How many pigeons would Noah
have had to take on his ark to save the eight sex-linked color
classes of the Thuringian Selfs, apart from the grizzles? If he knew
anything about pigeon genetics and knew the pedigree of the pigeons,
there would be only two. From the pair shown in the diagram you may
raise all eight colors if the parents have the proper genetic
make-up (Fig. 1). That is even one color more than listed in the
Fig. 1: Intermediate Color Classes at Thuringian Selfs
Recognized as standard
colors are three characteristic cocks colors, blue-ground colored,
light-ground colored and yellow-ground colored, as well as the four
hen pigeon colors, namely blue bar, blue check, silver-colored with
bars and larked. 'Grey-ground colored' cocks occasionally occur in
breeding, but are not recognized.
and blue-bar hens may be considered the base or central colors of
the color group (Fig. 2). Genetically, they have the slightest
deviations from the blue field pigeon considered the wild-type.
Experts recognize that cocks have a brown-red noster (crescent moon
on the chest) and a silver wreath on the back of the neck in
addition to the clouding in the shield.
Fig. 2: Thuringian Blue Ground Colour Cock and blue bar hen: Source:
Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim
The brown-red noster is also
required in the blue and blue-check females and is expressed in the
dilute colors as yellow (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3: Thuringian larked hen (at the left) and yellow ground colour
cock (at the right). Source: Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in
the Domestic Pigeon, Achim 2012.
As is shown at this example,
it would be premature if breeding committees temporarily deny
non-existent color streaks 'to protect the breed'. In this case, all
six temporarily lacking colors would have to go through the time,
money and nerves consuming recognization process for new breeds and
color classes, and - depending on the perspective - would block
breeding committees for some time from other activities or give them
reason to exist. This was still shown in the Yearbook of the German
Pigeon Breeding Association for 2019. Even if there were distortions
in the print, the statement of the puzzle for genetically interested
fanciers should have become clear. Andreas Leiß had found the key to
solving the puzzle decades ago with his investigations. It is the
combination of the sex-linked recessive inheritance of the Frosty
gene and the dilution as well as the non-sex inheritance of the gene
for the check pattern.
Ilgen, Horst (2000), Thüringer Farbentauben,
in: Erich Müller (Hrsg.), Alles über Rassetauben Band 4
Farbentauben, Oertel+Spörer, pp. 103-133.
Leiß, Andreas (2000), Genetische Analyse der
Kennfarben der Thüringer Einfarbigen, Deutscher Kleintierzüchter,
Ausgabe Geflügel Nr. 18, pp. 24 ff.
Sell, Axel (2015), Genetik der Taubenfärbungen,
Sell, Axel (2012), Pigeon
Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim
Sell, Axel (2019), Taubenzucht. Möglichkeiten
und Grenzen züchterischer Gestaltung, Achim, especially pp. 319-327.