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Using color to determine the sex?

tbs1417

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I have been in contact with a breeder about adopting a male cockatiel and when I asked if she DNA sexed them she said that she doesn't DNA them because she can tell by their coloring based on the pairing of the parents. Is this a reliable way to determine the sex of the babies?
 

Shezbug

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I believe it can be. @Monica will be able to give you more information on this- she’s a gun with this stuff ;)
 

Tara81

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It depends on the mutation of the parents. Only in certain mutations is this possible, if the parents are also a certain mutation (Only certain scenarios) . (Sex linked mutations like cinnamons, pearls, lutino) . Here is a website to help you understand mutations. Cockatiel Genetics
To give one example where it is possible:
Mom bird does not visually show a sex linked mutation. (She is NOT a cinnamons, pearls, lutino)
Dad bird has visually shown a sex linked mutation. (He is a cinnamon/pearl/lutino)
Then we know, All babies WITH a sex linked mutation must be female. All babies without the visual mutation must be male. This is because in sex linked mutations, both parents must have the mutation or dad must at least be split to have male babies that have sex linked mutations. Since in this scenario only DAD has the mutation, then we can confirm the babies must be female with the mutation and all the males are the ones without the mutation. Females ALWAYS show this mutation if at least one parent has the gene.

Yes I think it would be better to get a health gaurentee. (If one gets sick would she attempt to refund/pay vet bill or give you another bird in case it dies?)
 
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Monica

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Breeders will rarely DNA sex cockatiels because they are so cheap... so that doesn't seem abnormal. As @Tara81 mentioned, if dad is a visual sex-linked mutation that the mother is not, then it's easy to determine sex of offspring.

Even if both parents are sex-linked mutations, as long as they are not the *SAME* sex-linked mutation, you can still visually sex the offspring... i.e. cinnamon male to lutino hen, or lutino male to pearl hen.


Unlike dogs, birds can be far more sensitive to their environment so a lot could go wrong within the first 24-48 hours of bringing a bird home. It might make sense in this case why a breeder wouldn't provide a health guarantee on such a cheap bird. Then again, maybe they are a hobby breeder rather than a big breeder so they wont offer a health guarantee.... or maybe they are a "back yard" breeder and that's why they don't offer anything. I don't know. I couldn't even hazard a guess without knowing the breeder and their setup.
 
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tbs1417

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I don't know what the parents are, but she said the baby is a pied split to pearl. Is that mutation typically male?
 

Tara81

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I don't know what the parents are, but she said the baby is a pied split to pearl. Is that mutation typically male?
Yes a split to pearl can only be males. Pieds can be males or females. However, You cannot visually tell if a bird is split to pearl. The owner has to know the dad is a pearl and the mother is not. With the pearl mutation in males, they usually lose their pearls after the first molt, unless they are pearl pied, then it may take longer (years). If dad is only SPLIT to pearl(never had pearls but creates pearl female babies sometimes), then they could make pied girls that would look exactly the same as pied males. (Thus unable to tell) .
 
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