Benchmarks in testing for identical traits: The example of milky

What color is that? A satisfactory answer requires that the questioner and the potential respondent have common standards. If someone asks about the length of an object, he can use the length of the original meter as a guide. If we want to know whether something is milky, we also need a fixed point for comparison. Both when referring to the hereditary factor and when it comes to a variant with the Milky factor, for example lavender from the Lahore and Mookee or barred Milky from the Fantails.


Lahore lavender and milky Fantail with Bars

Mookee lavender (silver in German)

Most of the answers at the opening question will be based on similarity, whereby memories can be deceptive and prior information can be wrong. Inheritance tests are more reliable. Milky's inheritance behavior is recessive and not sex-linked. If pairings with other colors show that the factor is inherited as dominant or sex-linked, then it is not Milky. If the factor is recessive and not sex-linked, it can be Milky. For a direct test, however, you need the correct benchmark. This lies with Indian Fantails, Mookee and the Lahore, which also comes from Asia.

There is no test in the exhibition sector of fancy breeds. Of the many colors recognized under the name Milky, there are certainly some that genetically belong to a different category. This does not even mean the heterozygous ashes that are occasionally presented as Milky and sometimes as Andalusians. It affects different high-flying breeds and also color racing pigeons.


Agarantumbler,                                                         Vienna Gansel


Steller Cropper                                              Highflyer cross with milky-like lightening

For the test: In a first pairing of two Milky from different lines, if they are identical, milky-colored young animals should be raised, be it self lavendr, barred or checked. If we get blue or black instead, it is not the same factor. This happened at our own cross between a lavender Mookee and a South German Blasse, presumed to be barred Milky. The recessive and non sex-linkage was already known from previous information in the population of Blasse.

Source: Sell, Pigeon Genetics 2012

If there are similar colors as the parents, one will assume the same genetic factor. As with intermediate types, it can also be alleles. These are alternative factors at the same gene location with different effects. Not unique, because you know that from other genes, such as the stipper gene and faded.

However, there are pitfalls in the investigation. There are examples of unexpected interactions between genes that are not alleles. It can also take a lot of effort to separate the thesis of identity from that of alleles. Milky can also be combined with many genes. If Milky and Ash Red appear in combination, then this combination will first demonstrate a sex-linked dominant inheritance by the dominant red. However, this combination will break up again in the next generation and refute conclusions drawn in the meantime.

Milky first came to Europe with Fantails, Mookee and Lahore. It is interesting to see that even before 1900 Swift Pigeons found their way into a collection in Braunschweig and that Schachtzabel in 1910 depicts an individual in the group of the Show Homer in a not identical, but similar color. From today's perspective, the white laced Lynx Pigeons and Bronze-laced Modena, which can also be classified from outside the cage as milky, are interesting additions to the spectrum of pigeon colors.


Milky-like Swift from the Natural-Historical Museum Braunschweig, dated with 1885, and a Lynx considered milky blue white-laced



Modena, from the phenoptype milky bronze-laced and milky bronze-bar