If you ask at a meeting of zebrafinch lovers questions about the genealogy of the masked, pastel, or black cheeks, we are certain to receive the correct answer.
But if we ask the genealogy question about the format (size), the shape of the head or the length of the beak, the answers will be multiple and different.
Some will say intermediate, others dominant, etc.
Nevertheless these characteristics follow the laws of Mendel. Many breeders do not believe this explanation, but it is true. It seems that laws no longer behave strictly as in other color mutations. A wider variation in format (size), shape of the head, etc ... seems normal.
In nature, we find in zebrafinch the same variation in the format. And, in the process of domestication, this difference in variation has increased. Our cultivated zebrafinch are on average two centimeters wider than their ancestors in the wild.
In articles, one always recommends a hard selection at the level of the format and the model taking into account the differences between the parts like the head, the body, etc.
But the format and the model are directed by the genealogy. The body shapes are driven by factors.
The question is: Is there a relationship between the different factors that governs the format, the model, the shape of the head and the beak ?
In my opinion, these factors are independent of each other. Lesser quantities of zebrafinch are found in the correct size and type of beaks, and there are no good-sized zebrafinch; the right kind of beak alone, etc. This is not an advantage in breeding a good size and hard selection is the only way to improve these characteristics.
The first zebrafinch on display were far from the ones we now have on our farms. Birds filiform and small resembling in every point the majority of the birds that we currently find at the pet shop at the corner of the street.
Evolution does not know made in a day but it has been relatively fast. Here we will talk about gray zebrafinch, all simply because it is my specialty and that I begin to know it well.
We can observe that gray, which is a classic (called "classic" gray and basic mutations that are: brown, pale back and masked.), Presented in major exhibitions is not very far from the gray perfect. The type and size are for the most part excellent and the difference is mainly on the color.
To identify each descriptive term used in the rest of the article, you can use this diagram : Descriptive terms in zebrafinch.
1. Main defects of gray males
In recent years many defects have appeared in the gray that we have the leisure to see in our exhibitions. I will introduce you to some of them that are for me the most commonly encountered on display or in our farms.
a) The zebra behind the cheeks
For about two years, at least from what I personally noticed, we see traces of welts around the cheek. This defect is rather noticeable in gray cheeks, but fairly recent in gray males. There is still time to eradicate strains of gray before it is fully generalized to gray zebrafinch.
By the similarity to the present defect in the black cheeks, I do not think that we can assimilate it to a factor cheeks black. Indeed this defect appears even in the strains having no affiliation with a strain of black cheeks.
On the other hand we can think that this phenomenon is due to a high concentration of eumelanin (black), which is sought in gray for a very dark back and in the black cheeks for a very deep black color.
b) Tear spreading in the cheeks
Another defect, the tear that gives an impression of diffusion in the cheek by the presence of some black feathers in them, and a line under the eye. Generally in my breeding they are birds that have cheeks of a deep chestnut. I think that still has it, we can equate it with an excess of eumelanin in this area.
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.