Gray black face black chest orange chest
The zebra finch black faced black breasted orange breast is a spectacular bird; spectacular by its colors, which prove how the combination of mutating and attractive.
Unfortunately, as with any multiple combination, working birds to improve their strain requires patience, careful selection and specific goals to be set at the start of any breeding season. It is these objectives which, if achieved, will cause the quality of the birds in his breeding to increase steadily.
The great difficulty of the combination lies in the multitude of faults, more or less important, that are frequently encountered in this bird on display. Here is a non-exhaustive list :
- the points of the blanks tend to disappear or turn into a blurry design
- it is rare to find birds with a head that is both completely orange and whose shape remains correct
- the head is often too small compared to the body of the bird
- it is frequent that the orange breast or black breast mutations are not expressed at 100%: appearance of black rejections in the breast or the rectrices, maintenance of a more or less horizontal drawing on the rectrices, orange color on the belly which does not descend far enough to the anal region.
- the white border of the flight feathers, characteristic of the black breast, disappears
- the gray color very often veils orange-brown (clearly visible at the level of the saddle)
- the orange design of the head is not often clearly defined at the nape of the neck and tends to run down the back
- many birds on display are small
- the intensity of the orange color is rarely uniform between the head, flanks and belly
It does not seem feasible to me to work all these points in one generation. Also, you will have to choose specific points that you will consider essential for the improvement of your strain, but also anticipate future generations.
These choices are not always guided by a standard, but are always guided by the breeder and his judgment in the face of his own birds. Here again, it is important to be familiar with the combined mutations and the influences on each other. Of course, the "starting" birds are going to be very important. It will obviously be easier to start with "finished" birds than to start with a classic base.
However, when you create your mandarin diamonds, you can better control certain parameters, thanks to the selection. I started my breeding of black face black breasted orange gray breast from a complete bird and 6 years later, I found on my birds a fault that was already present at the start!
Another point that I think is important to mention here is the gap that sometimes exists between the expectations or objectives of certain breeders with comments or sanctions during judgments. Today, there can be a huge gap between the same bird presented under the same conditions depending on which judge scores it.
Some examples: the zebra finch pictured above has been reclassified as black face orange breast due to tail tile designs, despite full cheek extension which characterizes the black breast mutation. The subject on the first photo of the article was sanctioned for the presence of the white border on the primary flight feathers (yet also characteristic of the black breast mutation) ...
Many questions remain unanswered today, but the debate has since started and everyone is free to express their views objectively on the subject. In addition, the pooling of knowledge and experiences in black chest orange chest and combinations (brown, isabelle, black face), as well as the difficulties encountered (recognition and distinction of birds, difficulties of appreciation, influences of mutations and colors on the drawings).
Speaking of expression of mutations, I am not talking about pure birds and carrier birds at all. Simply, one must be aware that in the black face black chest orange chest combination, the influence of mutations on each other shows that certain specific characteristics are not expressed at 100% despite the fact that the bird is mutated.
Michel Landry, amateur breeder of selection.
Article published in 2021.