I am getting ready to pair up the 3 surviving fallows for breeding. They have turned out to be pretty, wild type, fallows that do not seem to suffer from the blindness or weakness often reported for this mutation. I am hoping to continue to strengthen the mutation by careful breeding.
The 3 surviving fallow chicks are doing very well. I think they are wild colored fallows but am still guessing on that since fallow photos online are hard to come by of the different mutations with this gene. I also ended up with a very light chick in the same batch that might be ivory.
I had four fallow button quail chicks hatch out yesterday: 6/8/15– 🙂 If a couple thrive, I should have the basis to set up a fallow button quail breeding program. They have their flaws (poor vision, sparse down, less able to compete with other button quail and may do poorly in an aviary depending on how well they can see). That said, the dilute effect is quite beautiful and I think it worth while to continue to try and strengthen the mutation through cross breeding back to normal colors to see if the vision issues can be reduced or eliminated over time. Working for darker eyes as some breeders have done, would also theoretically help with the vision issues. I will try to post photos as they grow. They are less than 1 day old in the feature photo.
I have tried to come up with more ways to identify which eggs/chicks come from which button quail pairs. I do a few things to accomplish this goal.
Write the number of the pair that produced an egg on the actual egg using a non-toxic sharpie marker.
Placing eggs in separate containers line with shelf liner during the hatching period to keep the chicks with the numbered eggs that they hatched from.
Use multiple brooders so that I can separate chicks or group different colors together that are easily identifiable as coming from specific pairs (for instance pair #3 will throw 80% slate and 20% silver red breasted). This one still creates a problem in that I only have 3 heat lamps so if hatching from more than 3-4 pairs, there is a good chance I will still have some that I can’t identify with this method later.
Banding, this one I have just started experimenting with but it holds some promise since I can tag birds from different pairs. The number ofband colorsis limited but I can still use them to use a smaller number ofbrooders and make a list of what band color the chick is wearing, what color the chick is and the parent pair number. I have chosen to use elastic bird bands. They are not numbered butcan be removed withmuch greater ease if either the bird doesn’t needto be banded any longer or if the band creates a problem for the bird. Elastic bands also expand safely as the bird grows creating less potential for cutting off blood circulation in the leg.The little newly hatched chicks require an incredibly small size and I still find that some of them manage to kick the bands back off so it isn’t fool proof until they grow a little. The smaller size might also be a little too small for adults so there is the potential that it would need to be snipped off later. Still much easier do this with elastic than closed aluminum. Open aluminum could be an option but since these don’t expand, using them on newly hatched chicks would likely prove impractical since the size required would be smaller than that needed for an adult.
Pair #1 produced some beautiful chicks. They also produced a male of a color that I have not seen in person before. I believe the color is likely “Smoky”. Smoky is a combination of 3 mutations: blueface, cinnamon and silver. The best way I can describe this fellow is to say he is lighter than a slate button quail with a cinnamon overtone. I do not have the “ideal” mate for him to try and get more of this color currently. So for now, he will be paired with either a single factor or double factor slate female (both hens are offspring of pair #3 and it is unknown whether either bird carries cinnamon). The other bird in these photos is slate in color.