

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Hi Henry, That is just my point,I have had birds that were homers and never won any thing that bred winners.I have had cases where I had two cocks in the same nest one would be a winner and the other just came home yes you guess it the winner bred nothing while his brother bred better youngsters. GEORGE ;)
George, my compliment's for putting the subject matter in clear and understandable laungage.
I have had the same experience as you. I beat myself up trying to figure it all out. But at the end of the day, I realize it's the question that get's my attention. Not the answer.
And that in turn give's me the enthusiasm. What a great hobby!
 

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You would think by mating two winners you would produce winners but that's not always the case. You can have two non-race winners mated together that produce nothing but winners.....I wish I had the talent to find the right combinations to produce those winners....
Ever hear of rogue genes? A lot of these champs' lineage is inbreed, crossbred, linebred, and all the other kinds of breeding, in an attempt to pack in all these good genes to hopefully produce good pigeons. What they don't see, is those recessive 'bad' genes, that show up when mating the right champs together. A lot of highly inbred racing horses suffered pretty badly when the poor genes starting building up in the young. Lots of lethal genes started popping up.

So it's kind of common sense why two of the greatest birds in the world, can produce poor kids. If the genes don't match up right, chances are, you're going to get poor results. However, that's not to say you can't re-mate them to others and get even better birds than the parents. The thing is, no one (or at least not your average fancier) is going to know exactly what genes and traits your line of birds are made up of, and whether those are dominant or recessive. All you can really do in the end is make your best educated guess and go with it. You'll see certain common traits come up that you could guess are dominate, or have that random mutation that must have been hidden in the parent's genotype.

It isn't so much talent as it is luck. But you can make it a whole lot easier on yourself by keeping good records, knowing your birds, and weeding out the bad genes to the best of your ability.
 

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Ever hear of rogue genes? A lot of these champs' lineage is inbreed, crossbred, linebred, and all the other kinds of breeding, in an attempt to pack in all these good genes to hopefully produce good pigeons. What they don't see, is those recessive 'bad' genes, that show up when mating the right champs together. A lot of highly inbred racing horses suffered pretty badly when the poor genes starting building up in the young. Lots of lethal genes started popping up.

So it's kind of common sense why two of the greatest birds in the world, can produce poor kids. If the genes don't match up right, chances are, you're going to get poor results. However, that's not to say you can't re-mate them to others and get even better birds than the parents. The thing is, no one (or at least not your average fancier) is going to know exactly what genes and traits your line of birds are made up of, and whether those are dominant or recessive. All you can really do in the end is make your best educated guess and go with it. You'll see certain common traits come up that you could guess are dominate, or have that random mutation that must have been hidden in the parent's genotype.

It isn't so much talent as it is luck. But you can make it a whole lot easier on yourself by keeping good records, knowing your birds, and weeding out the bad genes to the best of your ability.
Well put. My mentor used to say "cover the waterfront" meaning, if you have good bird's in the first place. Your chance's are greater of breeding a winner.
Some year's my mating's are calculated, other's just openning the door and let them choose.
 

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Yep, that's a pretty good saying. Working your way up with birds with good racing ability, is a lot better than trying to start from scratch with birds that appear to have no good racing ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the input guys!

My simple experiment is not really professionally done, just backyard experiments. I am in fact breeding that poor nest mate to see whether the baby is good. I also breed the good nest mate as well.

Basically the goal of my simple experiment is to figure out where is the homing gene coming from. I used that crosses as mates to see whether a homing gene will gets transfer. I am trying to figure out whether homing gene can be liken to heterozygous or homozygous characteristics or even whether it is sex-linked. That is why I have those breeders: pure male homer x cross, cross x pure female homer, pure x pure, cross x cross, etc.

Sometimes my result points to sex-linked in that daughter is better than the cocks. But sometimes it doesn't matter at all! I have babies now with my cross x pure female homer, but they are still squeaking. They will be tested as well.

It would be perfect though if some of my birds are well-known not to have homing gene, but I don't have that. My crosses, I suspect, is homer/roller or homer/tipplers!

I have to add that this experiment will fail scientific scrutiny!

So what are your findings in your loft?

George,

I totally agree with you. I do have nest mate where the brother is poor homer, but the other one is good. Breeding pure doesn't necessarily also mean that they can be good.
 
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