Inbreeding & Genetics
Frisky Finches Gouldians or breeding stock have come from professional breeders located all over the Western United States and Belgium (Europe) to be sure we have a diverse unrelated gene pool from which to breed our birds. The experts say it is OK to breed father to daughter and mother to son in “the bird world” however we have gone to great lengths to be sure none of our birds are even remotely related.
We have kept meticulous records going back generations to eliminate inbreeding with our finches. This greatly strengthens the genes, which helps to keep our birds healthy and strong.
Genetics in the Gouldian finch are recessive which means the genes fall back to the parent birds. This is a very detailed topic and it’s a good idea to have some basic understanding of Gouldian genetics if you are breeding for vibrant colors and size or large finches. There are many good books and articles available to explain genetics related to breeding the Lady Gouldian Finch available in book stores and online. Try this to get started: Gouldian Basics - Gouldian Genetics
Here at Frisky Finches we only breed what are referred to as normals and white breasts with “green backs”. We raise all 3 of the head or face colors i.e. Red, Black and Orange (yellow gene) in both normals and white breasts. We do not breed any of the ultra high breeds such as yellows, blues, silvers, dilutes, albinos, etc...
To help keep the genetics strong we never breed a white breasted bird to another white breast. It’s always best to pair a normal to a white breast. This reduces the quantity of white breasted birds produced which is why they are slightly more expensive but this method of breeding keeps the gene pool stronger and insures all the offspring will either be white breasts or normals which are all split to white breasts (meaning the normals will throw white breasts when breeding), they will carry the white gene.
If you pair 2 normal split to white Gouldians together you are not guaranteed the babies will all be split to white breasts. There is a good chance the white gene will not be passed to all the babies and you may end up with some plain normals. If you breed normals to normals there is no way to tell if the offspring will have the white gene until you continue to breed them to see if they will throw any white breasts. This is why we almost always pair our birds normal to white breast unless we are breeding specifically to enhance the bird’s colors or size.
We could go on and on with regard to this topic and write a book on it alone but there is plenty of information available already to explain Gouldian genetics so we will move on..
This article is copyrighted 2006 for Frisky Finches and is not meant to be reprinted, replicated, or republished without our expressed written permission. Thank you.