Friday, August 20, 2010

Pacific Parrotlet Mutation Percentages

I started breeding parrotlets a year and a half ago. I purchased a bonded pair from another breeder and was told this was their genetics: hen - dilute split dilute blue and the male - green double split dilute and blue. There first clutch I got a dilute, albino, green and lutino and the second I got lutino, dilute blue and albino. I tried to fiqure out the offspring percentages, but I get confused. Could you please help me out? I'm not sure how I'm getting lutinos and albinos.


Dear Kim:

I have several pages on my website about mutations including a percentage table at Generally, I try to avoid percentage because they cannot duplicate real life. The percentages are based on 100 offspring produced, which no single parrotlet hen can do so they are largely inaccurate. I always tell people its like playing roulette or craps – there are “percentages’ but each spin of the wheel or each throw of the dice are specific to what that single outcome is. Same with birds and genetics. Each clutch has its own contributions of genetic material by the parents and no one can predict what you will get. Sometimes, people get all blues or blues and dilutes or dilute-blues and greens that are split but no one can give you the exact percentage of chicks that will actually hatch in each individual clutch. I always tell people, just like dice or roulette, you get what you get and you can’t really predict exact percentages in each individual clutch.

As for your birds, first, dilute-blue is not a color. It is a combination of two colors, dilute and blue. Therefore, your bird cannot be dilute split to dilute-blue. It is dilute split to blue. This is true even if one of the parents was a dilute-blue. However, if you are getting lutino and albino’s, then both of your birds are also split to lutino. So, your hen is a visual dilute split to lutino and blue. Your male also has to be split to lutino in order to produce lutino and albino. Dilute, lutino and blue are all primary mutations; albino and dilute- blue are combinations. Albino is a combination of lutino and blue and, as I explained, the dilute-blue is a combination of dilute and blue. Btw, since one of your parents is a visual dilute, all your green chicks will be split to dilute plus different combinations of blue and lutino. Of course, you won’t know which combinations until they are bred.

Hope this helps!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,

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