Now, let’s get to the cool stuff. Since Pearl Gray is the dominant in color and pearling, I know that when I cross them with any of my other colors the resulting keets will ALL be Pearl Gray, phenotypically speaking. But their genotype… they wouldn’t be pure Pearl Grays, now would they?
If you have no clue what’s going on, you may have missed my previous posts…
I’m starting with Lavender. Both Lavender and Coral Blue have to have homozygous recessive genes for the blue background color, which is denoted with “bb” for the lavender/blue color to be expressed. Where they differ is the pearling. I believe that Lavender are fully pearled, “PP,” and the Coral Blues are semi-pearled, “Pp.” There might be more underlying genetically for the pearling, but at this point I’m not sure, so I’m just going with basics for now.
In my Punnett Square, a Lavender is:
- bb: homozygous recessive for the blue background color
- PP: fully pearled
If I breed a Lavender x Lavender (bbPP x bbPP):
Phenotype: 100% Lavender guineas
Genotype: 100% pure Lavender guineas
This means Lavender is a stable gene and it “breeds true,” meaning I know that when I breed a Lavender guinea to another Lavender guinea, I will always get Lavender keets 100% of the time.
If I cross a Pearl Gray x Lavender (GGPP x bbPP):
Phenotype: 100% Pearl Gray guineas
Genotype: 100% Pearl Gray split to Lavender
With this crossing of Pearl Gray with Lavender, first generation offspring will all show up a Pearl Gray in color, but will not be pure and all will carry a copy of the unexpressed recessive Lavender gene. This is important when breeding this generation back together. This is where it can get tricky also. Especially with breeding stock you purchase with unknown origin, ie: hatchery. If the birds are not pure Pearl Gray and are split to another color, like Lavender, you have a possibility of not getting all Pearl Grays. (As shown below). This is where it gets interesting.
If I breed a Pearl Gray split to Lavender x Pearl Gray split to Lavender (GbPP x GbPP):
Phenotype: 75% Pearl Gray, 25% Lavender guineas
Genotype: 25% pure Pearl Gray, 50% Pearl Gray split to Lavenders, and 25% Lavender
In lay terms, if I were to breed my pure Pearl Gray to one of my pure Lavenders, I would get all Pearl Grays in their offspring. But, if I were to breed their offspring together, I can potentially get 1 pure Lavender out of every 4 keets hatched, or 25%.
What would happen if I bred the first generation offspring (Pearl Gray split to Lavender) to a pure Lavender (GbPP x bbPP):
Phenotype: 50% Pearl Gray guineas, 50% Lavender
Genotype: 50% Pearl Gray split to Lavender, 50% Pure Lavender
Breeding a Lavender split to a pure Lavender increases my chances of getting more pure Lavenders than breeding two Lavender split offspring.
Aren’t genetics amazing!?
Or are you asleep right now….
This IS amazing! Who would have thought it was such an interesting road to study… I am entranced with your naughty little guineas! I may have to experiment in future – MH
Are guineas fairly easy to raise? The chicken kid has been eyeing them up…
It depends probably on who you ask. I think they’re super easy, but I’m home a lot (and I’m sure you are too). Once they start free ranging they need to be taught boundaries and all. And they are the noisiest and dumbest birds you will have, which is something you either love or hate. I love my little clowns and I think the chicken kid needs some too 🙂
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