Chocolate – Mmmm-mmmmm Good!
Aside from Blue, Chocolate is my next favorite color in Seramas! As difficult as the blue gene is to work with, the chocolate gene is even worse!
Chocolate is a rare Sex-Linked Recessive gene that is basically a dilution of black pigment. This means that out of a pair of genes (of which each bird has two), the female will be chocolate with just one copy of the gene but the male requires two copies of the gene to look chocolate. Crossing a chocolate rooster with a black hen will give you black and chocolate offspring. This means that black males can look black, but be carrying the chocolate gene. These boys are called Black Splits. Black female offspring cannot do this… if they have the chocolate gene, they will visually appear chocolate. Otherwise, black is truly black. I have 2 boys, Lacie Louie and Cadbury, that I'm currently working with to produce some chocolate girls. This requires, naturally, black females! 🙁
This is further complicated by the sex-linked nature of this gene. Out of this pairing, only the pullets will show chocolate. These girls should then be bred back to their chocolate father, and in theory, all the offspring should then be chocolate. Whew, told you this was a difficult gene to work with! Plus, to complicate matters even further, since I am so short on typey black hens, I have crossed Cadbury with two black silkied girls, which means that all his offspring will also be silkied splits!!! Now, this sounds odd, but it actually serves two purposes. It not only enables me to produce chocolate offspring (hopefully!), but it is a way to start a line of Chocolate Silkied Seramas as well!
Are you still with me? I told you this was a complicated venture! My final clutch will hatch out at the end of the week, so it will still be awhile before I know exactly what's-what with this chocolate experiment. I promise to let you all know what happens!
Ohhh, and just so you'll know “from whence I came“, here are the parents (Honey Bun & Blue Pearl) that gave me Sir Lancelot, Hershey Boy, Lacey Louie and Cadbury.
Here are pictures of the roosters that came out of that pairing between Honey Bun and Blue Pearl. I have decided to use Cadbury and Lacey Louie in my chocolate program.
|Lacey Louie, 17.8 oz.|
It still amazes me that one pair of birds can have offspring with so many different colors!