Sunday, 14 July 2013
Ahhhh Look! He has his Father's... Tail!
Now that the goslings are starting to sprout true feathers through their fluff, including tail feathers, we have noticed that 4 of the 5 of them also have left handed wry-tail. Normally you are advised not to breed from a wry tail bird but as he's all we've got and we are breeding only to eat them ourselves, we are taking that with a pinch of salt. I assume it is a rare condition in wild geese because it must seriously impair flying but in the domestic flock nobody is flying very far and the main selection process is not 'survival of the fittest' but the farmer saying 'will I breed from that bird or not?' Thinking it through, it did occur to us that if this is a recessive condition, then one or both female geese must be heterozygous for wry-tail (half wry-tail or 'carriers' if you like) so we were left wondering whether these geese and the gander may actually be siblings rather than a true breeding group as advertised. Once again, though, we think that as we are only breeding internally, and the goslings we have do not seem to be too in-bred, we will carry on.