Showing posts from March, 2012

Inbreeding: Why & Why not?

Inbreeding is the breeding together of closely related birds. Pairing of siblings, parents to offspring, grand-parents to grand children, half-brothers to half sisters are all examples of inbreeding. Beginners in breeding, often ask why this practice should be avoided when expert breeders regularly use inbreeding to establish new mutations and desirable traits in their lines. This post will discuss why inbreeding should generally be avoided and why it becomes useful for expert breeders. You don't need to be an expert in genetics to understand this article. I will only make use of the concept of dominant and recessive traits to explain the pros and cons of inbreeding. A recessive trait (feature) is one that will not appear in the children unless it is carried by both the parents. Both parents must pass on the same recessive gene to the child for it to become visible. To learn more, please read  Dominant and Recessive Genes  in my Genetics Tutorial . Most undesirable features ar

Gender Bias in Lutino x Pallid IRN Pairing

I have a pair of Indian Ringneck Parrots.  The male is lutino and the hen is pallid. The genetics of this pairing dictate that the male chicks will be pallidino and females will be lutino. It is therefore possible to identify the sex of the chicks in the box soon after hatching. The pallidino males have dark, blood red eyes, whereas the lutino hens eyes are a lighter red. As the birds start to grow pin feathers, the difference in the sexes becomes even more obvious. The lutinos show pure yellow pins and the pallidinos have a greenish tinge on their feathers. The photo shows 4 lutino female chicks and a pallidino male from the latest clutch. This pair has produced 18 chicks in 4 clutches during the last 2 years. The expected male to female ratio is 50:50. However, this pair has produced only 5 males and 13 females. The last two clutches have been 5 chicks each, with only 1 male and 4 females. The observation is based on the result of several clutches and seems to be statistically