Lead colours - memory of a lost hereditary factor:
was discovered in the black colour class of Beak Crested German
Trumpeter Pigeons by Ernst Meckenstock. In these pigeons, in
combination with the spread factor, grey-blue lightening of the
body, wings and tail was observed. Head and neck remain black.
Spread Lead Beak-Crested German Trumpeters
The transmission of the factor to blue and blue check pigeons
resulted in pigeons with blue-grey ground and slightly brownish
overlaid patterns (bars and checks). The factor is inherited
recessively, not sex-linked. First inheritance tests are documented
in the book ‘Vererbung bei Tauben’ (Axel and Jana Sell, 2004, 2007).
The interaction with Spread and the result of the blue-grey
lightening shows similarities with Platinum and Recessive Opal.
Also, with the sex-linked factors Reduced and Rubella. Tests have
been done with Platinum. They are independent factors. Later
documentations can be found in the German book 'Genetik der
Taubenfärbungen' and in English language in 'Pigeon Genetics'.
Test Mating of a Spread Lead Cock x Blue Check Racing Homer hen and
their black F1.
Source: Axel & Jana Sell, Vererbung bei Tauben, Oertel & Spörer
Reutlingen 2004, 2007
Selected F2 from the mating of a Spread Lead Trumpeter
cock and a Blue Check Racing Homer Hen. Source: Axel & Jana Sell,
Vererbung bei Tauben, Reutlingen 2004, 2007.
The disappearance of the spread lead colour, and with it the
hereditary factor, throws light on the problems of preserving the
rarities in general. They are not in the standard and thus cannot
compete for attention at shows. In small populations, other
colourings or even other breeds are often crossed in order to avoid
too much inbreeding. In favourable cases, in F2, and more
often in backcrossing, one gets back several kittens in the original
colouring. But not always. The desired quality of colouration
depends not only on one or two factors, but on additional modifying
factors. These factors will not automatically occur together. This
also seemed to be the case with spread lead, as also shown by the
group of youngsters of F2 from the mating of a spread
lead coloured Trumpeter cock with a blue check Racing Homer hen. The
mainly responsible hereditary factor is still preserved after such
matings in many of the young, but no longer in the appealing
'packaging' since important positive modifiers are lacking.
With small flocks and limited capacity of the breeder, the factor
will disappear after short time with the colouring. Recently,
however, a photo surfaced on the internet in trumpeter pigeon figure
similar to the spread lead colours. Lost does not have to mean
Sell, A., Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon,
Sell, A. und J., Vererbung bei Tauben, Oertel & Spörer, Reutlingen