Beak length in the domestic pigeon in the focus of interest
Though a pigeon breeder since long I am always surprised at how
quickly and distinct some recessive traits show up in a backcross to
the partner with the recessive traits. That was confirmed again in
the current Owl crosses at the own loft. Photos are better than many
words. Interesting to see the correct frill at the hen and the fine
pied marking in the bothyoungsters shown and most of the other
youngsters of the backcross, but that is not the topic here.
Progeny from the first backcross upon Old German Owls after a cross
with a self highflyer cock
The photos show a cock and a hen from such a backcross to Old German
Owls . The grandparents were a self Pomeranian Eye Crested Highflyer
cock and a yellow Owl hen. The progeny (F1) lacked the
owls' frill, and the beak length was intermediate between the
parents. The backcross sometimes is abbreviated in English language
BC, and the both youngsters shown thus could be indicated as BC1.
By the way, fanciers often do not make the difference between BC1
and F2, and thus make their reports worthless for those
interested in the topic because it is often not possible to get what
First cross of a Pomeranian Eye Crested Highflyer cock and an Old
German Owl hen (at the left) and backcross of a son of the F1 upon
an Old German Owl hen (at the right)
The results of the current crosses confirmed what was known about
the inheritance of beak length from former studies. About the
inheritance of beak length one is well informed by great scientific
studies. Traditionally it has been worked with test mating and
analysis of F1, F2 and mutual back crosses.
The Norwegians Christie Wriedt had for their investigation of the
short beak at Norwegian Petents (Schildmövchen) made measurements at
330 pigeons. The author had measured for his investigation of the
short beak at highflyers over 100 crossbreds. These and other
studies and to be drawn conclusions for breeding strategies are
documented at length in the book 'Pigeon Genetics'.
The present owl crosses confirm on a smaller database, the results
of the Norwegian scientists. It will be interesting to see the
results of the planned molecular genetic studies of the University
of Utah in respect to beak length. Short beaked Tumblers or
Highfliers and Owls were often crossed together in the past. It is
therefore assumed that both breed groups owe the shortness of the
beak the same genetic traits. Would be interesting to see whether
that proofs right or wrong. Even more interesting would be to learn
this way a little more about the genetic background of the many
intermediate types in the beak length in the domestic pigeon.
Christie und Wriedt, Die Vererbung von Zeichnungen, Farben und
anderen Charakteren bei Tauben. Zeitschrift für induktive
Abstammungs- und Vererbungslehre 32 (1923), S. 233-298.
Sell, Axel, Pigeon Genetics.
Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim 2012.