Budgie Color Mutations

When breeding with budgies, it is interesting to find out about the different budgie color mutations and what colors will work best. As you know there are so many different color variations in Budgerigars and some of them so pretty.

So how do these budgie color mutations come about?

budgie color mutationsBudgie Color Mutations

Did you know that it is possible to predict the likely outcome of parings of different colors, based on the laws of genetics?

As an example, a light green budgie with violet genes looks like a dark green budgie.

The lightest shade of blue budgie is the most loved budgie color mutation across the globe. The tone has no dark factor.

The cinnamon mutation changes the color of the markings on head, neck, back, and wings to a cinnamon color. This mutation is very uncommon but still the basic body color budgies might gain a cinnamon tinge to it! And although it is a simple mutation, it is quite exotic and attractive!

Opaline is a mutation that makes the main body color show up on the feathers in the patterns on the budgies neck and back.

This mutation has no effect to the color of the bird what-so-ever. The Opaline mutation also makes the bars normally on a budgies head thinner, which leaves more color to show through.

Lutino is pure yellow with red eyes while an Albino is pure White with red eyes.

Spangle is mutation that is highly similar to the Opaline mutation. It is another pattern-changing mutation, but instead of a pattern on the head/neck, it usually appears on the back and the budgies’ wings. The Spangle mutation does not have any color spreading through the patterns like the Opaline.

There are 2 basic varieties of bugerigar:

  • Green series also called Yellow Based -Dominant
  • Blue series also called White Based  – Recessive

Generally  the base color is visible in the mask feathers, and between the black stripes on the head and wings. With the exception of the Yellow Face Budgie.

The green budgerigar is dominant over other colours, which means that if a blue is paired with a green, all the offspring will be green, but will carry the blue character in their genetic make-up.

These birds are known as splits and are indicated in the tables below by the use of an oblique line. When paired together they should product a percentage of blue chicks, as shown in the table below by the second and third pairings.

All such combinations occur randomly, so these are just average figures.

It is almost like tossing a coin and calling heads or tails. The results tabled are only a guide but will average out over an increasing number of pairings.

It is a good idea to keep acurate records when it comes to colour breeding and managing an exhibition stud.

Having a stock register for such birds is essential so that you can track their origins and ancestry over a period of time.

This will help you to determine which birds are best paired together in the future and to produce chicks with the best show potential.

The stock register itself will list all the birds which you have in your collection, giving information about their origins, ring numbers, show wins and other similar information.

When a pair have finished breeding these details can be transferred to a breeding register, which enables you to monitor the breeding progress of particular birds like exhibition hopefuls, and the chicks which are retained in the stud are listed in due course in the stock register. You can purchase registers in printed form, or as computer programmes.

Color Expectations In Budgie Color Mutations

  • Green x blue > 100% green/blue
  • Green/blue x green/blue > 50% green/blue and 25% blue and 25% green
  • Green/blue x blue > 50% green/blue and 50% blue
  • Green/blue x green > 50% green/blue and 50% green
  • Blue x blue > 100% bluebudgie color mutations

The lutino and cinnamon mutations are sex-linked in their mode of inheritance in Budgerigars, as they are in most other birds.

The mutation responsible for the change in color is confined to the sex chromosomes, which determine the individual’s gender.

This has a direct bearing on the color expectance table, because hens have one of their sex chromosomes shorter than the other.

It is impossible to distinguish split birds by sight from normal greens, but if you want to breed a sex-linked recessive mutation, it is better to choose a cock bird of this type rather than a hen, to give a realistic chance of producing sex-linked chicks.

The other advantage of this particular pairing is that it is possible to sex the chicks while they are still in the nest as all the green offspring will be male.

This means that unlike cocks, they cannot be split for a sex-linked mutation. The likely outcomes from the various pairings are as follows:

  • Green cock x lutino hen > 50% green/lutino cocks and 50% green hens
  • Lutino cock x green hen > 50% green/lutino cocks and 50% lutino hens
  • Green/lutino cock x lutino hen > 25% green/lutino cocks and 25% lutino cocks and 25% green hens and 25% lutino hens.
  • Green/lutino cock x green hen > 25% green cocks and 25% green/lutino cocks and 25% green hens and 25% lutino hens
  • Lutino cock x lutino hen> 50% lutino cocks and 50% lutino hens

Dominant Mutations

The dominant pied mutation as seen in budgies is a typical example of dominant mutations.

Having one dominant pied bird in a pair means that a percentage of the offspring are likely to be dominant pied.

Visual distinction between single and double factor is not usually possible in this case.

  • Double factor pied x green = 100% single factor pied
  • Single factor pied x green = 50% single factor pied and 50% green
  • Single factor pied x double factor pied = 50% single factor pied and 50% double factor pied
  • Single factor pied x single factor pied = 50% single factor pied x 25% double factor pied x 25% green
  • Double factor pied x double factor pied = 100% double factor

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