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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I come from a family of cattle breeders. I breed top quality show Labradors. When we breed cattle or dogs, we consult pedigrees about to four generations because many traits skip generation and remain hidden.. However, in Cockatiels I have noticed that for working out mutations breeders only look in the colour mutation of parents. Even the genetic calculators talk about the colour of parents. I want to be educated why breeders feel that it is only the parents which matter.
 

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The genetic calculators ask for the splits too, not just the visible mutations. If you know the splits you'll get a very accurate idea of the expected outcome. A four-generation pedigree won't necessarily tell you what the splits are, for example you can't assume that your bird is split to whiteface just because it had a whiteface great-grandmother. There's a possibility that it could be split WF, but that same possibility exists with a bird whose parents are completely unknown to you. But you can be confident that your bird is split to whiteface if you know that its mother was whiteface.

Show breeders keep pedigrees on their birds for four generations or more, because they're breeding for a lot more than just color and need to know what's in their show lines. But most of the time ordinary breeders don't know that much about their birds' ancestry. If they bought the bird directly from a breeder they may have been told what splits the bird has, but otherwise it's "what you see is what you get". A breeder frequently doesn't know what splits their parent birds have until they see what color chicks they get.

The majority of breeders don't understand mutation genetics, and some don't even know the correct names for the mutations. Even if they gave you a four-generation pedigree, you couldn't rely on it to be accurate.
 

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The inheritance modes for cockatiel color mutations are well known, so the outcomes are very predictable. So cockatiel breeders don't normally talk about traits skipping generations.

If a non-whiteface bird had a visual whiteface parent, we know that the bird is split to whiteface and will produce whiteface babies if we pair it with a mate who also has the whiteface gene. But when we get those whiteface babies, we don't say that the trait skipped a generation. We have a more accurate explanation that is based on our knowledge of mutation genetics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reading Pedigree

Thank you for very good explanation to my question. I asked question because I mated my Dominate Silver Pied Cock (father Dominant Silver mother Pied) to my Pearl Hen (father Lutino mother Pearl) and I got Silver pearl chick. Parents of the chicks and grand parents do not have a male pearl. Therefore I wonder why a Pear chick. Could be great grand father be a Pearl? As grand parents are US imports, I do not know their ancestors. I need some input.
 

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The cock must be split to pearl, because a pearl gene from the father is required to get a pearl chick of either sex. Females can only get sex-linked genes from their father, but males can get sex-linked genes from parents of either sex. So your bird's grandfather could have received the pearl gene from the great-grandfather (if he was visual or split to pearl) or the great-grandmother (if she was visual pearl).

Then the split passed from the grandfather to the father, and then to your male. We know that it had to come down through the male line, because females can't be split to pearl. If they have the gene they will be visual pearl, and there aren't any pearl hens among the parents and grandparents.
 
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