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Image - 1

Baby Rainbow Lorikeet one day old

There is something about a fragile newborn baby that is quite endearing.

Like all babies their looks vary tremendously through the different bird species.

The newly hatched lorikeet chicks look quite appealing whereas some other species look more like pre-historic dinosaurs and some say that is the way evolution saw birds evolved; for that reason some bird chicks resemble little Pterodactyls.

We have had lots of calls over the years by breeders seeking answers as to what they have just bred.

We hope that this page offers some more clarity with the aid of the photos.

Compare your chick/s with the line up and you should be able to get some answers in identifying what you have bred for most of the young bred in Australia.

 Yellow winged SF & reverse DF pied chick, clicking on this photo will take you to the relevent data.
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In the image - 1 we see a one day old chick, even at that age you can sometimes tell what the chick is if you know what gene pattern the parent birds have inherited.

As we don't always know this, some people get a nice suprise from time to time. In Lorikeets babies we see three changes in the first four weeks.

We start with a wispy first down that can be light grey to pure white or yellow depending on the colour gene.

For recessive splits, grey-green and normals the babies' down is mainly dark to light grey. Second stage is the secondary down, this is thicker and easier to tell the colour difference.

Above we start with two birds that are very different in looks.

The chick on the left is what we would see for a normal chick or a recessive split baby which would just show a grey feather down in its secondary down.

The chick on the right is the opposite in colour down as it is a reverse DF pied chick which has white down, as do the dilute type chicks with the most white shown by the most transformed colours like Lutino, Fallow and Albino.

We will have to wait some time for that last one but some breeders will get the chance to work with them in a few years time hopefully.

 Yellow winged SF pied chick, clicking on this photo will take you to the relevent data.
Image - 3

 Yellow winged SF & reverse DF pied chick, clicking on this photo will take you to the Fallow page.
Image - 4

There are variations in the secondary down feathering as we have mentioned.

This can be seen in the grades of colouring for example in white we start with a dirty white for any Dilute full colour that has grey-green in its makeup.

Next we get the Diluted birds with dull white and finish at this stage with DF pied and lutino with the most white.

The Fallow is similar to Lutino and has the red eyes like the Lutino young in the photo below but has a recessive inheritance.

The red eye can be seen at hatch through the skin that still covers the eyes for the first 10 days.

The same two types of birds have pink skin pigmentation on the feet but the Fallow is recessive whereas the Lutino has a sexlinked gene.

If you'd like to see the genetic page at the same time, then right click on genetic page and "Open link in a new tab" to read the pages in conjuction with this page or any other page.

The odd one out is the Single-Factor/streaky (SF) Pied which can have some white around the neck area and half its back can also be white as can be seen in image - 3 of a Yellow winged SF pied.

They can also have feet with black toenails and varying degrees of light to white toenails.

Many people that have visited our place have commented that the Streakies are stunning looking in their own right, a bit like the Blue-streaked Lory.

In 2002 we bred our first Olive DF pied which was a very pleasing bird to look at. Since then many new colours in the Pied gene have been established some with a few genes mixed together to obtain the required result.

These days we can enjoy some beautiful specimens in the Lorikeet world and there will be many more to come, as in the Rainbow Lorikeet natural colouring we will be working with any colour from the rainbow spectrum.

Image - 5

We can see white toenails on the Lutino above in image - 5 which was present from hatch, the same applies to the Fallow mutation.

Toenails also tell us a story as to what gene we are dealing with.

In general the more coloured a bird is the more light pigmentation will show in toe and beak colouration.

In the case of mustard or Grey-Green Dilute the toe colour will be light grey as in image - 10 and remember the normal birds' toes will be black.

In the Dilute gene in pure form it will be grey white, and we already estabished that Lutino & Fallow is pure white in the toe area.

The Fallow mutation being red eyed as well as having the same toes and nails as the Lutino from hatch, as shown in the images - 4 & 5 above.

Early breeding results in WA where the colour originates from showed that the colour was recessive rather then the earlier thoughts of it being a sexlinked mutation.

We cover this mutation further on our " Fallow " page.

The last identifier is the beak colour. This can give us helpful hints at an early age to see what we are dealing with.

Here again shows that normal or recessive splits birds have a black beak.

This includes the straight melanistic birds like Blue Fronted, Grey-Green, Jade and True Olives.

 Young bird still to colour up.pic taken 19-5-05.  Young bird still to colour up,  Yellow winged Dilute Double Factor Pied. Image - 7

SF Pieds have mainly black to dark beaks and some can have a light band running along the beak see image - 6.

DF Pieds can also have from dark beaks with light bands: image - 6, to light brown coloured beaks as seen in image - 8.

Reverse Yellow winged in Dilute or Mustard have lighter beaks almost equal to a sexlinked bird as in image - 7

Next we have Dilutes with grey beaks and Fallow & Sexlinked birds with white beaks which will turn orange as with most lorikeets as they mature.

The birds with red beaks relate more to a strong vitamin and mineral base diet.

For more information on that subject visit our Unusual colour myths page.

 Yellow winged width=

Yellow winged Double Factor Dilute Reverse Pied.   Image - 8

An exception is the Yellow-winged DF which has a much lighter beak than the general DF pied this can be seen in image - 8 this bird is 8 weeks old and is still to colour up.

Just on that subject, because this bird is still to colour up, it will end up looking like a clear-wing bird. The Clear-wing Pied should be hatched a clear-wing and not colour in to one.

It is therefore very important that a buyer asks plenty of questions about the parents and it's genetic background.

Most likely two Reverse Yellow-winged DF Pied will produce all Clear-winged young and won't show any base colouring anymore.

At Utopia Birds we have not tried this so far (in 2014).

When it comes to reverse Yellow-winged in Dilute or Mustard we then see again a much lighter beak almost equal to a sexlinked bird and the toenails have turned all white with this gene as well as can be see in image 9.

 Reverse Yellow winged Dilute Double Factor Pied young bird. Image - 9

Reverse Yellow winged Double Factor Dilute Pied.    Image - 9

Now that we have discussed toes, nails, and beaks, we can move on to the first colour breaking through in the early pin feathers.

Here we can see from an early age if the chick is going to be a split colour as we will see green pin feather colour showing through at the ends of the pins as they break open around 16 to 21 days of age depending on what species lorikeet you are working with.

The smaller the bird, the earlier or quicker they grow and change.

For Normal or recessive splits we see dark green pins.

For Grey-Green and True DF Olive we see Olive pins, left bird in image - 2 & 3.

For Melanistic Blue Fronted we look for Blue pins in the chest area

For Melanistic Jade and Aqua Blue-fronted we look for Aqua pins in the chest area

For Melanistic Grey-green and True Olive-fronted we look for Olive pins in the chest area and silver pins on the top of the head.

 Young Melanistic Mustard showing mustard pins.  Young bird still to colour up,  Yellow winged Dilute Double Factor Pied. Image - 7

For Dilute we will see light lime green pins in the wing pins first and light blue pins on the top of the head as in image - 11.

For Mustard or Grey-green Dilute we will see light mustard pins in the wing pins first and silver pins on the top of the head as in image - 10.

For Pied SF we are looking for light or white secondary down feathers around the neck area as we see in image - 3 or red pin feathers in the head area after the first major moult at six months of age or older depending on the season of the year.

Some of the better Yellow-winged SF Pieds will show red pins in the head area as the first pins develop as well as yellow flight feathers in the Single Factor form image - 12.

 Young yellow winged SF showing red pins in the head.

For Double Factor birds we look for the first pins to be yellow of various amounts and the same for the red pin feathering in the head area which again can be from little to full red head for the reverse Yellow-winged DF Pied in image - 9.

Of course the Fallow and Lutino are hard to miss as they will show pink skin pigmentation with red eyes showing through the skin covering the eyes with a wispy yellow down see images - 4 & 5.

We discuss the head feathers colouring in further details on our "Lorikeet head colours" page, here we also touch on the visual sexing part of dealing with what you bred in some of the colour mutations that are di-morphic in gene patterns.

The bird below is discussed in our Unusual colour myths page as it is a classic case of a sporting colour showing through.

 Reverse Yellow winged Dilute Double Factor Pied young bird. Image - 9

We hope this has shed some light on the question of "what have I bred?".

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