Since we are going to discuss the orange chest mutation in this article, it is certainly interesting to dwell first on the history of this mutation.
The orange breast mutation is supposed to have emerged in Belgium. I write consciously "supposed" because the first orange breast was actually found at a bird dealer. In Dutch literature in particular, long before the discovery of the first orange breast in Belgium, zebrafinch were described with features that we can now attribute to orange breast carriers.
What we are certain in any case is that the honor of the discovery of the orange chest comes to a certain Mr. De Coster who in 1978 noticed a gray male quite special in a trade. This male had an orange breast bar, whereas normally it should have been black. This gentleman bought this copy, but at the farm nothing came out of what he had hoped for. At the end of 1978, Paul Chabot, president of the BZC at that time, will acquire this male. There were good and bad surprises with this subject, because this male unfortunately did not live very long. Fortunately Paul Chabot had been able to get some young people before.
The orange breast is autosomal recessive inheritance compared to the wild form. The orange factor must therefore be doubly present to become visible. He crossed young people with each other and quickly pulled out the first orange breast.
Already the first orange chestnut farmer made the mistake of not combining and developing the orange breast with classic colors, but he rushed directly on the combination of the orange breast with the black breast and other mutations.
From this moment already, the dream of any orange breast breeder was born to know to lead to a zebrafinch entirely orange. By burning the breeding stage in the classic colors, the following question remained : Are some of the specific features we observe in our classic orange breasts, only uncomfortable derivatives of the presence of the mutation ? black breast or is it specific effects of the orange breast mutation ? What do I hear about that ?
The purpose of this article is not to establish an unstoppable rule for the recognition of a gray male carrying the black breast mutation. Rather, it aims to gather clues that can help you identify it.
For this, each point of detail of the mutation is resumed, as I observed during the selection of my black chestnut strain.
Before starting to analyze each possible clue, it seems important to me to bear in mind that the black breast mutation modifies the shape of the drawings. To identify a carrier of the black breast mutation, I also advise you to take into account all the clues described in this article.
Let's proceed and analyze the phenotype of a gray, black-breasted head to the rectrices compared to a gray carrying the black breast mutation. To identify each descriptive terms used, you can use this diagram : Descriptive terms in zebrafinch.
1. Mustachial trait
Black breast (pn) : The moustachial line will be pronounced and intense black.
Black chest carrier (/ pn) : The moustachial line may be more pronounced than on a gray, however this does not constitute for me a sufficient index.
2. Tear Trait
Black chest (pn) : The line of tear disappears (ideally following the standard) or only a fine line remains.
From the tip of the bill to the end of the tail: 11.5 cm.
Strong impression - Short and stubby size - Round head - Packed neck - Chest relatively wide and round.
The head, neck, back and tail should form a single line with a minimal hollow in the neck and at the intersection of the tail at the rump.
The curve formed by the rounded chest and the belly line should be regular from the throat to the anal area.
The dorsal line can not be crushed and the ventral line can not fall.
All parts of the body must be in harmony with each other.
Good round view on all angles - relatively wide front view - Must be in perfect harmony with the beak and body - Eyes placed about the center of the head, alive and dark colors unless the standard of the specified variety does not give it otherwise.
Short, relatively heavy and conical - Well implanted in relation to the rest of the head - Mandibles overlapping perfectly and of the same length. Mandibles crossed or too long are to penalize.
The bill can not be chipped or spotted.
In the male, it is coral red while in the female, it is red orange unless the standard of the variety specified does not otherwise describe it.
On the perch, half sitting without the belly feathers touching the perch, the legs being slightly bent.
The upper body slightly upright, the tail roughly in line with the line of the back. A falling tail will always be penalized. The wings tight to the body, touching the root of the tail without crossing or straightening. It is necessary to maintain a claim in a conformal cage, the bird being as little as possible in the bottom of the cage and also not attached to the bars.
Red orange unless the standard of the variety specified does not otherwise describe.
The legs, fingers and nails must be well formed, not damaged or spotted and without scales.
In perfect health, without deformations nor other infirmities.
Plumage very smooth, undamaged and complete. Sick, deformed or crippled birds do not have their places at exhibitions.