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#116654 - 06/06/17 09:43 PM Thin Chick Down
Colomb Offline
New Egg

Registered: 10/28/15
Posts: 8
Loc: Georgia
I'm hoping someone can help me identify the issue with these chicks.
[img:left]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXKmtweqK9aU1ZCUFNCSk5ubDA/view?usp=sharing[/img]
[img:left]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXKmtweqK9aRG1WYlc1a0xQOWc/view?usp=sharing[/img]
I've only hatched three batches out of this particular pen. All other pairings (different lines) have produced normal chicks. Only chicks from this pairing have shown this defect. Out of the last batch of 18, 8 have shown the defect. I need to check my records, but I do not think the ratio was as high in the last batch. The down on these chicks seems to be of normal length, though the density of the down seems to be drastically less. It gives them the appearance of needing a membership to the Men's Hair Club. The expression of the trait seems to be somewhat variable, being more obvious on some than others, but it seems to be most pronounced on the top/back of the head and the back.

I would like to know what mutation I am dealing with and what to expect from it, but realize I might never know. I am sure that in the end it all comes down to culling and test breeding to eliminate it... whether I learn what it is or not.

Thanks for any insights you may have.

Colomb

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#116658 - 06/08/17 04:03 AM Re: Thin Chick Down [Re: Colomb]
Robbie Online   content
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 258
Loc: Ontario Canada
That's interesting! What breed of chicken is this?

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#116659 - 06/08/17 07:38 AM Re: Thin Chick Down [Re: Robbie]
Colomb Offline
New Egg

Registered: 10/28/15
Posts: 8
Loc: Georgia
It is a line that began with a test cross several years ago. The original breeds were orpington and marans.

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#116660 - 06/08/17 10:31 AM Re: Thin Chick Down [Re: Colomb]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Are the chicks marked to identify as adults? What is the head plumage on adults? Both s
exes the same plumage?

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#116661 - 06/08/17 02:12 PM Re: Thin Chick Down [Re: CJR]
Colomb Offline
New Egg

Registered: 10/28/15
Posts: 8
Loc: Georgia
The breeders are E/Er or Er/Er. They are not known to have genes that would modify the head plumage in the adults or head down in the chicks. All chicks are individually banded (each chick serially numbered) and photographed from six angles as they are removed from the incubator. I'm guessing I will need to keep at least one male and female from these odd chicks to use in test breeding with future breeders to determine if they are carrying.

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#116662 - 06/10/17 05:28 PM Re: Thin Chick Down [Re: Colomb]
KazJaps Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 2792
Loc: Australia
The following paper (with chick down photos) noted a correlation with bare back chicks and E extended black allele (adults normal feathered).

Not the same trait as yours, but thought their findings & test breeding methods might interest you Colomb:

Hutt, F. B. (1951). Lethal Action of the Gene for Extension of Black Pigment in the Fowl. Genetics, 36(3), 213234.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1209516/pdf/213.pdf

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#116663 - 06/11/17 02:51 PM Re: Thin Chick Down [Re: KazJaps]
Colomb Offline
New Egg

Registered: 10/28/15
Posts: 8
Loc: Georgia
Thank you. I'll read it and see how it might apply.

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