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.
The zebrafinch gray comes from the wild type. It corresponds to the original type of the mandarin diamond.
It is therefore not strictly speaking a mutation. However, the gray zebrafinch we know so far, is very different from its Australian ancestor. Following a selection by the breeders, the type, the size and the color of it have evolved a lot.
Since gray is the basis of the existing mutations in the gray series (gray breast black, gray chest white, gray dôs pale, etc), the breeding of it is essential for the survival of all these mutations. The zebrafinch gray will thus "regenerate" all these mutations.
3. Who is grazing for ?
The breeding of gray zebrafinch is recommended for beginners and can also become very exciting for the more experienced.
Indeed, despite an attraction at first glance less spectacular than a zebrafinch with orange or pastel colors his breeding is even more interesting.
as a general rule, the reproduction of gray does not pose any particular problem, laying, brooding and feeding will take place without any problem.
The coupling to practice is gray x gray. Care should be taken never to introduce a mutant or mutant zebrafinch to keep a pure strain.
For differences between male and female it may be wise to build two strains: One that will bring together the birds with the qualities required to make good male and one that will meet the qualities of females.
The youngsters will need a period of time to complete their development, they will be kept a few months before making a selection to be exposed or / and the next breeding season.
The selection of the grays will be done on the type, the size, the drawings and the color of each part of the bird (back, belly, cheeks, flanks,