Trying to create a new colour from scratch is something that has always fascinated me.
So I thought Isabel Lavender Laced would be a challenging project as I have never seen or heard of any of the poultry breeds in this colour.
Lavender is a great colour to work with when breeding as it has so many possibilities. For a bird to be Lavender it must be pure for the Lavender gene and have been bred from parents both carrying this gene.
You can turn any black plumage in poultry into Lavender but any gold plumage will be diluted into a light cream colour and this is called Isabel.
My first cross was a Lavender Orpington cockerel over Gold laced Orpington hens but I would have achieved the same results from using a Gold Laced cockerel over Lavender hens.
This initial cross created visually an all Black bird with the cockerel showing quite a lot of gold around the neck and the hens showing slight gold flecking throughout their plumage.
But this first generation of Orpingtons although black were all split for Lavender and carrying the Lacing gene.
These were then mated to bring back together the inherited genes from both parents that are required to produce the Isabel Lavender Laced.
Out of the offspring of this second cross a small percentage are now pure for the lavender gene and the original gold plumage from the Gold laced has been diluted to Isabel.
The small percentage of offspring from the 2014 hatch that are pure for Lavender, Isabel and the lacing gene can now be mated together to produce Isabel Lavender Laced. It will take several more generations to select for clarity in the lacing..
Now with a good selection of pure Isabel Lavender Laced Orpingtons to breed from I can select the best of the 2015 birds to continue the pure bloodline. But this year I will outcross to Gold Laced Orpingtons which will produce splits which will be the start of producing a separate unrelated Isabel Lavender Laced bloodline.
The Lavender Gene ( Pearl Grey )
Lavender is an autosomal gene which means that as it is not sex linked it is inherited the same way on both male and female birds.
It is also recessive so both parents need to carry the Lavender gene for the young stock to visually show Lavender so a bird with only one Lavender gene will not show any Lavender colouring but can be used to breed Lavender.
Lavender breeds true so in its pure form Lavender mated to Lavender will always breed Lavender.
Lavender can also be used to create lots of new shades and colours as it is a diluting gene as long as the bird is carrying two doses of Lavender . All black colouring will become Lavender and any red pigment will dilute to a straw colour.
Lavender x Lavender
= 100% Lavender
Lavender x Black
= 100% Black split Lavender
Black split Lavender x Black split Lavender
= 25% Lavender
50% Black split Lavender