Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Breeding the Henny Mutation Gallus gallus

Henny mutation in Red Jungle Fowl (RJF) is not uncommon. It is characterised by female coloured feathering in the male. What is uncommon is probably breeding the original (untainted) henny feathered RJF.

This is a good specimen of a very original looking female RJF (so I have been told). Notice the orderly fan like tail feathers and almost non-existent comb on the head:

She came from a brood of eggs found in the jungle and was artificially hatched. Funny things was, my friends and I expected her to disappear into the jungle when kept as a free roaming chicken. She did disappear for an entire day initially, flying over my neighbour's two storey house and disappear from sight. She came back and now behaves like a normal village chicken, weary of humans but not frightened. When friends drop by, she rarely wanders near. But when I am alone, she can come right to my feet.

Her favourite night roosting spot is right on top of my main door (shucks!)

They are getting too bold for my liking hehehe! climbing all over and recently breaking my mortar grinder I left on the garden table.

And finally a brood of 4 chicks as a result. Do not know how the chicks will turn out, but there is high chance of getting henny feathered cocks as the cock that I have also comes from a sire with henny feathering. It appears to be a passable genetic mutation.

[Apart from the hen-like feathers, males with this trait have a substantially reduced reproductive ability, probably because the increased levels of plasma oestrogen inhibit spermatogenesis (George et al., 1990)]
The above in italics is taken from an article. Just so lucky that my male is did not lose his reproductive ability. A first clutch for cock and hen that has been successfully hatched. Although the initial eggs laid are 7, I can only find 4 live chickens. Maybe I can blame the neighbourhood cats :(

Note: It is illegal to keep the RJF in Malaysia (although it is quite difficult to prove which is the RJF and which has been cross bred with the local chicken). However, if they are not tied or caged, then it is perfectly alright ;)

No comments: