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If you keep mixed couples, i.e., one Normal Bourke and one Rosy Bourke, you may wonder what their newly hatched babies are going to look like.
The Bourke book I own, published in the UK, says that Normals will have gray fuzz and Rosies will have white fuzz, and that’s how you can tell what they are going to be. Balderdash! All my fuzzy little baby Bourkes look the same even though some grow up to be Normals and some grow up to be Rosies. They all appear to have fuzz that’s more white than gray, sort of an off-white.
Maybe early Rosy babies were fuzzy white and Normals with no heterozygous genes were fuzzy gray? Mine always look alike, even when both colors are in the same clutch.
That said, there is another way to guess their future color. From their feet! Most Normals have dark feet and those destined to grow mostly pink feathers will have pink feet. That said, one of my current Rosy babies has feet with both brown and pink skin. It has no other Normal features, so I think you can safely assume that a baby bird with “striped” feet will be Rosy. The striping is unusual though.
Once their feathers begin to bud out, you will soon recognize pink dots of color on the backs of the Rosies.
As a reminder, Bourke color is sex-linked and babies will be the color of the parent of the opposite sex. This means a Rosy dad and a Normal mom will produce males that are Normal Bourkes and all their hens will be Rosy Bourkes and vice versa; a Rosy hen will produce Rosy sons and her Normal mate will produce Normal hens.
I have one pair, however, who produce 50/50 of each color and both are Normals. The male had a Rosy father and a Normal mother, so he is the Normal color. Apparently he’s heterozygous. All his progeny who are pink have been hens. All the Normals have been male. If you want more explanation of homozygous and heterozygous, query the internet. There’s more info. out there than I can provide. Suffice it to say that he carries the gene for Rosies, as apparently did many other Normals, or we wouldn’t have our beautiful Rosies. Smile.