Extra toes - polydactyly in pigeons

General discussion about pigeon genetics
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:52 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Extra toes - polydactyly in pigeons

Post by AdamArcher »

Extra toes in pigeons


There are quite a number of mutations that can cause a pigeon to hatch with more than the standard amount of toes.

The most common is Polydactyly, a recessive gene present in many common breeds including homing pigeons and rollers. If you've hatched a bird with multiple toes, this mutation is likely the cause.

Another is Show King polydactyly. This form of polydactyly is genetically unrelated to the previous form, and is most common in Show King pigeons, Mondain pigeons, and related breeds. It is a recessive trait.

A further two polydactyly mutations have occurred at the t locus. Again these mutations are not related to those at the py or skpy loci. The first, "Tharp polydactyly" occurred in L. F. Tharp's Beauty Homers in 1948. Homozygous Tharp polydactyly pigeons usually had one extra toe on each foot.

The second, "Hasz polydactyly" or "cauliflower feet" occurred in Gerard Hasz's Giant homers in 1951. Homozygous pigeons typically had 4-6 extra toes on each foot, and the trait was usually lethal when homozygous, with embryos dying before hatching.

These two traits were both recessive to wild type and allelic of each other, however they may both now be extinct.
Post Reply