Can Colour Be A Guide?

As I was going through some old Racing Pigeon Pictorial magazines, dated August 1984, I came across an article on "Can Colour Be a Guide?" written by F.G.Wilson. I will quote excerpts of his work pertaining to breeding coloured pigeons. And I quote:-


"The only way to breed a black is from a black. The only way to breed a red mealy is from a red mealy. Many reported breeding a red mealy from blue chequers. These birds are mistakenly called reds. It is a colour which is less dominant than the blue brown tawny. When one compares the bird with real reds then one can gradually see the difference.


How do we breed silvers then? Basically, you need a son of a silver. Half of the offspring will carry a factor for silver. Indeed half of the hens bred will be silvers. If you own a silver hen it will only breed a silver if paired to a bird which silver or carries a factor for silver. In this instance, they will be silver cock and hens.


If the hen is not paired with a cock carrying silver, then she will not breed any silvers at all. However, her sons will carry a factor for silver and half of their daughters will be silvers. That is the granddaughters of the hen.

Let us take the factor for silver to be S. For normal blue/black colouration to be B. I do apologise if this insults the intelligence of the student of genetics but I do write here for the lay fancier.


Hence a silver cock will have a genotype of SS. i.e. two factors for silver (or to be precise dilute but when only blue-black is involved we can refer to the combination of silver.

A blue cock split for silver will have a phenotype BS factor of each and will be a normal blue, whereas a blue cock not carrying any factor for silver will be BB. A hen only has one factor. Hence it is either B- or S.


Hence it will be either a blue or silver - no split- and the phenotype will be the same as the genotype. The term blue refers to the colour, not the pattern. We normally refer to a blue bar as a blue.


One must be confused here. The bar is the pattern, not the colour. Hence the pattern could range from barless to heavy chequer. We are dealing with colour not pattern." Unquote.


Click on the next page to see the basic colours of pigeons.





A Red Pigeon