Dominant Pieds

Because of its mode of inheritance, the Australian Dominant Pied should have found its way into most birdrooms. Suffice to say that, while some leading breeders, such as Doug Sadler and Barry Wilde, have excellent examples of the variety, it has not become as popular as it might have done since first appearing in the UK in 1957.

Pairing top-quality Normals to Dominant Pied should, and does, produce youngsters which have admirable qualities. They can have plenty of size and good heads. If there are drawbacks, it is because the Dominant Pieds bred each year frequently lack the variegation on the body which results in such birds being penalised on the show bench.

Too many birds these days also have solid body colour. Far too many are completely green, blue, grey or grey green on the body, depending upon variety, or go to the other extreme, are completely white or yellow.

The other failing which can, and does, stop many breeders from being serious about Dominant Pieds, is the fact that a lot do not display a fun set of spots – one or more being taken out by the variegation. Unfortunately, this fault is one, it seems, which runs in families and little can be done to stamp it out, although it is not unknown for Dominant Pieds with missing spots to produce youngsters with a full set.

Dominant Pieds do not, as a rule, have an adverse effect on the quality of other colours and varieties in a stud. Indeed, if they are good, they can enhance the Normals. It can, therefore, be seen that Normal Dominant Pied and Dominant Pied Normal matings can be extremely useful in producing quality exhibition stock, as can the use of Opalines, especially if large-spotted Opalines are paired to Dominant Pieds that have small spots. What is not recommended is pairing Dominant Pied to Recessive Pied, certainly if a top stud of one or the other, is the aim. Genetically they are not compatible, at least when attempting to breed exhibition birds, and faults, such as odd-eyed offspring only cause confusion among breeders and judges alike.

Editor’s note: Further information on Dominant Pieds can be found in the Specialist section

Original text: Copyright 1997, Brian Byles

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