What was at first thought to be a simple breeding of a piebald male to a het piebald female in 2008 turned into the biggest surprise I have ever had in my entire breeding career. With over 300 clutches of eggs spanning 8 years of breeding, I often wondered why nothing unexpected ever popped out. Well that was about to change...Big Time!
First off I do not own any Axanthics nor am I working with any Axanthic genes in my collection. Or so I thought. Ironically I was about to buy a few axanthics and start a few projects with them. This being one of them.
Let's go back to the beginning. In 2002 I purchased a group of 4 possible het piebald females from a broker in New York. I bred all 4 to my piebald male and after several clutches determined that 2 were piebald hets and 2 were probably not. One of the hets, female 1, produced a piebald male which I kept as my #2 breeder. One of the non hets, female 3, produced all hets of which I kept 2 females. This year I bred my #2 piebald male and one of the daughters of female 3 and got 4 eggs.
These days I let my eggs start to pip on there own. Once a few have piped I will cut the rest. The first egg to pip looked normal under the low light of my walk-in incubator. However when I transferred to clutch to my hatching room I noticed that there was no color to the head and soon discovered that I had an Axanthic in the egg. It hadn't even occurred to me that the next treasure I would find would even be a possibility. All I saw was white with some gray and black blotches....A Piebald Axanthic!!!!!! I was dumb founded, amazed and completely taken back.
After many phone calls and web site searches I felt confident that this was a world first. When I think about the odds it truly is incredible. Most of all because I wasn't even working with Axanthics.
When going back over my records I realized that I had sold of the mother of the mother of this clutch which was a het Axanthic without me knowing. However I have 3 of the originals females still in my collection of which 1 is confirmed a double het in addition to the mother of the clutch.
The clutch ended up having 1.0 Pieaxanthic, 0.1 Axanthic het pied, 1.0 pied 66% poss het Axanthic and 0.1 het Pied poss het Axanthic.
To most of those that have been working on this project for many years and have not achieved your goal, I apologize. To Lady Luck....I thank you very much!
Please note that these are the first pics of the PieAxanthic at only 1 day old. New pics will come after he sheds.