View Full Version : Faults in Gray Call Ducks
08-14-2009, 12:14 AM
I would like to ask some of you who breed Grey Calls or who have judged Grey Calls to help me out with a educational project on this color pattern. I would like to ask the name of the fault like dusky, frosting, poor neck ring color or cotton ect and then maybe describe it for us. Once I get a list of the faults we should keep our eyes on I am going to ask some of the breeders to take pictures of a drake or hen with these faults and some how log these pictures on a site such as picturetrail.com so others could see what they look like.
Also, some of these faults are undesirable or maybe defects, but can ducks with these faults be used as breeders if they have excellent type and mated to a mate that could compensate for these faults. Look forward to your suggestions and a list of colored faults that we can come up with. Also, if anyone has any old articles on breeding color for Gray Calls or Rouen's would you share them with me for my project or tell me where I may obtain them. Thank you
08-14-2009, 10:51 AM
I'll take a stab at a feable attempt to tackle Gray Call color issues!! LOL. You can see a whole lot of variance of color on Gray Calls. Some of this is just slight color flaws and some of it is genetic issues. The genetic issues pop up more frequently in the Gray(Mallard) pattern of Call Duck more than you will see on Rouen or Mallards because there has been so much work crossing different varieties to make all the pretty colors of Calls we have today. 8) When I first started out with Gray Calls I struggled alot getting the genetics back to basic 'Gray' since there were a whole lot of genetic issues going on with my first stock. I struggled alot with getting the Dusky gene out but after you recognize it then it is easy to eliminate since Dusky is incompletely dominant. The Dusky gene tend to darken the overall color, eliminate the facial stripes, obsure the wing speculums and (in drakes) eliminates the claret breast and neck ring. One 'dose' of Dusky in Gray Calls can be recognized by overall dark color and poor facial stripes in Gray hens and partial bibs or partial neck rings on drakes. There are also come genetic factors which can lighten the color of Gray Calls. The Restricted gene, Light Phase and Harlequin phase all tned to lighten the overall plumage color. Light Phase and Harlequin both will make the claret color of the breast of drakes bleed into their shoulders and make the neck ring encircle the neck. Restricted pattern is dominant and Light Phase and Harlequin are both recessive. The recessive traits are the trickiest to work with if you obtain stock from unknown parentage.
Slight color flaws of Grays (unrelated to genetics) are typically frosting in the claret breast of drakes, black in the bills, too dark or too light under their tails. With hens the color flaws are typically lack of good penciling on the feathers and too light on the underside. Again, these are just slight color flaws and some judge interpret it differently. Some judges may be very hard on black in the bills of Gray drakes and take no notice of the bill color of hens or light color underneath.
Can some of these color issues be used? Sure, if you have a purpose in mind!!! LOL. Breeders that are working with Khaki Calls would probably love to get hold of some nice typey Dusky Calls to work on improving type and size. The ones working with Silver Appleyard Calls could certainly use the Restricted and Light Phase genes to their advantage. Personally, I have no problem keep a Gray drake showing some white frosting in the claret breast. It might be a flaw as a show bird but it also tends to improve lacing on Gray hens.
Just a few rambling thoughts,
08-20-2009, 10:27 AM
Thanks Hummer for your comments I have had a few emails that tell me that you about summed it up. One friend thinks that you donít want to be too hard on the young ducks if they have great type some judges may over look their color faults for one reason or another. But what happens if you are a breeder and you are trying to develop a good female line of gray calls. How do you do it?
It seems to me my line is more of a Male Line. I have got some very handsome Gray Males some are longer in body than others I like a shorter Call Coby looking. If I have a young drake that when he was shooting out his wing feathers his female plumage colors was the best I ever saw on a drake or a pullet and he then molts in to the near perfect type and super good color. What female to I mate him to? Do I mate him to a as close to Standard female with good type and as close to the best color of any female that I raised this year? Do you mate a female that is lighter in color and that will produce more good drakes next year. Do I mate the best to the best like you do in White Chickens?
The standard tells us what to look for and some of the faults to avoid. But how do you mate these mallard color patterns? Can you mate the best to the best if you have the true Mallard color pattern? I think this strain is pure gray calls with no crosses with whites or other color patterns. As the little ducks hatch and you watch them grow up they have all the color patterns of a true Mallard or Rouen that I have raised in the past. We are getting their on this question and I think one of the answer is to be patient and this color pattern for the female is not as easy to produce as in a Gray Male. I donít know if more males win at shows as grays than females has or not, That would be a interesting observation also. One thing I just do not want to subscribe to is we put them in a breeding pen and just hope for the best. That is not what other breeders of Poultry do. They have a plan and a understanding of what color faults can do to hurt you. Looking forward to any other comments.
09-08-2009, 03:41 AM
In the past week I have spent two hours interviewing Gray Call Duck Breeders and this is a little of what I have learned for next year and the years leading up to the next three years.
You want your males to have the best color they possible can have. Biggest fault to avoid is frosting in the bib area of the males. In the female you want their penciling to be clean and sharp as possible over the wing bow area. This seems to be a good indicator for the female color in general and you would use a female with the best penciling in this area as possible.
Once you have your best colored male and female you basically mate the best colored male to a female and then hope for the best. Culling out males with frosting on the bibs and trying to get the females with nice clean penciling. Type of course is paramount but that seems to be a good method to try to breed towards.
I think this color pattern is one of the most difficult ones in our hobby to try to learn. You must tip your hate off to those who have excellent type and colored Gray Calls as their hard work in the breeding pen is just something to be very proud of. Hope this helps the beginner and if you are just starting out you would be money a head to learn how to hatch and grow young calls with white calls first then after about four years take on the color pattern of your choice. Thanks to all who privately emailed me and Hummer for his comments achieve
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.