My birds

I have bred most of the common mutations in personatus, but my main interest is in wild type green birds. I also have several other mutations such as blue, pastel, dark factor, dominant pied and turquoise. The majority of these mutations do play a role in my green project though.

I am working towards a pure green collection of personatus, but this is a challenge which is very difficult, if not impossible?

What is a “pure” green bird? For me, it is a green wild type bird that of course has no visual mutations but one that also has no mutation splits. Splits can hide for many, many generations so it is not easy to be certain a bird is pure. First and foremost, my methods for testing the purity of my birds are simply for my benefit, I’m not doing it to satisfy others and I will never sell a bird claiming it is ‘pure’. I will give my honest opinion of whether or not I believe it has splits, but I can never guarantee a bird is pure – nobody can.

I started this project when I began to get mutated young (blue) from a pair of my green birds. Now one option is to simply remove the mutated young, sell the parents (which are both split) and carry on with other birds. Every time a mutation appears, repeat this process, remove the birds responsible and keep going. Inevitably though, it will happen when trying to develop lines of green birds. Rather than waiting for this to happen, I would rather try and prevent it. Here is my approach:

The obvious concern is with autosomal recessive mutations. Dominant mutations are not a problem because you can visually see their presence in the bird. Autosomal recessive inheritance produces birds with splits. These are mutated genes that are “hidden” and do not change the visual appearance of the bird.

Looking at the recessive mutations in personatus we find:

- NSL ino (non sex linked ino)*

- pastel (allele of NSL ino)*

- DEC (allele of NSL ino)*

- bronze fallow (allele of NSL ino)**

- blue*

- aqua (allele of blue)**

- turquoise (allele of blue)***

- pale fallow**

- dun fallow***

- dilute***

- recessive pied***

 

*    These mutations are more common and pose the biggest risk of unwanted splits.

**  Do these mutations even exist in personatus? If so, they would be so rare it’s highly unlikely you will find a green bird split to any of them.

*** These mutations exist in personatus but are incredibly rare, giving very little chance of coming across a split.

Looking at the more common mutations, we can see there are several alleles involved (modified forms of the same gene).
I can use this to my advantage.

 If I pair a pastel blue with a green bird, I can test that green bird for several mutation splits at the same time.

Here are some possible combinations and the possible outcomes.

I have even included some of the mutations that may not even exist in personatus or those that are rare, simply because they are allelic to the more common mutations I am testing for.

If the green bird has no splits:

green x pastel blue =
100% green/pastel blue

All the young should be visually green.

If the green bird is split pastel:

green/pastel x pastel blue =
50% chance of green/pastel blue
50% chance of pastel green/blue

There is a 50% chance the offspring will be visually pastel.

If the green bird is split DEC:

green/DEC x pastel blue =
50% chance of green/pastel blue
50% chance of PastelDEC green/blue

There is a 50% chance the young will be visually PastelDEC. Pastel and DEC are alleles so they will visually express themselves when combined.

If the green bird is split NSL ino:

green/ino x pastel blue =
50% chance of green/pastel blue
50% chance of PastelIno green/blue

There is a 50% chance the young will be visually PastelIno. Again, two alleles are involved.

If the green bird is split bronze fallow:

green/bronze fallow x pastel blue =
50% chance of green/pastel blue
50% chance of BronzefallowPastel green/blue

There is a 50% chance the young will be visually BronzefallowPastel. Again, two alleles are involved.

If the green bird is split blue:

green/blue x pastel blue =
50% chance of green/pastel blue
50% chance of blue/pastel

There is a 50% chance the young will be visually blue.

If the green bird is split turquoise:

green/turquoise x pastel blue =
50% chance of green/pastel blue
50% chance of TurquoiseBlue/pastel

There is a 50% chance the young will be visually TurquoiseBlue young. Turquoise and blue are alleles, so they can visually express themselves when combined.

If the green bird is split aqua:

green/aqua x pastel blue =
50% green/pastel blue
50% AquaBlue/pastel

There is a 50% chance the young will be visually AquaBlue. Again, two alleles involved.

Of course, if the green bird has multiple splits there is also a good chance they will express themselves in the young. For example:

If the green bird is split pastel and blue:

green/pastel blue x pastel blue =
25% chance of green/pastel blue
25% chance of pastel green/blue
25% chance of blue/pastel
25% chance of pastel blue

As you can see from the results – the odds of the mutations expressing themselves are quite high.

To summarise I can say that there’s pretty much a 50% chance of the following mutations expressing themselves in the young if the green bird is split to either of them:

NSL ino, pastel, DEC, bronze fallow, blue, aqua and turquoise.

The question is, how many visually green young does a pair have to produce before it’s deemed as split free and pure? There is no definite answer, it’s down to the discretion of the breeder. The chance percentage is just that … it is a ‘chance’. Just because there’s a 50% chance of mutated young it doesn’t mean half the young in the nest will be mutated. You could have a nest of 6 chicks and not one of them is mutated!

Personally I am aiming to breed 12-15 green young before I am satisfied the bird is not carrying any splits. Does this mean the bird is pure? Not at all, it just means I am happy to progress forward with the bird and feel I have done enough to prevent any unwanted splits. Again, this is only for my own peace of mind – I breed for myself, not for others. Every single new green bird I add to my collection will be put through this process before they are involved in a green x green pairing. It’s certainly a challenge and not for everyone, but I like a tough challenge which is why I do it.

The pros of this method:

  • A little extra assurance that the bird is free from splits.
  • You get to breed some fantastic split birds which are great for breeding quality mutations.
  • When you find a hidden split, you usually get beautiful mutated young.
  • Perfect for projects that require birds that don’t have a certain split.
  • It’s a challenge. Challenges are fun and rewarding!
 The cons of this method:
  • It takes time and patience.
  • You have to keep certain mutations you may not have wanted to keep.
  • New green birds can’t be put to another green for at least 2 seasons, probably more.
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