On 9/28/05, Dainelle Kinsel wrote:
> My male minimal pied (white spot under chin, several wing
> feathers and a few small spots on his head) and female CFW
> zebras have two babies. The youngsters fledged about ten
> days ago. Their plumage appears to be gray. Here is my
> question: by all calculations, both of these recessive
> birds should have produced either CFW (from the mother) or
> pied (from the father)--will the babies' plumage change
> when they molt? Has anyone here bred pieds? Is it possible
> for my male to be pied but also carry the Gray gene? (I
> didn't think so, but I wanted to check & be sure.) Any help
> with this matter is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance,
> Dainelle Kinsel
I no longer breed finches, but when I did, Zebras were part
of my flock.
You are right about what you are saying, but CFW is a sex-
linked gene. This would mean that IF it was passed on, it
would go only to male offspring. With the sex linked gene,
females are visual, but cannot be split. Of the two babies
you describe, you do not have any male CFW's, but could have
normal or pied males. They could also be normal females, too.
The pied gene is a bit different. For a bird to be
considered pied, it can have as few and one or two white
feathers or be a completely white bird. Pure white birds
with dark eyes are actually heavily pied birds. Any other
amounts of white are considered light, medium or heavy pied
as the term implies.
Yes, it is possible for your male to carry the gray or
nominate gene and this may be what you're seeing. Even
though they are not visually pied babies, they may also carry
the pied gene that would appear if they were to breed when
It's been quite a few years since I've had finches, but to
the best of my recollection, this is how I remember it to be.