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[Genetics-Psittacine] Normals verses Mutations Discussion Request

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  • Verndell Gildhouse
    I am in the process of putting together my thoughts for an article being written. I can answer the questions and provide my thoughts on my particular species
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 2, 2007

      I am in the process of putting together my thoughts for an article being written.  I can answer the questions and provide my thoughts on my particular species (Quakers); however, across the parrot species, what are the trends?  The topic is Normals verses Mutations in Parrots.  Again, I have my own thoughts and ideas; however, I would like to get some of your ideas on the future of the Normal colored bird in the various species.  Is the trend to favor the various mutations?   Below are some of the questions on which I would like feedback.  Any and all thoughts would be very helpful.   I don't want to provide my ideas herein because I would like to get both sides of the discussion started verses folks simply countering my point of view.  I am sorry if this discussion has already taken place.  If it has, I would like info on how to search the archives, if they exist for this list (Terri?).  Also, please be specific on species your are discussing, and when your thoughts are in general across all species, please state that also.  Some of the points I would like discussed herein are as follows:

       

      1.  The trend favoring mutations over normal colors (e.g. you see fewer and fewer normal grey cockatiels and green budgies, more opting for blue quakers instead of green quakers, and there are so many lovebird mutations that it boggles my mind). Why the change in color? What raminifications does this pose on the bird community? (Are mutations as long-lived as normals in the various species? Are there associated health problems? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to find breeding stock that isn’t mutated to some degree in the various species?)
       
      2.  What does the future hold? (Are we at risk of losing the normal colors altogether?)  I can define for my understanding what a genetics/selective breeding explanation of mutations is; however, I'm not sure that I can define it so that “average people” can understand.  For example, how do you get a mutation?  What are some examples of popular mutations in the various species?  Because I deal with Quakers (Monks) only, any input would be appreciated regarding each of your favorite, specialized species?  Mutation vs. hybrid … what’s the difference?
       
      3.  Do mutations sell better than normals? Do pet owners care whether a bird is a mutation when they are just looking for a bird for a pet? Are people mostly just looking for mutations if they want to breed the birds?
       
      4.  What trends do you see for the future? More mutations? Normals disappearing from aviculture, or at least becoming very hard to find?
       
      I look forward to reading your responses.
       
      Vern Gildhouse
      Triple F Aviary
       
    • Terry Martin
      Vern ... Go to the Visit Your Group at the bottom of the message, from there you can access the archives ... Whilst it is true that pure wildtype are
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 4, 2007
        Vern
         
        >  If it has, I would like info on how to search the archives, if
        they exist for this list.
         
                Go to the Visit Your Group  at the bottom of the message, from there you can access the archives 
         
               
        >1.  The trend favoring mutations over normal colors (e.g. you see
        fewer and fewer normal grey cockatiels and green budgies, more opting for blue
        >quakers instead of green quakers, and there are so many lovebird mutations
        that it boggles my mind). Why the change in color? What
        > raminifications does this pose on the bird community? (Are mutations
        as long-lived as normals in the various species? Are there associated health
        > problems? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to find breeding stock that
        isn’t mutated to some degree in the various species?)
         
                Whilst it is true that pure wildtype are increasingly difficult to find, there is no real deficiency in normals in any species with colour morphs. Since colour mutations make the species infinitely more popular, there is a massive increase in numbers bred. Admittedly most of these extra numbers are colour morphs and not normals, but the numbers of normals are still increased as well, just not as a proportion of the entire population of a species.
         
                Compare the numbers bred of any species without colour mutations and then compare this to a species made popular with colour morphs (such as Budgerigars, LBs, Cockatiels,  etc) there is no comparison.
         
        >2.  What does the future hold? (Are we at risk of losing the
        normal colors altogether?) 
         
                Never any risk at all unless every specimen of a species was the same mutation. Even if zero wildtype existed, it two different mutations exist then between them they still carry all the genes of the wildtype and produce such when mated together.
         
        >I can define for my understanding what a genetics/selective >breeding explanation of mutations is; however, I'm not sure that I can
        define it so that >“average people” can understand.  For example, how do you get a mutation? 
         
                Random occurance, then selective breeding to reproduce it in preference to other colours. In this instance, selective breeding does not imply the breeder is changing the mutation, merely selecting for its production over and above other colours including wildtype.
         
        > What are some examples of popular mutations in the various species?
         
                There are too many to list, have a look through my book, there are hundreds.
         
         
        >Because I deal with Quakers (Monks) only, any input would be
        appreciated regarding each of your favorite, specialized species?  Mutation vs. >hybrid … what’s the difference?
         
                Completely different. Hybrid is crossing two different species of birds. Mutation is only a single gene being altered in an otherwise normal bird for the species.
         
        >3.  Do mutations sell better than normals? Do pet owners care whether a bird is a mutation when they are just looking for a bird for a pet? Are >people mostly just looking for mutations if they want to breed the birds?
         
                Depends. Some colours are more popular than others. eg Blues, Opalines, Pieds. Some of the rarer mutations are less popular with the public and therefore remain rare. Generally only people obsessed with breeding Normals come looking for wildtypes. The public like 'strong' colours rather than pale colours.
         
         
        >4.  What trends do you see for the future? More mutations?
         
                always
         
        >Normals disappearing from aviculture, or at least becoming very hard to find?
         
                never, only pure normals not carrying other mutations. But keep heart. After the initial rush to breed new colours, breeders begin to then value the pure birds and then return to breeding them to improve their mutations. Even species like Budgies and Zebra Finches can be found as pure birds being bred by good breeders, despite their mutations being around for a 100 years.
         
                Terry
         
        PS note spelling, it indicates a different gender to the way you spelt my name ;-)
         
      • Verndell Gildhouse
        Hi Terry: Sorry about the spelling of your name. I know better; after all, I even have your book. SMILE Thanks for your thoughts on the subject. You made a
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 5, 2007
          Hi Terry:
           
          Sorry about the spelling of your name.  I know better; after all, I even have your book.  SMILE
           
          Thanks for your thoughts on the subject.  You made a couple of good points within that I had not occurred to me.  I appreciate the info. 
          I considered writing my email to you directly; however, I thought that some other folks on the list might want to add their thougths. 
          Thus far, there have not been many who have decided to chime in on the subject.  No problem.  I will be able to answer the mail with your
          input confirming my thoughts.  I will credit you as a source consulted.  Thus far, only Dave and Stella have responded.  Thanks to you all. 
           
          It still isn't too late for others to add to the subject.
           
          Warm regards,
           
          Vern.
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 8:20 AM
          Subject: [Genetics-Psittacine] Re: Normals verses Mutations Discussion Request

          Vern
           
          >  If it has, I would like info on how to search the archives, if they exist for this list.
           
                  Go to the Visit Your Group  at the bottom of the message, from there you can access the archives 
           
                 
          >1.  The trend favoring mutations over normal colors (e.g. you see fewer and fewer normal grey cockatiels and green budgies, more opting for blue >quakers instead of green quakers, and there are so many lovebird mutations that it boggles my mind). Why the change in color? What
          > raminifications does this pose on the bird community? (Are mutations as long-lived as normals in the various species? Are there associated health > problems? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to find breeding stock that isn’t mutated to some degree in the various species?)
           
                  Whilst it is true that pure wildtype are increasingly difficult to find, there is no real deficiency in normals in any species with colour morphs. Since colour mutations make the species infinitely more popular, there is a massive increase in numbers bred. Admittedly most of these extra numbers are colour morphs and not normals, but the numbers of normals are still increased as well, just not as a proportion of the entire population of a species.
           
                  Compare the numbers bred of any species without colour mutations and then compare this to a species made popular with colour morphs (such as Budgerigars, LBs, Cockatiels,  etc) there is no comparison.
           
          >2.  What does the future hold? (Are we at risk of losing the normal colors altogether?) 
           
                  Never any risk at all unless every specimen of a species was the same mutation. Even if zero wildtype existed, it two different mutations exist then between them they still carry all the genes of the wildtype and produce such when mated together.
           
          >I can define for my understanding what a genetics/selective >breeding explanation of mutations is; however, I'm not sure that I can define it so that >“average people” can understand.  For example, how do you get a mutation? 
           
                  Random occurance, then selective breeding to reproduce it in preference to other colours. In this instance, selective breeding does not imply the breeder is changing the mutation, merely selecting for its production over and above other colours including wildtype.
           
          > What are some examples of popular mutations in the various species?
           
                  There are too many to list, have a look through my book, there are hundreds.
           
           
          >Because I deal with Quakers (Monks) only, any input would be appreciated regarding each of your favorite, specialized species?  Mutation vs. >hybrid … what’s the difference?
           
                  Completely different. Hybrid is crossing two different species of birds. Mutation is only a single gene being altered in an otherwise normal bird for the species.
           
          >3.  Do mutations sell better than normals? Do pet owners care whether a bird is a mutation when they are just looking for a bird for a pet? Are >people mostly just looking for mutations if they want to breed the birds?
           
                  Depends. Some colours are more popular than others. eg Blues, Opalines, Pieds. Some of the rarer mutations are less popular with the public and therefore remain rare. Generally only people obsessed with breeding Normals come looking for wildtypes. The public like 'strong' colours rather than pale colours.
           
           
          >4.  What trends do you see for the future? More mutations?
           
                  always
           
          >Normals disappearing from aviculture, or at least becoming very hard to find?
           
                  never, only pure normals not carrying other mutations. But keep heart. After the initial rush to breed new colours, breeders begin to then value the pure birds and then return to breeding them to improve their mutations. Even species like Budgies and Zebra Finches can be found as pure birds being bred by good breeders, despite their mutations being around for a 100 years.
           
                  Terry
           
          PS note spelling, it indicates a different gender to the way you spelt my name ;-)
           

        • Carouselbirds@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/2/2007 6:16:25 AM Pacific Standard Time, dillingham2@superonline.com writes: (Are mutations as long-lived as normals in the various
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 7, 2007
            In a message dated 2/2/2007 6:16:25 AM Pacific Standard Time, dillingham2@... writes:
            (Are mutations as long-lived as normals in the various species? Are there associated health problems?
                Hi Vern!
                    Since Terry answered very concisely and decisively, there isn't much more to add....HOWEVER, if you are writing this article, I feel you should emphasize that there are some very erroneous opinions "floating around" out there among novice breeders, and others, regarding weakness and inferiority in color mutations.     
                    It has definitely been my observation over the past 62 years in the hobby, that weak and inferior specimens are usually the result of improper and irresponsible management on the part of the people breeding them. We find greedy people who inbreed and overbreed their birds simply to make a quick buck, instead of practicing responsible husbandry. I know that you have seen this practice personally, with one of the Quaker breeders here in the US, so you know exactly what I'm talking about...
                    I just thought it prudent to mention this so you don't overlook it in your article. I know you are a conscientious person, who doesn't like to hurt feelings or create problems. HOWEVER, some of these issues need to be brought to the attention of the newcomers in the breeding scene, lest they get the wrong impressions regarding mutations in general.
                    We must constantly be vigilant to properly educate the novice population in the difference between hybrids and mutations, which are quite often confused by the casual observer. ALSO, there are those folks out there, who feel that any mutation is automatically inferior and should never be propagated. They are entitled to their opinions, and we are entitled to ours! Again, HOWEVER, they need to be made aware that properly managed mutations are just as healthy as normal or wildtype birds.
                    Regarding longevity: There are too many variables in individual situations to blame a shortened lifespan on the fact that a bird is a mutant color.....Improper diet, and lack of proper exercise has been the death sentence for many birds, at an abnormally young age, no matter what color they are! People need to be made aware of facts like that!
                    Sorry for the ramble, Folks, but felt it necessary to add my thoughts.
                                                                Kindest regards,
                                                                                    Bob Nelson  
          • 8Joyce Baum
            ... I d like to add another reason to this list that Bob Nelson has posted. I ve just recently seen some Whitefaced Cockatiels, that the owner has been
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 7, 2007
              > Regarding longevity: There are too many variables in individual
              >situations to blame a shortened lifespan on the fact that a bird is a
              >mutant
              >color.....Improper diet, and lack of proper exercise has been the death
              >sentence
              >for many birds, at an abnormally young age, no matter what color they are!

              I'd like to add another reason to this list that Bob Nelson has posted.
              I've just recently seen some Whitefaced Cockatiels, that the owner
              has been inbreeding (linebreeding) for 6 generations now...and the
              result has been a clutch of very sickliy babies, with all but one dying,
              even with veterinary help. Very tiny, and not healthy at all birds.
              So sad.

              Joyce Baum
              www.ringnecklady.net
            • Verndell Gildhouse
              Hi Bob, As always, it is great to hear from you. Knowing your busy schedule, I m not surprised that it took you a few days to chime in. Thanks for making
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 7, 2007
                Hi Bob,
                 
                As always, it is great to hear from you.  Knowing your busy schedule, I'm not surprised that it took you a few days to chime in.  Thanks for making these points.  I had considered adding some comments about responsible husbandry; however, the more quotes I can get from folks, the more credence it gives.  Thanks for your thoughts.

                On a side note, I'm bringing my birds home this weekend.
                 
                Warm regards,
                 
                Vern.
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 4:56 AM
                Subject: Re: [Genetics-Psittacine] Normals verses Mutations Discussion Request

                In a message dated 2/2/2007 6:16:25 AM Pacific Standard Time, dillingham2@ superonline. com writes:
                (Are mutations as long-lived as normals in the various species? Are there associated health problems?
                    Hi Vern!
                        Since Terry answered very concisely and decisively, there isn't much more to add....HOWEVER, if you are writing this article, I feel you should emphasize that there are some very erroneous opinions "floating around" out there among novice breeders, and others, regarding weakness and inferiority in color mutations.     
                        It has definitely been my observation over the past 62 years in the hobby, that weak and inferior specimens are usually the result of improper and irresponsible management on the part of the people breeding them. We find greedy people who inbreed and overbreed their birds simply to make a quick buck, instead of practicing responsible husbandry. I know that you have seen this practice personally, with one of the Quaker breeders here in the US, so you know exactly what I'm talking about...
                        I just thought it prudent to mention this so you don't overlook it in your article. I know you are a conscientious person, who doesn't like to hurt feelings or create problems. HOWEVER, some of these issues need to be brought to the attention of the newcomers in the breeding scene, lest they get the wrong impressions regarding mutations in general.
                        We must constantly be vigilant to properly educate the novice population in the difference between hybrids and mutations, which are quite often confused by the casual observer. ALSO, there are those folks out there, who feel that any mutation is automatically inferior and should never be propagated. They are entitled to their opinions, and we are entitled to ours! Again, HOWEVER, they need to be made aware that properly managed mutations are just as healthy as normal or wildtype birds.
                        Regarding longevity: There are too many variables in individual situations to blame a shortened lifespan on the fact that a bird is a mutant color.....Improper diet, and lack of proper exercise has been the death sentence for many birds, at an abnormally young age, no matter what color they are! People need to be made aware of facts like that!
                        Sorry for the ramble, Folks, but felt it necessary to add my thoughts.
                                                                    Kindest regards,
                                                                                        Bob Nelson  

              • Verndell Gildhouse
                Thanks Joyce. It is very sad when folks don t know, or don t listen to advice given, to introduce unrelated breeding stock into their aviaries. As most of us
                Message 7 of 23 , Feb 7, 2007
                  Thanks Joyce.  It is very sad when folks don't know, or don't listen to advice given, to introduce unrelated breeding stock into their aviaries.  As most of us here know very well, outcrossing is the basis of good husbandry.
                   
                  Warm regards,
                   
                  Vern.
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 5:01 AM
                  Subject: Re: [Genetics-Psittacine] Normals verses Mutations Discussion Request

                  > Regarding longevity: There are too many variables in individual
                  >situations to blame a shortened lifespan on the fact that a bird is a
                  >mutant
                  >color.....Improper diet, and lack of proper exercise has been the death
                  >sentence
                  >for many birds, at an abnormally young age, no matter what color they are!

                  I'd like to add another reason to this list that Bob Nelson has posted.
                  I've just recently seen some Whitefaced Cockatiels, that the owner
                  has been inbreeding (linebreeding) for 6 generations now...and the
                  result has been a clutch of very sickliy babies, with all but one dying,
                  even with veterinary help. Very tiny, and not healthy at all birds.
                  So sad.

                  Joyce Baum
                  www.ringnecklady. net

                • June DiCiocco
                  Bob Nelson wrote : ... I agree Bob . Also add to the cause that in small species, like forpus, some flocked their birds and paid no attention to who
                  Message 8 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                    Bob Nelson wrote : <snip>

                    > We find
                    > greedy people who inbreed and overbreed their birds simply to make a
                    > quick
                    > buck, instead of practicing responsible husbandry. I know that you
                    > have seen
                    > this practice personally, with one of the Quaker breeders here in the
                    > US, so you
                    > know exactly what I'm talking about...


                    I agree Bob .

                    Also add to the cause that in small species, like forpus, some flocked
                    their birds and paid no attention to who bred who
                    and as a result sold some quite inferrior produceing birds . I attribute
                    that to laziness not greed. MHO.

                    "Greed" is something as bird breeders we are getting rid of that term as
                    it too is over used and not always correct.

                    Again thankyou for your view.

                    June DiCiocco.
                  • Jennifer Barker
                    This is a very interesting view, and it parallels my own thoughts on the subject of mutations and responsible husbandry. I think one fact to consider is that
                    Message 9 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                      This is a very interesting view, and it parallels my own thoughts on
                      the subject of mutations and responsible husbandry.

                      I think one fact to consider is that many of the strongest opinions
                      about breeding companion birds come from pet owners and NOT breeders.
                      In the parrotlet community, at least, the pet owners are responsible
                      for the perpetuation of many myths about mutations, genetic splits,
                      and pairing.

                      I also have noticed that it depends on the species in question.
                      Exhibition budgie breeders embrace the possibility of genetic
                      unknowns. They outcross continuously and their birds are robust and
                      healthy. (These large-scale show breeders are not to be confused with
                      commercial pet shop suppliers!)

                      In the forpus (parrotlet) community, however, you will see more of a
                      push toward the "non-mutation" side. Recently a few well-known
                      breeders have started a crusade to "preserve the foundation stock" and
                      keep track of every genetic possibility. Breeders whose birds carry
                      uknown genetic splits (and even those who defend such breeders) are
                      seen as irresponsible breeders that contribute to the detriment of the
                      species as a whole. "Defectors" are shunned for presenting scientific
                      evidence that does not support the idealistic (albeit incorrect) pet
                      owner philosophy that a bird with even one uknown allele is an
                      unhealthy bird that will undoubtedly die of a horrible genetic disease.

                      True, the argument could be made that a breeder who takes little care
                      in assuring proper (PERFECT) genetic pairings must also take little
                      care in regard to health, nutrition, and other matters of husbandry,
                      but this theory does not speak to the entire bird breeding community.

                      It is funny...the bird community marvels at each new and exotic
                      mutation that appears out of aviculture, but these awestruck
                      spectators are completely oblivious to the fact that these new, exotic
                      mutations come from experimentation--intentional manipulation of the
                      unknown.

                      I personally pair each of my mutation birds with a normal bird
                      carrying splits. I follow the "rules" of breeding and genetics, I
                      would never pair two birds just because they were available, and I
                      have a deep regard for the power of nature in its original form...but
                      that doesn't mean I don't understand and respect the mystery of
                      mutations.

                      Jennifer Barker
                      www.texastailfeathers.com
                      Arlington TX

                      --- In Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com, Carouselbirds@... wrote:
                      ...properly managed mutations are just as healthy as normal or
                      wildtype birds.
                      Regarding longevity: There are too many variables in
                      individual situations to blame a shortened lifespan on the fact that a
                      bird is a mutant color.....Improper diet, and lack of proper exercise
                      has been the death sentence for many birds, at an abnormally young
                      age, no matter what color they are! People need to be made aware of
                      facts like that!
                    • Wheeler
                      Here we go again, the crusaders are not even getting into your one sided debate with a couple individuals. Rather defectors are shunned (and not bought
                      Message 10 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                        Here we go again, the "crusaders" are not even getting into your one sided
                        debate with a couple individuals. Rather "defectors" are shunned (and not
                        bought from) for their irresponsible breeding practices. Providing the
                        "pet" industry with sub-standard animals which can and may end up in the
                        breeding pool is just irresponsible.

                        Folks, what we are seeing are wannabe breeders who for the fast buck are
                        breeding visual to visual and split to split. What we are seeing are
                        shorter lived birds, with ailments (anecdotal for sure but common) from the
                        visual to visual pairings. The split to split pairings just muddy the water
                        with unknown split birds. "But it is ok as they are only going to be pets."
                        Pets become breeding stock, it happens!

                        This debate is not a "pet" owner philosophy, rather a discussion of ethical
                        animal husbandry vs. the quick buck artist seeking to justify their actions.

                        Bob Wheeler


                        Visit our sites at:
                        http://www.onemorebird.com/
                        http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/


                        "Defectors" are shunned for presenting scientific evidence that does not
                        support the idealistic (albeit incorrect) pet owner philosophy that a bird
                        with even one uknown allele is an unhealthy bird that will undoubtedly die
                        of a horrible genetic disease.
                      • Wheeler
                        June, I think we need to see that there are both going on in the Parrotlet world. Yes folks are practicing poor animal husbandry due to laziness but a heck of
                        Message 11 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                          June, I think we need to see that there are both going on in the Parrotlet
                          world. Yes folks are practicing poor animal husbandry due to laziness but a
                          heck of a lot of them are doing it to make the fast buck. You know what I
                          mean, the "in and out artists" who get "into" breeding then we see them fade
                          into the next "good thing". Wasn't the last one Linnies?

                          Bob W


                          Visit our sites at:
                          http://www.onemorebird.com/
                          http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/



                          Also add to the cause that in small species, like forpus, some flocked their
                          birds and paid no attention to who bred who and as a result sold some quite
                          inferrior produceing birds . I attribute that to laziness not greed. MHO.

                          "Greed" is something as bird breeders we are getting rid of that term as it
                          too is over used and not always correct.

                          Again thankyou for your view.

                          June DiCiocco.
                        • Jennifer Barker
                          But that s the thing...what makes genetic splits irresponsible? We all have them, birds and humans alike. Even a bird that doesn t carry any (known) genes for
                          Message 12 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                            But that's the thing...what makes genetic splits irresponsible? We
                            all have them, birds and humans alike.

                            Even a bird that doesn't carry any (known) genes for a color
                            mutation can carry genes for undesirable traits. On the other hand,
                            a bird that carries unknown mutation genes or too many mutation
                            genes (i.e. more than one bird of the same color in its pedigree)
                            may be perfectly clean when it comes to genetic issues not related
                            to color.

                            I don't breed just any bird to any other bird and I don't condone
                            that practice at all...but if someone wants to breed a healthy
                            lutino/blue bird to a green/lutino/pastel bird, then do I condemn
                            their aviary and then set out to damage their reputation (along with
                            anyone that "defends" them) among the entire bird community based
                            solely on the fact that some of the resulting offspring from this
                            pairing will carry a hidden pastel gene?

                            And what if that hidden pastel gene makes its way into someone's
                            breeding program? Will it ruin the health of the entire aviary?
                            Will the handful of birds with this pastel gene be genetically and
                            biologically inferior to the birds that don't have the pastel gene?
                            Certainly not. If so, prove it.

                            As for the visual to same visual discussion, that may be true
                            in "new" birds such as parrotlets, linnies, etc., whose color
                            mutations came from fairly recent line breeding. But what about
                            budgies, zebra finches (not psittacine, I know), and other birds
                            with long pedigrees and established color lines? This argument
                            doesn't even exist in those communities.

                            Now for the "split/split" argument...what is it that causes two
                            plain green birds with a (blue, yellow, ino) color gene to be
                            unhealthy? The fact that they carry the possibility of expressing
                            color? Absolutely ridiculous. Show me something scientific.

                            Undesired traits can ride on the backs of the color genes, but they
                            can also come in on normal wild-type birds with no color mutation
                            genes.

                            What we have here is really two separate issues. We have a
                            scientific argument and we have an ethics argument. The scientific
                            argument covers birds in general. The ethics argument is very
                            species-specific and is really only about general carelessness. I
                            think in most cases we can keep "quick bucks" out of the equation.
                            I certainly don't make a profit from breeding birds, and I know very
                            few breeders that do. I also don't think it's fair to say that
                            every profitable breeder breeds irresponsibly, or that every breeder
                            that runs at a deficit breeds responsibly.

                            Now back to the original question...even if every bird in captivity
                            was colored or split to infinity, they all carry the wild-type
                            genes. Nature prefers the wild type and will preserve the wild
                            type, regardless of human intervention...as long as there are birds.

                            This argument could go on ad infinitem. After all, we already know
                            deep in our souls that all black goats are mean, and no amount of
                            evidence to the contrary can ever change that.

                            Jennifer Barker
                            www.texastailfeathers.com
                            Arlington TX

                            --- In Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com, "Wheeler" <rivercst@...>
                            wrote:
                            Here we go again, the "crusaders" are not even getting into your one
                            sided debate with a couple individuals. Rather "defectors" are
                            shunned (and not bought from) for their irresponsible breeding
                            practices. Providing the "pet" industry with sub-standard animals
                            which can and may end up in the breeding pool is just irresponsible.

                            Folks, what we are seeing are wannabe breeders who for the fast buck
                            are breeding visual to visual and split to split. What we are seeing
                            are shorter lived birds, with ailments (anecdotal for sure but
                            common) from the visual to visual pairings. The split to split
                            pairings just muddy the water with unknown split birds. "But it is
                            ok as they are only going to be pets." Pets become breeding stock,
                            it happens!

                            This debate is not a "pet" owner philosophy, rather a discussion of
                            ethical animal husbandry vs. the quick buck artist seeking to
                            justify their actions.
                          • William Smith
                            Jennifer, You had better believe I am on a crusade. When I cannot find a breeder that can provide the geneology of their birds for a mere two generations back
                            Message 13 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                              Jennifer,
                              You had better believe I am on a crusade. When I cannot find a breeder that
                              can provide the geneology of their birds for a mere two generations back
                              something has to be done. If I want to breed a lutino I do not want it
                              possibly split to American Yellow, Blue or any other mutation, I want a
                              Lutino period and I do not want inbred stock but stock that has been
                              outcrossed every few generations. Do I lean too far in one direction. Yes,
                              I do to get my point across as the average person does not seem to grasp the
                              severity of the problem we are dealing with here in the U.S. When I first
                              started breeding Forpus the average weights were in the low thirties (grams)
                              and now people think that a 21 gram bird is normal. The reason behind the
                              diminutive size of these birds is due to inbreeding, which has also
                              attributed to a shorter lifespan and weaker birds in general. While
                              individual circumstances should be taken into account common sense dictates
                              that a species of bird that was know as robust and healthy just a decade ago
                              is now know to be frail and difficult to keep. So while the color mutation
                              does not cause illness you have to look at how illness is inherited from
                              generation to generation and you will realize that poor record keeping and
                              inbreeding have attributed to this. So when I tell new breeders not to
                              breed Blue to Blue, yes I am oversimplifying, but these new breeders can not
                              usually prove to me that they are not pairing siblings and I can assure you
                              that they will not take the 100% Blue offspring and outcross them back to a
                              Normal/Wildtype and they will inturn tell the next generation to pair their
                              birds as they have. Where will it stop?

                              It matters not what myths pet owners contribute to the mix as professional
                              breeders we should be researching and sharing information with our peers.

                              William


                              This is a very interesting view, and it parallels my own thoughts on
                              the subject of mutations and responsible husbandry.

                              I think one fact to consider is that many of the strongest opinions
                              about breeding companion birds come from pet owners and NOT breeders.
                              In the parrotlet community, at least, the pet owners are responsible
                              for the perpetuation of many myths about mutations, genetic splits,
                              and pairing.

                              I also have noticed that it depends on the species in question.
                              Exhibition budgie breeders embrace the possibility of genetic
                              unknowns. They outcross continuously and their birds are robust and
                              healthy. (These large-scale show breeders are not to be confused with
                              commercial pet shop suppliers!)

                              In the forpus (parrotlet) community, however, you will see more of a
                              push toward the "non-mutation" side. Recently a few well-known
                              breeders have started a crusade to "preserve the foundation stock" and
                              keep track of every genetic possibility. Breeders whose birds carry
                              uknown genetic splits (and even those who defend such breeders) are
                              seen as irresponsible breeders that contribute to the detriment of the
                              species as a whole. "Defectors" are shunned for presenting scientific
                              evidence that does not support the idealistic (albeit incorrect) pet
                              owner philosophy that a bird with even one uknown allele is an
                              unhealthy bird that will undoubtedly die of a horrible genetic disease.

                              True, the argument could be made that a breeder who takes little care
                              in assuring proper (PERFECT) genetic pairings must also take little
                              care in regard to health, nutrition, and other matters of husbandry,
                              but this theory does not speak to the entire bird breeding community.

                              It is funny...the bird community marvels at each new and exotic
                              mutation that appears out of aviculture, but these awestruck
                              spectators are completely oblivious to the fact that these new, exotic
                              mutations come from experimentation--intentional manipulation of the
                              unknown.

                              I personally pair each of my mutation birds with a normal bird
                              carrying splits. I follow the "rules" of breeding and genetics, I
                              would never pair two birds just because they were available, and I
                              have a deep regard for the power of nature in its original form...but
                              that doesn't mean I don't understand and respect the mystery of
                              mutations.

                              Jennifer Barker
                              www.texastailfeathers.com
                              Arlington TX

                              --- In Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com, Carouselbirds@... wrote:
                              ...properly managed mutations are just as healthy as normal or
                              wildtype birds.
                              Regarding longevity: There are too many variables in
                              individual situations to blame a shortened lifespan on the fact that a
                              bird is a mutant color.....Improper diet, and lack of proper exercise
                              has been the death sentence for many birds, at an abnormally young
                              age, no matter what color they are! People need to be made aware of
                              facts like that!
                            • Wheeler
                              UNKNOWN genetic splits are the problem. The unknown factor in the wild is one thing, creating an unknown due to laziness is totally irresponsible! Bob W Visit
                              Message 14 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                UNKNOWN genetic splits are the problem. The unknown factor in the wild is
                                one thing, creating an unknown due to laziness is totally irresponsible!



                                Bob W


                                Visit our sites at:
                                http://www.onemorebird.com/
                                http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/



                                But that's the thing...what makes genetic splits irresponsible? We all have
                                them, birds and humans alike.

                                Even a bird that doesn't carry any (known) genes for a color mutation can
                                carry genes for undesirable traits. On the other hand, a bird that carries
                                unknown mutation genes or too many mutation genes (i.e. more than one bird
                                of the same color in its pedigree) may be perfectly clean when it comes to
                                genetic issues not related to color.

                                I don't breed just any bird to any other bird and I don't condone that
                                practice at all...but if someone wants to breed a healthy lutino/blue bird
                                to a green/lutino/pastel bird, then do I condemn their aviary and then set
                                out to damage their reputation (along with anyone that "defends" them) among
                                the entire bird community based solely on the fact that some of the
                                resulting offspring from this pairing will carry a hidden pastel gene?

                                And what if that hidden pastel gene makes its way into someone's breeding
                                program? Will it ruin the health of the entire aviary?
                                Will the handful of birds with this pastel gene be genetically and
                                biologically inferior to the birds that don't have the pastel gene?
                                Certainly not. If so, prove it.

                                As for the visual to same visual discussion, that may be true in "new" birds
                                such as parrotlets, linnies, etc., whose color mutations came from fairly
                                recent line breeding. But what about budgies, zebra finches (not
                                psittacine, I know), and other birds with long pedigrees and established
                                color lines? This argument doesn't even exist in those communities.

                                Now for the "split/split" argument...what is it that causes two plain green
                                birds with a (blue, yellow, ino) color gene to be unhealthy? The fact that
                                they carry the possibility of expressing color? Absolutely ridiculous.
                                Show me something scientific.

                                Undesired traits can ride on the backs of the color genes, but they can also
                                come in on normal wild-type birds with no color mutation genes.

                                What we have here is really two separate issues. We have a scientific
                                argument and we have an ethics argument. The scientific argument covers
                                birds in general. The ethics argument is very species-specific and is
                                really only about general carelessness. I think in most cases we can keep
                                "quick bucks" out of the equation.
                                I certainly don't make a profit from breeding birds, and I know very few
                                breeders that do. I also don't think it's fair to say that every profitable
                                breeder breeds irresponsibly, or that every breeder that runs at a deficit
                                breeds responsibly.

                                Now back to the original question...even if every bird in captivity was
                                colored or split to infinity, they all carry the wild-type genes. Nature
                                prefers the wild type and will preserve the wild type, regardless of human
                                intervention...as long as there are birds.

                                This argument could go on ad infinitem. After all, we already know deep in
                                our souls that all black goats are mean, and no amount of evidence to the
                                contrary can ever change that.

                                Jennifer Barker
                                www.texastailfeathers.com
                                Arlington TX

                                --- In Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com, "Wheeler" <rivercst@...>
                                wrote:
                                Here we go again, the "crusaders" are not even getting into your one sided
                                debate with a couple individuals. Rather "defectors" are shunned (and not
                                bought from) for their irresponsible breeding practices. Providing the "pet"
                                industry with sub-standard animals which can and may end up in the breeding
                                pool is just irresponsible.

                                Folks, what we are seeing are wannabe breeders who for the fast buck are
                                breeding visual to visual and split to split. What we are seeing are shorter
                                lived birds, with ailments (anecdotal for sure but
                                common) from the visual to visual pairings. The split to split pairings just
                                muddy the water with unknown split birds. "But it is ok as they are only
                                going to be pets." Pets become breeding stock, it happens!

                                This debate is not a "pet" owner philosophy, rather a discussion of ethical
                                animal husbandry vs. the quick buck artist seeking to justify their actions.




                                Yahoo! Groups Links
                              • William Smith
                                Jennifer, You are confusing two totally different issues. No one has ever stated that unknown splits will cause undesireable traits or cause deformities or
                                Message 15 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                  Jennifer,
                                  You are confusing two totally different issues. No one has ever stated that
                                  unknown splits will cause undesireable traits or cause deformities or sick
                                  birds. That is all an inbreeding issue. What we are saying is that we want
                                  accountablity from our peers in the way of good record keeping. What is
                                  wrong with that? It is for the good of all concerned. If you are familiar
                                  with genetics then by all means feel free to try and create new mutations
                                  and new combinations, but for the most part many breeders have no idea about
                                  even the most basic genetics and these are the people that I deal with on a
                                  day to day basis, you rarely see it carry over to this list as it is filled
                                  with breeders who actually have taken the time and effort to learn genetics.

                                  Good breeding practices should go across aviculture, it really does not
                                  matter what type of bird we are discussing.

                                  William


                                  But that's the thing...what makes genetic splits irresponsible? We
                                  all have them, birds and humans alike.

                                  Even a bird that doesn't carry any (known) genes for a color
                                  mutation can carry genes for undesirable traits. On the other hand,
                                  a bird that carries unknown mutation genes or too many mutation
                                  genes (i.e. more than one bird of the same color in its pedigree)
                                  may be perfectly clean when it comes to genetic issues not related
                                  to color.

                                  I don't breed just any bird to any other bird and I don't condone
                                  that practice at all...but if someone wants to breed a healthy
                                  lutino/blue bird to a green/lutino/pastel bird, then do I condemn
                                  their aviary and then set out to damage their reputation (along with
                                  anyone that "defends" them) among the entire bird community based
                                  solely on the fact that some of the resulting offspring from this
                                  pairing will carry a hidden pastel gene?

                                  And what if that hidden pastel gene makes its way into someone's
                                  breeding program? Will it ruin the health of the entire aviary?
                                  Will the handful of birds with this pastel gene be genetically and
                                  biologically inferior to the birds that don't have the pastel gene?
                                  Certainly not. If so, prove it.

                                  As for the visual to same visual discussion, that may be true
                                  in "new" birds such as parrotlets, linnies, etc., whose color
                                  mutations came from fairly recent line breeding. But what about
                                  budgies, zebra finches (not psittacine, I know), and other birds
                                  with long pedigrees and established color lines? This argument
                                  doesn't even exist in those communities.

                                  Now for the "split/split" argument...what is it that causes two
                                  plain green birds with a (blue, yellow, ino) color gene to be
                                  unhealthy? The fact that they carry the possibility of expressing
                                  color? Absolutely ridiculous. Show me something scientific.

                                  Undesired traits can ride on the backs of the color genes, but they
                                  can also come in on normal wild-type birds with no color mutation
                                  genes.

                                  What we have here is really two separate issues. We have a
                                  scientific argument and we have an ethics argument. The scientific
                                  argument covers birds in general. The ethics argument is very
                                  species-specific and is really only about general carelessness. I
                                  think in most cases we can keep "quick bucks" out of the equation.
                                  I certainly don't make a profit from breeding birds, and I know very
                                  few breeders that do. I also don't think it's fair to say that
                                  every profitable breeder breeds irresponsibly, or that every breeder
                                  that runs at a deficit breeds responsibly.

                                  Now back to the original question...even if every bird in captivity
                                  was colored or split to infinity, they all carry the wild-type
                                  genes. Nature prefers the wild type and will preserve the wild
                                  type, regardless of human intervention...as long as there are birds.

                                  This argument could go on ad infinitem. After all, we already know
                                  deep in our souls that all black goats are mean, and no amount of
                                  evidence to the contrary can ever change that
                                • Jennifer Barker
                                  That is the point...*I* am not confusing the issues...they are already confused. A breeder that knowingly
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                    <<You are confusing two totally different issues.>>

                                    That is the point...*I* am not confusing the issues...they are
                                    already confused. A breeder that knowingly (or unknowingly) sells a
                                    bird with an unknown split is branded with the same ugly stamp as a
                                    breeder that sells birds from visual to same visual pairings or a
                                    breeder that feeds his birds nothing but saltine crackers and dog
                                    food. But why?

                                    In my message I specifically state that there is a very distinct
                                    difference between the two problems. Visual-to-same-visual is a
                                    health issue (particularly in "young, new" species such as
                                    parrotlets and linnies). Unknown splits is a bookkeeping issue.
                                    Sure, bad bookkeeping is irresponsible...but will it cause the
                                    destruction of an entire species? Absolutely not.

                                    Then again, I don't have a bird in my house whose pedigree can't be
                                    traced back at least 3 generations. I had a "clean" pair in the
                                    very beginning that threw a yellow chick and I immediately re-
                                    paired. I've passed on literally HUNDREDS of weirdly combined
                                    breeding pairs and snickered at breeders that tell me their birds
                                    are "split seven ways". I recently invested in a copy of Avimate.
                                    So, whether or not I agree with the public lynching of "bad"
                                    breeders, guess which theory I subscribe to in my own aviary. ;o)

                                    Regardless of ethics, the original fact remains...as long as a
                                    species of bird exists, nature will preserve the wild type. I'm not
                                    talking about passenger pigeons or carolina parakeets, species that
                                    have become extinct...I am talking about species that continue to be
                                    bred in large numbers...parrotlets, gouldian finches, the common
                                    species of lovebirds, greencheek conures, etc. That is not
                                    aviculture's excuse for bad breeding or carelessness...it is our
                                    SALVATION.

                                    Jennifer
                                  • Wheeler
                                    Jennifer, if enough unknown splits looking like clean foundation stock get into the breeding pool we WILL see an end to the clean stock. Find me a pure pair
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                      Jennifer, if enough unknown splits looking like clean foundation stock get
                                      into the breeding pool we WILL see an end to the "clean" stock. Find me a
                                      pure pair of Peach faced Love Birds, and I hear tell that the Guldian Finch
                                      world is getting just as convoluted.

                                      Without good "clean" foundation stock you will not be able to out cross back
                                      to strengthen the lines. Now this might not be important to you or others
                                      but in the long run it can create damage.
                                      The other problem is simply put-unknown splits leave us with no way to breed
                                      any specific mutation clean. I have several lines of American Yellows. I
                                      do not want to mix the Blue mutation into these lines, with unknown splits
                                      we are risking the bastardization of these lines we seek to preserve.

                                      Bob W

                                      Visit our sites at:
                                      http://www.onemorebird.com/
                                      http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/


                                      Unknown splits is a bookkeeping issue. Sure, bad bookkeeping is
                                      irresponsible...but will it cause the destruction of an entire species?
                                      Absolutely not.
                                    • William Smith
                                      Jennifer, It is very elementary that if you put two differnt mutations together you will end up with a Wild Type, that is not the point of this entire
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                        Jennifer,
                                        It is very elementary that if you put two differnt mutations together you
                                        will end up with a Wild Type, that is not the point of this entire
                                        discussion. This discussion pertains to aviculture and good record keeping
                                        for the good of all hobbyists and you have to ask why someone who does poor
                                        record keeping would be put in the same catagory as someone who does not
                                        research the best possible diet for the species they are raising.

                                        I have always stated that I have no problem with same color to same color
                                        mutation pairings, just provide me with a background so I will know when the
                                        last time these birds were outcrossed to wild type, the trouble is that very
                                        few people out there can do this and the ability to purchase a wild type
                                        that does not carry unknown genetics is getting next to impossible to do.
                                        If you don't see the importance than I don't know how else to explain it
                                        you.

                                        William
                                        That is the point...*I* am not confusing the issues...they are
                                        already confused. A breeder that knowingly (or unknowingly) sells a
                                        bird with an unknown split is branded with the same ugly stamp as a
                                        breeder that sells birds from visual to same visual pairings or a
                                        breeder that feeds his birds nothing but saltine crackers and dog
                                        food. But why?

                                        In my message I specifically state that there is a very distinct
                                        difference between the two problems. Visual-to-same-visual is a
                                        health issue (particularly in "young, new" species such as
                                        parrotlets and linnies). Unknown splits is a bookkeeping issue.
                                        Sure, bad bookkeeping is irresponsible...but will it cause the
                                        destruction of an entire species? Absolutely not.

                                        Then again, I don't have a bird in my house whose pedigree can't be
                                        traced back at least 3 generations. I had a "clean" pair in the
                                        very beginning that threw a yellow chick and I immediately re-
                                        paired. I've passed on literally HUNDREDS of weirdly combined
                                        breeding pairs and snickered at breeders that tell me their birds
                                        are "split seven ways". I recently invested in a copy of Avimate.
                                        So, whether or not I agree with the public lynching of "bad"
                                        breeders, guess which theory I subscribe to in my own aviary. ;o)

                                        Regardless of ethics, the original fact remains...as long as a
                                        species of bird exists, nature will preserve the wild type. I'm not
                                        talking about passenger pigeons or carolina parakeets, species that
                                        have become extinct...I am talking about species that continue to be
                                        bred in large numbers...parrotlets, gouldian finches, the common
                                        species of lovebirds, greencheek conures, etc. That is not
                                        aviculture's excuse for bad breeding or carelessness...it is our
                                        SALVATION.

                                        Jennifer
                                      • Terry Martin
                                        Jennifer, Bob and William The three of you basically all agree on the same principles, you are merely arguing upon the relative importance of different facts.
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                          Jennifer, Bob and William

                                          The three of you basically all agree on the same principles, you are
                                          merely arguing upon the relative importance of different facts. All are
                                          correct in different degrees. I believe a pause in your discussion is in
                                          order.

                                          Talking in more general terms, the overall picture of aviculture and
                                          mutations goes something as follows:-

                                          Stage 1 - species with wildtype only - generally bred in small numbers and
                                          held primarily by 'purists' except for a few 'desirable species' (eg
                                          Macaws). Species numbers stable but low

                                          Stage 2 - first colour morph - highly priced and owned primarily by the 'big
                                          end of town' (eg Eclectus). Species numbers unaffacted from previous level.

                                          Stage 3a - expansion of multiple colour morphs (at least 3-4 mutations) -
                                          price high, 'investors invade' with primary goal to 'make money' and to 'be
                                          the first' to produce new colours. Price of species sores. It could be
                                          argued that greed and also gambling are motivations in this phase. Species
                                          numbers start to increase rapidly.

                                          Stage 3b - expansion of combinations - price starts to fall and large
                                          numbers of breeders enter the market. Breeding of colours almost
                                          indiscriminate to produce the 'new colour' to make money. Species numbers
                                          explode and resulting price crash as market becomes saturated.

                                          Stage 4 - maturation phase - investors and gamblers leave for the 'next big
                                          thing'. Breeders dedicated to the species take over and begin to improve the
                                          colour morphs and re-establish pure strains of Normals.Species numbers
                                          decrease but remain well above the early stages, price returns to previous
                                          level dictated by supply and demand. 'Backyard breeders' enter the market
                                          and perpetuate the 'popular colours'. Less attractive colours become
                                          restricted to 'specialists' only.

                                          Stage 5 - exhibition phase - Dedicated breeders begin to increase the
                                          exhibition of the species. Generally by this stage pure strains of wildtype
                                          are highly valued by the best breeders and are more highly priced than most
                                          colour morphs. Birds of all colours valued equally upon vitality and
                                          exhibition traits.

                                          Of course there are many variations and it is possible that a
                                          species in stage 5 can have a new mutation that will go through the early
                                          stages just like a new species. We have seen this in Australia over the past
                                          decade with good old Zebra Finches. At least three new primary mutations
                                          have been developed by breeders and entered directly into stage 5 at a high
                                          level of quality but low price. However one new mutation was bred by
                                          'investors' and entered via stage 3a. As a result enormous numbers were bred
                                          and high prices were paid for and the birds produced were low quality, did
                                          not fit the standards and were 'split to the teeth' for inappropriate genes.
                                          The stage 3 investors and gamblers could not understand why the stage 5
                                          breeders would not get involved and pay the ridiculous prices. Then it all
                                          crashed and the stage 5 breeders have now taken over.

                                          Terry
                                        • Wheeler
                                          Spot on Terry! Bob W Visit our sites at: http://www.onemorebird.com/ http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/ ...
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                            Spot on Terry!

                                            Bob W


                                            Visit our sites at:
                                            http://www.onemorebird.com/
                                            http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/


                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com
                                            [mailto:Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Terry Martin
                                            Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 3:41 PM
                                            To: Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [Genetics-Psittacine] Re: Normals verses Mutations Discussion
                                            Request

                                            Jennifer, Bob and William

                                            The three of you basically all agree on the same principles, you are
                                            merely arguing upon the relative importance of different facts. All are
                                            correct in different degrees. I believe a pause in your discussion is in
                                            order.

                                            Talking in more general terms, the overall picture of aviculture and
                                            mutations goes something as follows:-

                                            Stage 1 - species with wildtype only - generally bred in small numbers and
                                            held primarily by 'purists' except for a few 'desirable species' (eg
                                            Macaws). Species numbers stable but low

                                            Stage 2 - first colour morph - highly priced and owned primarily by the 'big
                                            end of town' (eg Eclectus). Species numbers unaffacted from previous level.

                                            Stage 3a - expansion of multiple colour morphs (at least 3-4 mutations) -
                                            price high, 'investors invade' with primary goal to 'make money' and to 'be
                                            the first' to produce new colours. Price of species sores. It could be
                                            argued that greed and also gambling are motivations in this phase. Species
                                            numbers start to increase rapidly.

                                            Stage 3b - expansion of combinations - price starts to fall and large
                                            numbers of breeders enter the market. Breeding of colours almost
                                            indiscriminate to produce the 'new colour' to make money. Species numbers
                                            explode and resulting price crash as market becomes saturated.

                                            Stage 4 - maturation phase - investors and gamblers leave for the 'next big
                                            thing'. Breeders dedicated to the species take over and begin to improve the
                                            colour morphs and re-establish pure strains of Normals.Species numbers
                                            decrease but remain well above the early stages, price returns to previous
                                            level dictated by supply and demand. 'Backyard breeders' enter the market
                                            and perpetuate the 'popular colours'. Less attractive colours become
                                            restricted to 'specialists' only.

                                            Stage 5 - exhibition phase - Dedicated breeders begin to increase the
                                            exhibition of the species. Generally by this stage pure strains of wildtype
                                            are highly valued by the best breeders and are more highly priced than most
                                            colour morphs. Birds of all colours valued equally upon vitality and
                                            exhibition traits.

                                            Of course there are many variations and it is possible that a
                                            species in stage 5 can have a new mutation that will go through the early
                                            stages just like a new species. We have seen this in Australia over the past
                                            decade with good old Zebra Finches. At least three new primary mutations
                                            have been developed by breeders and entered directly into stage 5 at a high
                                            level of quality but low price. However one new mutation was bred by
                                            'investors' and entered via stage 3a. As a result enormous numbers were bred
                                            and high prices were paid for and the birds produced were low quality, did
                                            not fit the standards and were 'split to the teeth' for inappropriate genes.

                                            The stage 3 investors and gamblers could not understand why the stage 5
                                            breeders would not get involved and pay the ridiculous prices. Then it all
                                            crashed and the stage 5 breeders have now taken over.

                                            Terry




                                            Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          • Stella Luuk
                                            Bob, you can t always know what splits you are creating. If you pair a bird that is split for a recessive like blue to a normal only some of those offspring
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                              Bob,

                                              you can't always know what splits you are creating. If you pair a bird that
                                              is split for a recessive like blue to a normal only some of those offspring
                                              are going to be split blue. You can tell the buyers the birds have only a
                                              50% chance of being split for blue, but if they don't test mate those
                                              offspring, does that breeder bother to tell their buyers that the birds
                                              MIGHT be split blue? They might and they might not. It's easy to lose splits
                                              without test mating and sometimes even with test mating (never know when a
                                              split will be passed on!).

                                              There are people with little to no understanding of genetics breeding birds
                                              of visual colour mutations. That's not a crime last time I looked. I started
                                              with normal cockatiels and learned as I went (my first pair were split for
                                              pied). For most people this is a fun and interesting hobby, not something
                                              deadly serious. As long as you try to pair birds no closer than 1st cousin
                                              in relation (hopefully further unrelated), I see no problem even if the
                                              birds are of the same mutation (as long as those birds are of good size,
                                              conformation, no closer than 1st cousin and healthy).

                                              To me, genetic diversity in our birds is the most important thing, not what
                                              colour they are and I feel you CAN have both with careful breeding.

                                              I like the excitement of something new and unexpected turning up in a nest!

                                              Stella
                                              and Flock


                                              From: "Wheeler" <rivercst@...>
                                              Reply-To: Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com
                                              To: <Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com>
                                              Subject: RE: [Genetics-Psittacine] Re: Normals verses Mutations Discussion
                                              Request
                                              Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 10:51:06 -0800

                                              UNKNOWN genetic splits are the problem. The unknown factor in the wild is
                                              one thing, creating an unknown due to laziness is totally irresponsible!



                                              Bob W


                                              Visit our sites at:
                                              http://www.onemorebird.com/
                                              http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/



                                              But that's the thing...what makes genetic splits irresponsible? We all have
                                              them, birds and humans alike.

                                              Even a bird that doesn't carry any (known) genes for a color mutation can
                                              carry genes for undesirable traits. On the other hand, a bird that carries
                                              unknown mutation genes or too many mutation genes (i.e. more than one bird
                                              of the same color in its pedigree) may be perfectly clean when it comes to
                                              genetic issues not related to color.

                                              I don't breed just any bird to any other bird and I don't condone that
                                              practice at all...but if someone wants to breed a healthy lutino/blue bird
                                              to a green/lutino/pastel bird, then do I condemn their aviary and then set
                                              out to damage their reputation (along with anyone that "defends" them) among
                                              the entire bird community based solely on the fact that some of the
                                              resulting offspring from this pairing will carry a hidden pastel gene?

                                              And what if that hidden pastel gene makes its way into someone's breeding
                                              program? Will it ruin the health of the entire aviary?
                                              Will the handful of birds with this pastel gene be genetically and
                                              biologically inferior to the birds that don't have the pastel gene?
                                              Certainly not. If so, prove it.

                                              As for the visual to same visual discussion, that may be true in "new" birds
                                              such as parrotlets, linnies, etc., whose color mutations came from fairly
                                              recent line breeding. But what about budgies, zebra finches (not
                                              psittacine, I know), and other birds with long pedigrees and established
                                              color lines? This argument doesn't even exist in those communities.

                                              Now for the "split/split" argument...what is it that causes two plain green
                                              birds with a (blue, yellow, ino) color gene to be unhealthy? The fact that
                                              they carry the possibility of expressing color? Absolutely ridiculous.
                                              Show me something scientific.

                                              Undesired traits can ride on the backs of the color genes, but they can also
                                              come in on normal wild-type birds with no color mutation genes.

                                              What we have here is really two separate issues. We have a scientific
                                              argument and we have an ethics argument. The scientific argument covers
                                              birds in general. The ethics argument is very species-specific and is
                                              really only about general carelessness. I think in most cases we can keep
                                              "quick bucks" out of the equation.
                                              I certainly don't make a profit from breeding birds, and I know very few
                                              breeders that do. I also don't think it's fair to say that every profitable
                                              breeder breeds irresponsibly, or that every breeder that runs at a deficit
                                              breeds responsibly.

                                              Now back to the original question...even if every bird in captivity was
                                              colored or split to infinity, they all carry the wild-type genes. Nature
                                              prefers the wild type and will preserve the wild type, regardless of human
                                              intervention...as long as there are birds.

                                              This argument could go on ad infinitem. After all, we already know deep in
                                              our souls that all black goats are mean, and no amount of evidence to the
                                              contrary can ever change that.

                                              Jennifer Barker
                                              www.texastailfeathers.com
                                              Arlington TX

                                              --- In Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com, "Wheeler" <rivercst@...>
                                              wrote:
                                              Here we go again, the "crusaders" are not even getting into your one sided
                                              debate with a couple individuals. Rather "defectors" are shunned (and not
                                              bought from) for their irresponsible breeding practices. Providing the "pet"
                                              industry with sub-standard animals which can and may end up in the breeding
                                              pool is just irresponsible.

                                              Folks, what we are seeing are wannabe breeders who for the fast buck are
                                              breeding visual to visual and split to split. What we are seeing are shorter
                                              lived birds, with ailments (anecdotal for sure but
                                              common) from the visual to visual pairings. The split to split pairings just
                                              muddy the water with unknown split birds. "But it is ok as they are only
                                              going to be pets." Pets become breeding stock, it happens!

                                              This debate is not a "pet" owner philosophy, rather a discussion of ethical
                                              animal husbandry vs. the quick buck artist seeking to justify their actions.




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                                              Yahoo! Groups Links



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                                            • Wheeler
                                              Parrotlets are different than some of the others Stella. If I breed a visual blue with a normal green all green birds will be split to blue in total. If you
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                                Parrotlets are different than some of the others Stella. If I breed a
                                                visual blue with a normal green all green birds will be split to blue in
                                                total. If you breed split to split you will have the issues you mentioned
                                                but you can breed these birds the right way with positive assurances.

                                                Bob W

                                                Visit our sites at:
                                                http://www.onemorebird.com/
                                                http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/


                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com
                                                [mailto:Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Stella Luuk
                                                Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 9:46 PM
                                                To: Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com
                                                Subject: RE: [Genetics-Psittacine] Re: Normals verses Mutations Discussion
                                                Request


                                                Bob,

                                                you can't always know what splits you are creating. If you pair a bird that
                                                is split for a recessive like blue to a normal only some of those offspring
                                                are going to be split blue. You can tell the buyers the birds have only a
                                                50% chance of being split for blue, but if they don't test mate those
                                                offspring, does that breeder bother to tell their buyers that the birds
                                                MIGHT be split blue? They might and they might not. It's easy to lose splits
                                                without test mating and sometimes even with test mating (never know when a
                                                split will be passed on!).

                                                There are people with little to no understanding of genetics breeding birds
                                                of visual colour mutations. That's not a crime last time I looked. I started
                                                with normal cockatiels and learned as I went (my first pair were split for
                                                pied). For most people this is a fun and interesting hobby, not something
                                                deadly serious. As long as you try to pair birds no closer than 1st cousin
                                                in relation (hopefully further unrelated), I see no problem even if the
                                                birds are of the same mutation (as long as those birds are of good size,
                                                conformation, no closer than 1st cousin and healthy).

                                                To me, genetic diversity in our birds is the most important thing, not what
                                                colour they are and I feel you CAN have both with careful breeding.

                                                I like the excitement of something new and unexpected turning up in a nest!

                                                Stella
                                                and Flock


                                                From: "Wheeler" <rivercst@...>
                                                Reply-To: Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com
                                                To: <Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com>
                                                Subject: RE: [Genetics-Psittacine] Re: Normals verses Mutations Discussion
                                                Request
                                                Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 10:51:06 -0800

                                                UNKNOWN genetic splits are the problem. The unknown factor in the wild is
                                                one thing, creating an unknown due to laziness is totally irresponsible!



                                                Bob W


                                                Visit our sites at:
                                                http://www.onemorebird.com/
                                                http://home.pacifier.com/~rivercst/
                                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parrotletsandfun/



                                                But that's the thing...what makes genetic splits irresponsible? We all have
                                                them, birds and humans alike.

                                                Even a bird that doesn't carry any (known) genes for a color mutation can
                                                carry genes for undesirable traits. On the other hand, a bird that carries
                                                unknown mutation genes or too many mutation genes (i.e. more than one bird
                                                of the same color in its pedigree) may be perfectly clean when it comes to
                                                genetic issues not related to color.

                                                I don't breed just any bird to any other bird and I don't condone that
                                                practice at all...but if someone wants to breed a healthy lutino/blue bird
                                                to a green/lutino/pastel bird, then do I condemn their aviary and then set
                                                out to damage their reputation (along with anyone that "defends" them) among
                                                the entire bird community based solely on the fact that some of the
                                                resulting offspring from this pairing will carry a hidden pastel gene?

                                                And what if that hidden pastel gene makes its way into someone's breeding
                                                program? Will it ruin the health of the entire aviary?
                                                Will the handful of birds with this pastel gene be genetically and
                                                biologically inferior to the birds that don't have the pastel gene?
                                                Certainly not. If so, prove it.

                                                As for the visual to same visual discussion, that may be true in "new" birds
                                                such as parrotlets, linnies, etc., whose color mutations came from fairly
                                                recent line breeding. But what about budgies, zebra finches (not
                                                psittacine, I know), and other birds with long pedigrees and established
                                                color lines? This argument doesn't even exist in those communities.

                                                Now for the "split/split" argument...what is it that causes two plain green
                                                birds with a (blue, yellow, ino) color gene to be unhealthy? The fact that
                                                they carry the possibility of expressing color? Absolutely ridiculous.
                                                Show me something scientific.

                                                Undesired traits can ride on the backs of the color genes, but they can also
                                                come in on normal wild-type birds with no color mutation genes.

                                                What we have here is really two separate issues. We have a scientific
                                                argument and we have an ethics argument. The scientific argument covers
                                                birds in general. The ethics argument is very species-specific and is
                                                really only about general carelessness. I think in most cases we can keep
                                                "quick bucks" out of the equation.
                                                I certainly don't make a profit from breeding birds, and I know very few
                                                breeders that do. I also don't think it's fair to say that every profitable
                                                breeder breeds irresponsibly, or that every breeder that runs at a deficit
                                                breeds responsibly.

                                                Now back to the original question...even if every bird in captivity was
                                                colored or split to infinity, they all carry the wild-type genes. Nature
                                                prefers the wild type and will preserve the wild type, regardless of human
                                                intervention...as long as there are birds.

                                                This argument could go on ad infinitem. After all, we already know deep in
                                                our souls that all black goats are mean, and no amount of evidence to the
                                                contrary can ever change that.

                                                Jennifer Barker
                                                www.texastailfeathers.com
                                                Arlington TX

                                                --- In Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com, "Wheeler" <rivercst@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                Here we go again, the "crusaders" are not even getting into your one sided
                                                debate with a couple individuals. Rather "defectors" are shunned (and not
                                                bought from) for their irresponsible breeding practices. Providing the "pet"
                                                industry with sub-standard animals which can and may end up in the breeding
                                                pool is just irresponsible.

                                                Folks, what we are seeing are wannabe breeders who for the fast buck are
                                                breeding visual to visual and split to split. What we are seeing are shorter
                                                lived birds, with ailments (anecdotal for sure but
                                                common) from the visual to visual pairings. The split to split pairings just
                                                muddy the water with unknown split birds. "But it is ok as they are only
                                                going to be pets." Pets become breeding stock, it happens!

                                                This debate is not a "pet" owner philosophy, rather a discussion of ethical
                                                animal husbandry vs. the quick buck artist seeking to justify their actions.




                                                Yahoo! Groups Links









                                                Yahoo! Groups Links



                                                _________________________________________________________________
                                                Don't waste time standing in line-try shopping online. Visit Sympatico / MSN
                                                Shopping today! http://shopping.sympatico.msn.ca




                                                Yahoo! Groups Links
                                              • Stella Luuk
                                                Hi William, It would be nice if more breeders would supply a pedigree, but those that don t know genetics also tend not to keep records or band. It may be nice
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Feb 8, 2007
                                                  Hi William,

                                                  It would be nice if more breeders would supply a pedigree, but those that
                                                  don't know genetics also tend not to keep records or band.

                                                  It may be nice to know what splits a bird may be carrying, but I'm more
                                                  interested in knowing the degree of relatedness, compared to my current
                                                  flock. The hardest thing to find in cockatiels seems to be a good large show
                                                  crest and that is what I'm concentrating on getting into my lines now.
                                                  Sometimes this means I have to buy birds of unknown background.

                                                  Stella
                                                  and Flock

                                                  From: "William Smith" <phytoking@...>
                                                  Reply-To: Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com
                                                  To: <Genetics-Psittacine@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  Subject: Re: [Genetics-Psittacine] Re: Normals verses Mutations Discussion
                                                  Request
                                                  Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 14:03:06 -0500

                                                  Jennifer,
                                                  You are confusing two totally different issues. No one has ever stated that
                                                  unknown splits will cause undesireable traits or cause deformities or sick
                                                  birds. That is all an inbreeding issue. What we are saying is that we want
                                                  accountablity from our peers in the way of good record keeping. What is
                                                  wrong with that? It is for the good of all concerned. If you are familiar
                                                  with genetics then by all means feel free to try and create new mutations
                                                  and new combinations, but for the most part many breeders have no idea about
                                                  even the most basic genetics and these are the people that I deal with on a
                                                  day to day basis, you rarely see it carry over to this list as it is filled
                                                  with breeders who actually have taken the time and effort to learn genetics.

                                                  Good breeding practices should go across aviculture, it really does not
                                                  matter what type of bird we are discussing.

                                                  William

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