UPDATE – click here
It seems I can’t just pair one colour to another colour and produce the predictable litters. I have to have some sort of unique ‘something’ going on!
As you know from my recent blog about the BEW hamsters, Blizzard had a litter. It seems he’s given me agouti, agouti pied, white and…..whiteface!
As always, no claims are 100% concrete until it’s been bred but I have a pup that looks agouti but has a white face. This pup didn’t grow it’s overcoat in first, it grew it’s darker undercoat in. Normally, agouti pups are brown at 1 week old and darken up by 2-3 weeks as their undercolour grows in. So I knew I had an ‘odd’ pup ever since the litter was a few days old.
This now further shows that BEW is not a modifier to whiteface because any whiteface in the litter would logically have to be white. Because I have one of each it shows that, in this case, whiteface is a separate and coincidental breeding.
Of course, that’s not to say that BEW can’t be a single dominant gene modifier to dominant pied but that’s for further litters to sort out.
If this pup is dominant whiteface then it looks nothing like husky even from birth. I looked online to see if I could find any pictures to compare and all the pictures I can see are husky. On Oak Farm’s website (another UK breeder who used to breed a lot of different varieties when I got started but has since downsized the Robo side) the description is that it’s like husky but it’s agouti in colour. That certainly fits so far and it’s all I’ve really got to go on. I don’t agree with some of what’s stated, particularly about how a single gene recessive can affect phenotype (appearance) because I’ve found that it’s not the case (with one gene you cannot see a recessive colour) but this whiteface description seems spot on. Have a read of Oak Farm’s website for the origins of this variety.
I’ve been openly critical of the existence of a dominant husky type gene because the descriptions of the appearance of such a hamster are so widely varied compared with other types. The same is with dominant pied. I’m not sure if there is one purely because no one seems to really know how they look different to recessive pied.
In this case I feel more confident simply because this pup is so uniquely different to it’s siblings. It’s simply agouti, with a white face. It’s not spotty, it didn’t develop like a normal pied hamster, it doesn’t have any odd white spots anywhere like the blues sometimes have. And with all my husky and pied breeding, I’ve never seen anything like this before.
Downside:- Well, as some of you know, I’ve been test breeding Lady Marmalade as a possible dominant husky. Her litter, again, were very strange and developed as almost half agouti, half husky before finally growing out full agouti coats. Blizzard’s pup proves that her genes are not white face as this pup is heterozygous (single gene dominant) and therefore Marmalade’s pup also should have had white faces. So back to the drawing board for her.
All told I’m very excited, although some days I wish I had more boring and predictable colours! I’m hoping our poor Standard’s Committee Chair doesn’t have a heart attack when he sees my mounting stash of ‘genes to be recognised’! I’m sorry Andrew, I promise I’m not doing it on purpose!