WEFOUNDGenetics of the Fowl: The Classic Guide to Chicken Genetics and Poultry Breeding by F B Hutt (2003-05-13)


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Best studied eumelanin diluter is Dominant White . Heterozygotes often show a grayish tint of white and speckles of colored feathers. This white is epistatic to all other eumelanin diluters. Phaeomelanin is not greatly affected, at least in 1 dose. In my own experience Dominant White seems to act as a melanizer, expanding the former black patterned areas. This could be interpreted as phaeomelanin inhibition also, the old consensus.

Most common after that is Blue , being the heterozygous form of Splash . This a gray dilution of black that has a nice contrast with the gold and red tints of the chicken's groundcolor, which it does not affect. Blue tends to be uneven, dark edged or speckled with black and can be darkened by melanizers up to flat black. It also tends to get rusty. Splash (homozygous) is similar to heterozygote Dominant White as it can range from pure white to grayish and speckled.

Dominant White mutation has produced a revertant mutation called Smoky . This allele is dominant to Dominant White but recessive to wildtype. It acts against the mechanism of Dominant White rendering a smoky blue color similar to splash Blue. This blue color would be purebreedable like lavender. The mutation is very rare though, so don't worry about your splash Blue chickens.


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