The re-creating of the blue grizzles in Thuringian Selfs

In pigeon genetics, it is great if not only questions arise, but also once given answers. For example, in a contribution by Frank Zetzsche to the grizzles in the case of Thuringian Selfs in No. 18/2019 of the German ‘Geflügel-Zeitung’. Thuringians are recognised in the standard both in short muffed as well as clean-legged in three sex-dimorph color-classes for cocks and four for hens. There are also in addition blue grizzles with bars in both sexes. The inheritance in the sex-dimorph colors is based on the fact that cocks have twice the gene Frosty, the females by gender only once. The coloration of frosty homozygous cocks is bleached. No, or at least for the author of these lines, no clear bleaching is recognizable in the females and heterozygous cocks. Grizzles are rarely shown, clean-legged have for long disappeared.

Fig. 1: Thuringian Self cock blue ground colored; Fig. 2: Thuringian Self hen blue bar


Fig. 3: Thuringian Self young cock, homozygous frosty and heterozygous grizzle; Fig. 4: Thuringian Self young hen with frosty, heterozygous grizzle (photos: Frank Zetzsche)

In the process of re-creating Frank Zetzsche confirmed the assumption that homozygous frosty blue grizzle cocks with visible bars, as are required in the standard, are not possible. However, hemizygous grizzle females who only have the factor one times, can be raised. Therefore, blue grizzle cocks that fit the today standard requirements with distinct bars are the only ones in the color palette that do not have Frosty or have to be heterozygous only. If one interprets the word ‘Self' in the name of the breed in such a way that one gets only recognized colors from the mating of any recognized colors, everything is ‘one color', then they do not fit into the breed. Because you will raise not recognised colors from them. Years ago, some fanciers wanted to delete the grizzles already from the standard.


Fig. 5. Thuringian Self cock (not homozygous frosty); Fig. 6: Thuringian Self muffed blue ground colored cock with a blue bar hen and light ground colored cock with a silver hen (below). Sources: Sell, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim 2015 and Sell, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim 2012.

If one draws the parallel to the recognised sex-dimorph color classes, then there is another possibility. In blue-bars the bars are bleached in homozygous frosty cocks, and the overall color becomes lighter. Hens are blue bar. It's not different when it comes to blue-grizzles. The bars are not or hardly recognizable at the cocks and the already bright color is further brightened. Hens are grizzle bars. The light ground colored cocks have their counterpart in the silver females, the yellow ground colored cocks in the larked females.

Fig. 7: Thuringian Self cock (at the left), homozygous frosty cock, heterozygous grizzle, and a blue grrizzle hen (hemizygous frosty). Source: GeflügelZeitung 18/2019.

For a discussion of the  inheritance see 'Pigeon Genetics' and the German language book ‘Genetics of Pigeon Colorations’ (Genetik der Taubenfärbungen), the second source also with many details on the history of the breed.

Zetzsche, Frank, Erzüchtung der glattfüßigen und glattköpfigen Schimmel bei Thüringer Einfarbigen, GeflügelZeitung 18/2019, S. 18-19.

Sell, Axel, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim 2015.

Sell, Axel, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim 2012.