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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm taking charge of the oops-babies at my neighbor's loft, now that they are graduated from squeakers to Young Birds, and 3 of these little guys are full sibs. Rusty is the oldest one, and I guess is a red check of some kind... his/her mother is the Red Hen feeding her next round squeakers in the pic. They are both checks, but one is white on the back and the other is grey. Papa Pij is a very dark check (is that what's called velvet?) and has two white spots just at the base of his tailfeathers. He also has a most wondrous wattle (is that the right word?) that looks like a big mustache. ;)


Rusty

Red Hen feeding Rusty's sibs

Papa Pij (feeding squeaker of another pair, same age as the check twins)

My main question is - which type of red color are the red hen and Rusty?
Is this the sex-linked type of red? What other modifiers may be in play?

The pic of Rusty is from about 3 weeks ago, and moulting is in progress... It looks like the head and neck are going to be darker than the picture; can't tell about the wings & body yet.

I'm especially looking forward to hearing from George & Becky... I'm all good with cat coat color genetics, but pigeons are way different!

Sorry some of the shots are "soft" - my camera is pretty good but I'm a poor photographer... there are more pix of the Red Hen and Papa Pij in my album.
 

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The red in these birds is called Ash-red. It is one of the three basic colors. It is also the most dominant of the three.

The hen is a ash-red bar (if you say she's a check, then she's a light one, as I can't really tell). I see white flights on her as well as some white patches on the rump. So she's pied.

Rusty is an ash-red check who is carrying blue (see those blue flecks in the tail? that's what tells you he's carrying it). Some birds have white rumps, and others have the same color on the rump as the rest of the bird. I think Rusty just happened to inherit the non-white rump. I don't know how that works, never thought much about it. I just know in the wild Rock Doves, the rumps are supposed to be white.

Anyways, the father, if his wing shields are almost solid red, but you can see some little lighter spots, he is probably a t-check. They get that name because the tips of the feathers will have lighter 't's on them. Another name for it is velvet, so you are right on that :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Red Hen doesn't have any checks that I can see, and Papa Pij doesn't seem to have any red on him at all... he's almost black. Until I read here about the difference between a velvet and a spread, I would just have called him a "black pigeon." What's interesting to me is that the checked "twins" are both blue/grey color.

It also wonders me why there seem to be so few "red" pigeons (there are more than 200 at this loft, and maybe only about 20 or 30 are reds) since red is the most dominant of the base colors. I've read some about the modifiers, but don't quite have a handle on all those details yet. :rolleyes:
 

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The Red Hen doesn't have any checks that I can see, and Papa Pij doesn't seem to have any red on him at all... he's almost black. Until I read here about the difference between a velvet and a spread, I would just have called him a "black pigeon." What's interesting to me is that the checked "twins" are both blue/grey color.

It also wonders me why there seem to be so few "red" pigeons (there are more than 200 at this loft, and maybe only about 20 or 30 are reds) since red is the most dominant of the base colors. I've read some about the modifiers, but don't quite have a handle on all those details yet. :rolleyes:
This is what is called an open loft where all birds are mixed. What I see here is this HEN is not the true mother of these young some other hen laid those eggs but she brooded them.When it comes to checks ,bars, and barless these are not colors but are patterns. Remember color genes 3 Red ,Blue,Brown, pattern genes 3 Check,Bar, and Barless, modifiers many just to name a few Indigo, Recessive Red,Grizzle. I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU FEEL FREE TO ASK and we will try to answer to the best of our knowledge, but remember one thing we are are also learning this genetic stuff,so we are a long way from being experts on the subjects Thanks for the question .GEORGE
 

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Whoops. Just noticed the picture of the papa. When I made my first post, I was in a hurry because we were fixing to leave. Yes, he is a velvet (t-pattern). And a blue one, not a red one like I assumed, LOL. Sorry about that :p

I do not see why this mother couldn't be the real mom of all the babies pictured. T-pattern is separate from check, is it not? In that case, dad could be split for regular check. Therefore, you could get velvets and checks from the mating.


Also, this is a sex-linked mating. All red children from this pair will be cocks, and all blues will be hens. The only thing that stops that from being true is if some cheating goes on in the loft :p

A lot of red cocks are carrying blue. In fact, most of them that I see are carrying blue. So that's why most people have more blues, even if they have red breeders. Because instead of getting 50/50, you're now getting 75% blues and 25% reds, if the red cock is mated to a blue hen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
More color/pattern questions :)

This is what is called an open loft where all birds are mixed. What I see here is this HEN is not the true mother of these young some other hen laid those eggs but she brooded them.


I followed the links about colors & patterns from another thread in this section since I first posted... and now have another question.

@George: why could the red hen not be the mother of the blue checked squeakers? If they are both hens, they would have gotten their color from Papa, right? (which, I guess, makes Rusty a cockbird, if the Red Hen is his mother :confused:)

It is an "open" loft, (this is a coop of "retired" racers, not meant to be breeding; there weren't "supposed" to be any hens in there, but...) there are 4 "known" hens, and the rest seem to be cockbirds. Though these birds have raced from this loft, now they are essentially prisoners, and do not fly free outside. I have not seen any of the hens involved in familiar behaviour (mutual grooming, billing, mating) with any other birds than the mate with whom they shared a nest. Not to say it doesn't happen, but the hens actually seem to avoid the birds who aren't their mates (despite the most earnest roo-cooing on the part of the hopefuls).

The other hens I've been able to identify are a medium-patterned blue check, and two blue bars. All 4 of the hens were on eggs at the same time; the checked hen and her checked mate abandoned their egg (she had laid the other one in a box perch, d'oh!), and each of the blue bar hens has a blue bar offspring (those had each laid two eggs, but one chick from each clutch only lived a few days; sadly, we found them trampled one morning -- those 2 nests were near the food trough - convenient for the egg sitter, but too much traffic for chicks' safety). The mates of the blue bar hens are a blue bar, and a blue check.

Which begs another question: does the bar pattern on the offspring of the check cock mean the cock is heterozygous for check/bar pattern, or do I misunderstand the dominance hierarchy of patterns? The barred squeaker being fed in the picture of Papa Pij is the offspring of the "other" check cock and a blue bar hen.

All 3 pairs took turns feeding all the squeakers; when the chicks got big enough to walk around, the two single ones went over and sat in the same "nest" (= heap of feathers on the floor in a corner) with the check twins.

There are only 4 red birds in this coop: the Red Hen, Rusty (presumably her offspring; was already hatched when I first saw these birds), and two cockbirds, a barred one and a velvet-checked one. Neither of the red cockbirds seems to have a current mate. I don't know whether either of them is related to the Red Hen.
 
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