HAMILTON & DISTRICT BUDGERIGAR SOCIETY INC.

VIOLETS


Violets are the most difficult to breed as the violet factor is dominant. A true violet is a cobalt made up of one or two violet factors. In order to produce violets the norm is to use the blue series. Mating violet to violet will produce cobalt, skyblues & mauves. Some of the chicks would inherit the violet factor. The main choice to produce violets is a skyblue violet and a mauve violet to produce true violets. You must consider the dark factor in this pairing. A skyblue has no dark factor, a cobalt has 1 dark factor and a mauve has 2 dark factors. A violet is a blue with 1 dark factor (cobalt) plus the factor for violet.

Violet Inheritance: I can well understand why the Violet character causes many fanciers to be puzzled by the breeding results obtained from their pairs, It should be understood that the Violet character is not a color in its own right, but one that can alter the body shade of every color and variety, both in the Green and Blue Series. The true violet shade is expressed only when Violet is combined with the Blue and Dark characters, and is of a Dominant nature of inheritance. Birds can carry the Violet character in either a single or a double quantity, but it is only when they also have Blue and a single Dark character in their make-up, that the Visual Violet is obtained. I think the simplest way to put this is to explain that Visual Violets are Cobalt birds plus the Violet character.

Altered shade: All other colors possessing the Violet character show its presence by an altered shade of color, whether they are Greens, Blues, Yellows or Whites. This fact is one that many breeders find somewhat difficult to understand because they invariably think of Violet Budgies as having that beautiful, rich violet body shade. The identification of Visual Violets is straightforward but many of the other Violet birds are far from easy to detect until 'the breeder has seen and handled numbers of them. Fortunately, there are several small points that can help considerably when selecting non-visual Violets. The cheek patches are deeper and are a strong dull violet, there is also slight violet shading just below the mask, and the undersides of the wing-butts show a definite violet shading. Body color: In the case of the blue-colored birds, Violet Blues, they have a stronger body color with a violet undertone. With Violet Mauves, the body is a much warmer shade and the flanks, and rump are frequently flecked with violet-colored feathers. Taken collectively, these signs will help breeders to recognize Violet birds that are not visual violets. It should be mentioned here that the coloring of the many different varieties of violets can, and do vary considerably within the individual strains. And this applies to actual visual violets themselves. Violet greens are of course a constant puzzle to fanciers who are not conversant with the peculiar shades of color produced by adding the Violet character to yellow-ground birds. Quite often, unknown to the breeder, Violet Greens introduce the Violet character into a strain. Already this year, I have had three cases reported to me where Visual Violets (Violet Cobalts) have appeared in nests unexpectedly. And each time their appearance could be traced to a Violet Green parent. In one instance the "Green" parent was a Dark Yellow cock and, its mate, a Skyblue hen. Their first round consisted of a Visual Violet (Violet Cobalt), two Dark Greens and a Light Green. This indicated that the cock was, in fact, a Violet Dark Yellow/White. Whenever a Violet appears from crossing a Normal Blue Series bird to a Green-colored one, the Green parent must be a Violet-carrier. In actual fact, the mechanics of inheritance of the Violet character are quite straightforward, as it will be observed from the list of Violet expectations.

All of these expectations are for producing single factor birds because these are the kinds used mostly in matings to produce birds of improved quality. However, to get double violet factor Budgies, it is necessary for both members of a pair to have violet in their genetical make-up. Such examples are obtained by pairing together two Single Factor birds. For example, Violet (Single Factor) Cobalt x Violet (Single Factor) Skyblue gives an expectation of 25% Violet (Single Factor) Cobalts, 12 % Violet (Double Factor) Cobalts, 25% Violet (Single Factor) Skyblues, 12% Violet (Double Factor) ,Skyblues, 12 % Skyblues and 12.% Cobalts.

It will be seen from the above expectations that the numbers of Double Factor kinds are small; very limited matings of this type are made and together with the variations per nest; the actual numbers of Double Factor Violets bred are extremely few. Because of this, it has been said that Budgerigars with a Double Factor cannot be bred. However, this statement is incorrect as, if it were so, it would not be in keeping with the general rules of Mendelian inheritance. Being of a Dominant nature, the Violet character can easily be introduced into the genetical makeup of the other varieties and colors. Below I give some examples so that breeders can see just how this can be achieved.

Highly-favored: A highly-favored Violet form is the Opaline Violet Cobalt which is the result of combining a Dominant with a sex-linked character. If an Opaline Skyblue cock is paired to a Normal Violet Cobalt hen all of the hens bred will be Opalines, and half of them either Opaline Violet Cobalts or Opaline Violet Skyblues. Among the young males will be Violet Cobalts and Violet Skyblues all split for Opaline. The following season, the Violet/Opaline cocks can be mated to Opaline hens and, the Opaline Violet hens, to Opaline males. A number of Opaline Violets, both males and hens, will result. Should the breeder wish to get the beautifully-colored Cinnamon Violets the same procedure just indicated for Opalines can be used, substituting Cinnamon for Opaline. If rosy-tinted Albinos are required, again the same mating procedure can be carried out putting Albino instead of Opaline. The breeding of Whitewing Violets is somewhat different as here it is a Recessive character that is to be combined with the Dominant Violet. There are several ways in which White-wing Violets can be produced but as far as I have seen the most satisfactory way in the beginning is to mate Normal Violet Cobalts, or Normal Violet Skyblues, to Whitewing Skyblues or Whitewing Cobalts. Such crosses-will give 50% each of Violet Cobalts and Violet Skyblue cocks and hens split for Whitewing. These in turn can be mated with Whitewings and a percent-age of the desired Whitewing Violets will be produced.

The genetic formula of the Violet, as compiled by some eminent authorities on Budgerigar genetics when the earliest Violets made their appearance, is rather complex. If a thorough understanding of it were essential to the practical breeding of Violets, then I am afraid but few non-scientific fanciers would undertake Violet breeding. They would decide that the problem presented to them was too intricate to be faced with confidence and equanimity, and even the undoubted beauty of the Violet would probably not be sufficient to persuade them to make this variety one of their specialities. I am pleased to be able to say that my own actual experience with Violets has proved to me that Violet production is no more complicated than is, say the breeding of Cobalts.

In the first place, the Violet character is one that causes a variation in the body colour, and in so far as the true Violet is concerned, it is nothing more or less than a variant of the Cobalt. Therefore, in your breeding operations treat the Violet as though it were a Cobalt and mate on the general lines which I describe for Cobalt production. The Violet character is not sex-linked but Dominant and it is not essential for it to be carried by both parents for Violets to appear among the offspring. Leaving Greens out of the question for the moment, we can have Violet Blues, true Violets (Violet-Cobalts if you like) and Violet Mauves. The Violet Blue has no dark character, the true Violet has one dark factor, the Violet-Mauve has two dark characters. Although Violet-Blues and Violet-Mauves are valuable for Violet breeding, it is the Violet with one dark character (the variant of the Cobalt) which is the show bird, and the one which we are out to produce.

To achieve this we should obviously, whenever possible, so arrange our Matings that there is a high expectation of breeding many youngsters possessing only one dark factor. And this is exactly the same procedure which one follows when desiring to breed a goodly number of Cobalts. Owing to the need to improve type in Violets, there has been, and still is much out-crossing to the Normals. Mauves and Cobalts have been used extensively for this purpose. The Mauve, in particular, has helped to increase the number of Violets in the country, because of its possessing the dark character in double dose. Mauve X Skyblue, for instance, gives us birds all carrying one dark character, whereas from Cobalt X Skyblue the expectation is 50 per cent one dark character and 50 per cent no dark character, Cobalt x Cobalt provides 25 per cent two dark character, 50 per cent one dark character and 25 per cent no dark character. If we substitute in the above pairings Violet for Cobalt, Violet-breeding pairs Mauve and Violet-Blue for Skyblue, in some or all cases, the dark character expectation as set out is unaffected.

In some aviaries we have found that from the Violet-breeding pairs we get both ordinary Mauves and Violet-Mauves, Cobalts and Violet-Cobalts, Skyblues and Violet-Blues. We have proved that Dark Greens/blue and even Light Greens/blue can be used for improving type and size in the Violet, in accordance with my advocacy of their use in the breeding of Cobalts, and, therefore, those Green crosses for Cobalt production can be employed in a Violet breeding plan when necessary. There are certainly such birds as Violet-Dark Greens/blue, Violet-Light Greens/blue, and there can be Violet-Olives/blue. Although these three varieties do not show violet in their plumage, a difference in shade from the normal is noticeable. In Violet-Mauves violet can usually be seen in the rump. Violet-Blues are much deeper in colour than Normal Skyblues; in fact, they border on the Cobalt. Many years ago there took place in the columns of Cage Birds a most interesting discussion on Violet breeding, the controversialists being Mr. E. W. Brooks, who viewed the problem from the more scientific angle, and Mr. Fred Garvey, who approached the matter solely as a practical breeder. Mr. Garvey contended that the breeding behaviour of the Violet was no different from that of the dominant Grey, and that when preparing a breeding plan it should be treated as such. Actually it can, so breeders may safely use their Violets in this simple way.

But Mr. Brooks would not completely accept Mr. Garvey's statement, and he pointed out certain differences between Violet breeding results and Grey breeding results. It is said in effect that both Mr. Brooks and Mr. Garvey were right, but both were approaching the matter on different lines. I repeat, that the Grey is a dominant which can impress its colour on a youngster with no dark character, one dark character, or two dark characters. Thus we have Light Greys, Medium Greys and Dark Greys, Light Grey Greens, Medium Grey Greens and Dark Grey Greens. On the other hand, although Violet is also dominant the only Violets which are really violet in colour are those with one dark character. Consequently birds which theoretically are Violet Blues, Violet Mauves, Violet Light Greens, Violet Dark Greens, and Violet Olives cannot be any stretch of imagination be termed true Violets (that is the Violet with one dark character) than one does Greys when Grey breeding. In fact, Violet is a character just like Grey as it alters the visual colour of all birds whether carried in a single or double quantity in both the Green and Blue series.

In some private aviaries, they have created a family which regularly produce Violet Cobalts (Visual Violets), Violet Mauves, Cobalts, Violet Blues, and Opaline Violets, Cobalts and Mauves, and all of good colour and equal in type. The Dark Green/blue played its part in establishing this line, as did also Cobalts, Normal Mauves and Skyblues and Opalines of various colours which were introduced into the family with great satisfaction to us. Therefore, no longer do we produce our Cobalts and Mauves just as we did in the old days, because now that the Violet has come into the picture and the Opaline has proved its breeding value in this connection, our choice of matings is wider than it was when the Violet was unknown.

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