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Genetics of Gouldian Head Colors
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Lady gouldians come in three head colors: red, yellow (orange), and black. (Please note that it is normal for hens to have a lot of black feathering in their masks, even if they are not black-headed.)


RH PB Normal Hen RH PB Normal Cock

Red head (RH) is a sex-linked dominant trait, so cocks can be double factor (DF) or single factor (SF) red heads and express it while hens can only ever be single factor (SF) and express it. No cock or hen can ever be split for red head.


BH PB Normal Hen BH PB Normal Cock

Black head (BH) is a sex-linked recessive trait, so cocks can be double factor (DF) (and express a black head) or single factor (SF) (and be "split" for black head) while hens can only ever be single factor (SF) and express it. No hen can ever be split for black head.


YH PB Normal Hen YH PB Normal Cock YTB PB Normal Cock

Yellow head (YH) is an autosomal recessive trait, but also requires at least one red head gene to be present in order to be expressed. If two yellow head genes are present on a bird that has no red head genes (and instead has black head genes), the bird will have a black head with a yellow tipped beak (YTB). This occurs because the bird is genetically a yellow headed bird, but it cannot express the yellow color because the yellow gene depends on the red head gene for expression, and the red head gene is not there. Both cocks and hens can be "split" for yellow head.


Here are some breeding charts which will give you a list of all potential outcomes from a given cock - hen pairing. Recall that Z and W denote the sex chromosomes of avian species (whereas X and Y denote the sex chromosomes of mammalian species), and that unlike mammals, the male finch is the homogametic sex (ZZ) and the female is the heterogametic sex (ZW).

RH PB Normal Cock×RH PB Normal Hen
DFRH cock × RH hen
Male Offspring

RH PB Normal Cock
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  Z Z
Z ZZ ZZ
W ZW ZW
Female Offspring

RH PB Normal Hen
All cocks produced will be DFRH & all hens will be RH.



RH PB Normal Cock×RH PB Normal Hen
SFRH cock × RH hen
Male Offspring

RH PB Normal Cock
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  Z Z
Z ZZ ZZ
W ZW ZW
Female Offspring

RH PB Normal Hen
BH PB Normal Hen
Theoretically, half of the cocks produced will be DFRH and the other half will be SFRH (/BH); half of the hens will be RH and half will be BH.



BH PB Normal Cock×RH PB Normal Hen
BH cock × RH hen
Male Offspring

RH PB Normal Cock
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  Z Z
Z ZZ ZZ
W ZW ZW
Female Offspring

BH PB Normal Hen
All of the cocks produced will be SFRH, all of the hens will be BH.



RH PB Normal Cock×BH PB Normal Hen
DFRH cock × BH hen
Male Offspring

RH PB Normal Cock
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  Z Z
Z ZZ ZZ
W ZW ZW
Female Offspring

RH PB Normal Hen
All cocks produced will be SFRH & all hens will be RH.



RH PB Normal Cock×BH PB Normal Hen
SFRH cock × BH hen
Male Offspring

RH PB Normal Cock
BH PB Normal Cock
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  Z Z
Z ZZ ZZ
W ZW ZW
Female Offspring

RH PB Normal Hen
BH PB Normal Hen
Theoretically, half of the cocks produced will be SFRH and the other half will be BH; half of the hens will be RH and half will be BH.



BH PB Normal Cock×BH PB Normal Hen
BH cock × BH hen
Male Offspring

BH PB Normal Cock
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  Z Z
Z ZZ ZZ
W ZW ZW
Female Offspring

BH PB Normal Hen
All cocks produced will be BH & all hens will be BH.



YH cock × YH hen
 
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  O O
O OO OO
O OO OO
 
All birds produced will be DFYH (Note: the head will only appear yellow if the bird is also a genetic red head; if the bird is DFYH and genetically black head, the bird will be black-headed with a yellow tipped beak [BH YTB]).



YH cock × SFYH (/YH) hen (or visa versa)
 
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  O O
O OO OO
O OO OO
 
Half of the birds produced will be DFYH, half will be /YH.



SFYH (/YH) cock × SFYH (/YH) hen
 
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  O O
O OO OO
O OO OO
 
A quarter of the birds will be DFYH, a quarter will not carry any YH at all; the other 50% of the birds will be SFYH (/YH), but there is no visual way to distinguish between /YH and birds not carrying any YH at all.



SFYH (/YH) cock × non-yellow head hen (or visa versa)
 
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  O O
O OO OO
O OO OO
 
Half of the birds will be SFYH (/YH) & half will not carry any YH at all, but there is no visual way to distinguish between /YH and birds not carrying any YH at all.



YH cock × non-yellow head hen (or visa versa)
 
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  O O
O OO OO
O OO OO
 
All birds produced will be SFYH (/YH).


This article and all included graphics are copyright GouldianFinch.Info and may not be reproduced or retransmitted without written permission from the author of this site!



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