Without getting into any lengthy genetic explanation, suffice to say that some color mutant nestlings (chicks) can be identified after they exit the egg. The simple explanation for this, as I understand it, is that there are many factors that impact feather color, but only two factors in particular that impact a bird's ground color and appearance: 1) the presence of a color mutant gene, and whether that gene is in a heterozygous or homozygous condition, and 2) the relative concentration of psittacin (a carotenoid like pigment creating yellow, pink and similar colors) and melanin (a black pigment that shifts towards brown and gray its pathways are interrupted) in the various structures of the feather, beak, feet, etc....
Chicks can be identified by the color of their:
|feet and toenails||grey; black; pied or flesh|
|eyes||black; red or plum|
|skin||pink / flesh;|
|natal or primary down||orange; yellow; white etc...|
|secondary down||white; grey or other|
|beak||horn; ochre; two toned etc...|
|flights||white; grey; pied; yellow; tan; brown|
|rumps||white; blue; jade / cobalt; mauve / slate; violet|
|Size can also play a role|
Knowing the parental phenotype and genotype would obviously be of great assistance in determining the probabilities of certain offspring in the nest. However, if that is not available, as is true in so many pet purchase cases, visual and physical characteristics of your nestlings can help in narrowing down what the parents are (were) and what the offspring are likely to be.
As information regarding nestlings begins to flow in, the attached nestling
attribute table will be filled in, and this page will begin to house
more information on specific mutations and nestlings.
Please help by: e-mailing information on your mutation or color combination, and the color of their chicks (unless it is posted already):