Color Genetics...

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Color Genetics...

This is a discussion on Color Genetics... within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Foal colour from grey mother bay father
  • Will a cream foal turn grey if the mare is grey

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    01-05-2010, 08:19 PM
Color Genetics...

I asked in my post I'm on pins and needles!!! about color genetics regarding my possible new mare, her coloring, and her 2010 foal..wasn't sure if it would be seen so I thought post it in its own thread.

Does anyone understand the genetics of a grey and what possibilities are there for the color of her baby? And explain how a grey and a buckskin equaled a palomino foal? (my Lyric)

I guess I could tell you that the mare, Comanche, is considered a grey. Both her parents were a grey. Her mother's parents were a gray and a chestnut. Her father's parents were a grey and a roan.

Comanche is bred to a Buckskin named Dusty. His parents were a dun and a bay. His mother's parents were a buckskin and a bay and his father's parents were a palomino and a bay.

(not actually sure if any of this helps)

I'd love to know if I have a chance for another grey...or if she'll throw another palomino like Lyric. (same sire for both breedings.)
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    01-05-2010, 08:22 PM
Well, it depends on the base coat of the gray. It has a 50% (i think) chance of being gray no matter what the base coat is. Here is a link that may help.

Foal Color Chart
    01-05-2010, 11:33 PM
Well I found this online...

"Some foals that are not born dark will exhibit a darkening of the foal coat to become dark brown or even black, and they may be even darker their yearling year. This is especially striking on light colored foals. Palomino foals going grey typically turn a dark chocolate color as part of the greying process. Because the grey gene is dominant, there is a 50% chance that any foal with a grey parent will go grey. Foals with a grey parent should be watched carefully for signs that they will turn grey. "

"A grey with a palomino, buckskin or smoky coat color can produce a cremello, perlino, or smoky cream if bred to another horse that carries the cream gene."

(thanks to )
    01-05-2010, 11:52 PM
Ok..after looking at Comanche's papers again, I see that I lied.

Comanche is grey.
Her SIRE was grey.
Her SIRE'S father and mother were grey.

Her Dam was black.
Her DAM'S father was black.
Her DAM'S mother was sorrel.
    01-06-2010, 01:21 AM
Color Calculator

There are a lot of variations that I don't know about or I would have calculated it for you.
    01-10-2010, 08:05 AM
She's the dam of a palomino, if I got it correct?

If so, she only has one copy of grey, so a 50% chance her foals will get the grey gene from her.

Grey is not a color, in a sense, because ANY color horse can be grey. Grey is a modifier that causes horses to loose their color as they age. So the mare is a color under that grey, but what it is, can't say without seeing pics from when she was young or color testing her. But I can say she has at least one chestnut gene since she had a palomino (which is chestnut with cream). The cream gene probably came from the palomino's sire, although it is possible that the mare is also cream (buckskin, palomino, ect).

The buckskin stallion also must have a chestnut gene. It takes two chestnut genes to be chestnut, so the palomino had to get one from each parent. If a horse only has one chestnut gene, the horse will be black based.

Mare is ?e (E= black, e= chestnut) Gg (one copy grey) and both agouti (turns black to bay) and are cream unknown.

Stallion is Ee (black horse) A? (at least one agouti, turned his black to bay), Crcr (one cream, turned his bay to buckskin) and no grey.

The foal she's carrying has a 50% chance of going grey.

Without knowing the exact genetics of the sire and dam, possibilities are: black, bay, chestnut, smokey black, buckskin, palomino, and since it's possible she COULD have cream, any of the double dilutes.
    01-10-2010, 11:26 AM
Thank you for your help! Not sure it would help in determining the mare's genetics, but on her papers it says she's a black mare.

It's weird cause in her paperwork, on the mare's sire side, each time the grey modifier is present and is mated with any other color the result ends up grey. (except for this time if Lyric stays a palomino.) In her GGG grandparents, a grey was mated with a dun = gray. Then in GG grandparents the grey was mated with a roan = a grey. Also in her GG grandparents a grey was mated with a chestnut = a grey. Which leads up to her Grandparents on the sire's side. Both were grey which created the mare's grey sire. Then he was mated with the Mare's dam which was black and they created a black mare with the grey modifier.

I did alot of reading. While I don't get the genetics (Ee, A etc. or understand if there is a way to find out what they are except for testing...but that was what I was trying to figure out.) I do understand that grey isn't a color that it just modifies the actual color of the horse. So in 4-5 (?) generations, my Lyric would be the only one where the grey modifier didn't happen.

I looked at the color calculator and it says there is anywhere between a 1-3% that the breeding of Lyric's Dam and Sire would actually produce a palomino. (knowing as little as I do about their genetics) So I'm definitely excited to see what Lyric's Dam and the same sire produce for their 2010 foal. (specially since hopefully they will be mine this time around.)
    01-10-2010, 11:35 AM
Going back to the color calculator and adding in the part of the genetics you said you did know, (adding the Ee for the red factor and Aa for the agouti for the sire and Ee for the red factor and Gg for the grey for the mare.) This is what came up:

9.38% -
Smoky Black
9.38% -
Gray (Smoky Black)
9.38% -
Gray (Buckskin)
9.38% -
Gray (Black)
9.38% -
Gray (Bay)
9.38% -
9.38% -
9.38% -
6.25% -
6.25% -
Gray (Palomino)
6.25% -
Gray (Chestnut)
6.25% -
    01-11-2010, 12:34 AM
The sire could be AA as well though, we don't know his agouti status other than at least one. Agouti doesn't affect chestnuts.

IF the mare really IS black (I don't go by what horses are registered as, as it's often incorrect), then she is Ee aa.
    01-11-2010, 10:01 AM
Well, I guess we'll see what she has in Mar/April. :)

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