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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new here, so please excuse me if this is some kind of silly question!

I am just getting started in breeding cockatiels. My Pepper is a lacey pearl mutation and I have no idea what her parents are. Her coloring is bright, she is a solid girl with a funny personality, and has the desire to mate.

I'm looking for a male for her to bond with and hopefully have chicks. What kind of color mutations would be a good choice for healthy offspring that aren't all going to look the same? My fiance and I have had our eye on a white face, but I don't have any knowledge on how color mutations affect breeding and the health of offspring.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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I'm new here, so please excuse me if this is some kind of silly question!

I am just getting started in breeding cockatiels. My Pepper is a lacey pearl mutation and I have no idea what her parents are. Her coloring is bright, she is a solid girl with a funny personality, and has the desire to mate.

I'm looking for a male for her to bond with and hopefully have chicks. What kind of color mutations would be a good choice for healthy offspring that aren't all going to look the same? My fiance and I have had our eye on a white face, but I don't have any knowledge on how color mutations affect breeding and the health of offspring.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
When we are talking about common sex linked mutations like lutino, pearl, and cinnamon; mutations the hen carries has little effect on the offspring. Male offspring have a chance to be visual with these mutations when the hen has it, but the biggest factor is the mutations the father is visual for and or carries but is not visual for.

Whiteface is different both parents must be carriers we would need pictures to tell if she is split whiteface.

I would get a male split lutino and split pearl. Those are pretty popular and common mutations that don't require both parents being split to produce offspring. Lutino split is hard to detect and requires test breeding. Another way to know, is if the mother of the bird you buy is lutino the males produced will be split, pearl males have a mottled pearl appearance after the first molt. Split pearl males have ghostly dim pearls and a solid tail.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses!

I attached a picture of Pepper to this reply. Since we don't know what the parents are, I have no idea of what "hidden genes" she could be carrying. she has grey feathers in her crest, grey tip on her beak, and nails are all grey/black. The feathers of her wing that are folded under (aren't visible until you spread her wings) are dark grey. She's gorgeous, but confusing.

So, if I want their chicks to look different (ie, not normal greys) what color mutation male would you suggest I get? I'm not keen on lutinos, and I suppose I don't want another pearl because I would have almost all pearl babies, depending on the genetics. I think I'm slowly starting to figure this all out... but I don't want to get a bird that is some kind of pretty coloring that it cannot even pass on visually.

Suggestions? Thanks!!
 

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Cinnamon, lutino, and pearl are the only mutations that only require the father to carry the gene (unless you get into the rarer mutations, which are hard to tell if a male is split to those things.) To get pied babies, Pepper would need to be split to Pied as well, but that's hard to tell if she is or not because she's a Pearl. So you could get a Pied male split to Pearl and see what happens, but there is no guarantee. If she's not split to WF (I can't tell if she is or not) then getting a WF male will not give you any visual babies. So your best bet would get a male that is split to a lot of different mutations and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Roxy, thanks for that! What you just said there made a LOT more sense than all the stuff I've been reading on the internet about mixing color mutations.

I'll go in search of a male with a history we can track that has diverse color mutations in earlier generations.

If anyone else has further advice, please feel free to chime in!

:cinnamon pearl:
 

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Crazykeet, Pepper looks to be a split to whiteface. It's hard to tell with females but I have seen that irregularly shaped cheek patch in a friend's bird.

mutations the hen carries has little effect on the offspring.

Interestingly I have found when working with the pattern mutations (pearl and pied) that it is the hen that reproduces marking/patterns more consistently. The males contribute 'random/inconsistency' to reproducing markings.
Are saying hen offspring with marking mutations are superior? Or are you saying the female sex is a better "carrier" of these genes and following a male-> female-> male pattern for reproducing desired mutation markings is better than male-> male-> male over sucessive generations?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Darkel777, she does have a sloppy cheek patch, that's for sure. She was part of a hoarding situation and about 25 cockatiels were in one aviary when I adopted her. There was a male whiteface there who acted like the dominant male of the group, and I'm now wondering if that could have been her father. He was large and in charge, and everyone moved when he came to the food bowl.

Has anyone else seen irregular cheek patches being indicative of a whiteface split in females? Either of known lineage, or because they had whiteface babies?

Ya'll are so helpful, thanks so much!
 

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Yes that is an indication of being split to Whiteface, regardless of gender, its just harder to tell in hens because they normally have a grey face.

Are saying hen offspring with marking mutations are superior? Or are you saying the female sex is a better "carrier" of these genes and following a male-> female-> male pattern for reproducing desired mutation markings is better than male-> male-> male over sucessive generations?
I think what she's saying is that females pass their patterns along better than males do. So say you have a saddleback pied with symmetrical markings and she's a hen. Her children are more likely to have that pattern because of her, then if she was a male and had offspring.
 

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I think what she's saying is that females pass their patterns along better than males do. So say you have a saddleback pied with symmetrical markings and she's a hen. Her children are more likely to have that pattern because of her, then if she was a male and had offspring.
If that's right, with pieds you would want:
(split pied male)+(pied female)
For breeding when reproducing a pattern.

When you want a new pattern you would want:
(pied male)+(split pied female)

For pearls it would have to be more complicated:

To retain a pattern:

Generation I

(normal male)+(pearl female)

Generation II

(split pearl male offspring)+(normal female)

Generation III

(normal male)+(pearl female offspring) etc.

To change a pattern:

Generation I
(pearl male)+(normal female)

Generation II
(split pearl male offspring)+(pearl female)

Generation III
(pearl male offspring)+(normal female)

Does this sound right?
 

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Yes that sounds accurate from my understanding. Except in your Gen II....you'd want the normal female to actually be a pearl one to maintain the pattern.
 

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Yes that sounds accurate from my understanding. Except in your Gen II....you'd want the normal female to actually be a pearl one to maintain the pattern.
If we're trying to maintain the pattern of the pearl hen in generation I would introducing another pearl female in addition to the split pearl male offspring in generation II alter the plumage pattern?
 

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I have no idea...this is beyond my scope of understanding. All I'm saying is that from what I understand, to maintain the pearl pattern, its the females you want not the males, as the males cause more inconsistencies.
 
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