The Pied Splendid

Pied Splendid have held my interest for twenty five years. Probably because although a true mutation it is completely unpredictable. In Splendids we have three factors that can give a pied effect. One is a bird which when in normal green series has a splattering of yellow feathers, this effect is probably brought about by the bird being under the weather when the feathers were developing. A second variety of pied is a sport, although the bird can be almost entirely yellow unfortunately the young bred from this bird will inherit no pied factor. Finally the pied bird that is the true mutation and will pass on the pied factor to its offspring to a greater or lesser extent and in the splendid Pied is a dominate mutation.

A well marked pair of Pieds

The reason the pied mutation is so fascinating it can be bred into all the other mutations that are available in the Splendid. Giving a whole new range of colours, and because Pied in Splendids is variable no two birds look the same, even birds that are genetically identical. Then we move on to the way that this mutation is inherited. For many years I believed that the best way to breed pied Splendids was to pair the most pied birds together, now I am not so sure.

After many years of pied Elegant breeding, it became evident that to breed a well coloured bird the best way was to use only one pied bird. By using two pied birds the pied effect seemed to be watered down and many of the birds just turned out a lighter green, with no distinct pied markings but by using only one pied bird, the pieds that were produced were of good clear definition between the green and yellow. However in order to produce these 50% pied and upwards marked birds it is necessary to have the one pied parent bird of clean clear set markings. I now think this could be true when breeding pied Splendids To give an example Two years ago I paired a 90% marked pied hen to a dark factor cock of the 4 chicks bred 2 dark and 2 normal green. 3 birds turned pied the two darks and one normal.

Just starting to show pied feathers

Before continuing and expanding on my personal theories about pied in Splendid’s lets start with a few things that are generally accepted with many pied birds of the parrot family, pied can be a progressive mutation young birds leave the nest show little or no pied marking at all and as the birds moult the pied feather appears. Just to confuse things Elegant’s leave the nest pied but as they mature the pied marking intensify. With Kakarikis and Ringnecks we have both types. Pied feathering shows on young in the nest and also the progressive pied i.e. young leaving their nest with no pied marking. However it is not as simple as that with regards to the pied splendid.

Pied with dark factor added

The pied marking with Splendid’s does not always start with the first moult; I have known it to be 15 month before showing pied markings. Pied in Splendid’s is a dominate mutation; but not all birds bred from pied birds carry the mutating gene, even if both parents are pied. Less than half on average would turn out pied, and of those that did only a few would be 50% pied marked. And of course it is not possible to have a bird split for this form of dominant pied.

Pied cock has lost all red chest markings

As with Lutino in Splendid’s the blue factor waters down the yellow, it is just the same with the pied factor if the pied mutations is on a normal green bird the pied feathers are bright yellow but adding the blue it waters down the yellow until when combined the white breasted blue the pied feathers are pure white. So a white breasted blue bird carrying 95% pied feathering is almost a pure white bird. I state 95% because as yet I have not seen a 100% pied. Unlike when the white breasted is added to the Lutino the result is a bird that’s feathers are creamy white.

Pastel blue pied

The breeding projects I am working on is firstly to produce the black and white splendid, this can be achieved by making a combination mutation of White breast, Pied and dark factor. With these three mutations on one bird and the pied at only 50% the result would be a black and white bird. The second is the produce a pure yellow splendid with the cock bird having no red bib. This can be achieved with the combination of pied and Lutino. And lastly a pure white bird, a combination of Whitebreast, Lutino, and Pied. This bird will have red eyes and will be an Ino. But because the white breasted blue is not a true blue unlike the blue ring neck and blue masked, this splendid cannot be called an albino.