Texan Pioneer

The Texan Pioneer, another truly American breed, was created by Del James during the late fifties and early sixties. It is a large breed, similar in size to the French Mondain, which was used in its creation. In addition, the breed has two major distinguishing characteristics, both due to its origin as a utility (meat-producing) breed: (1)The head and feet are supposed to be small in proportion to the rest of the body, the rationale being that it is senseless to add weight to parts of the bird that are discarded when the bird is butchered ; and (2)The breed is pure for the faded factor. The latter characteristic makes the Texan Pioneer a true "auto-sex" breed, whereby the sex of all squabs can be determined by the plumage color.

So how does auto-sexing work? Auto-sexing is not the same as a "sex- linked mating", although the faded gene is on the sex chromosome and its position on that chromosome is what allows it to be used for auto- sexing.

Since in pigeons cocks carry two active sex chromosomes while the hen carries just one, the expression of the faded gene in cocks is different than it is in hens. Faded hens, since they have just one active sex chromosome, can have just one gene for faded, and its expression is that of a "faded out" bar or checker (or in the case of recessive reds, a faded out version of recessive red). Cocks, however, if pure (homozygous) for the faded gene, appear entirely different. They are mostly white with dark flecks on the head and neck. Since the breed is pure for the faded factor, all cocks are homozygous and will appear as just described.

copyright 1997 Tom Barnhart

Picture shows three cocks and five hens. Note the small heads in proportion to the rest of the body.

(Photo from World Pigeon Magazine, 1978.)

The "Yellow Rose" of Texas
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