Frequently Asked Questions

Q – What is lipchrome ?

A –Lipochrome colorbred canary. ( Lipo = Fat Chrome =Color )is a clear bird: a yellow, a clear red, a dominant white, a recessive white , a rose ivory, a yellow ivory.

Alipochrome canary is a bird that has received in his genetic make up the inhibitor factor that makes him unable to form melanic pigment on his plumage.

Therefore the lipochrome color bred canary is referred as follows: lipochrome because their feathers are composed of fat substances ( carotenoid )and they retain the clear ground color.

Q – What is melanic ?

A – A melanic color bred canary; is a dark bird, with eumelanin black,eumelanin brown and phaeomelanin brown.

According to some author the most common Bird pigments are the melanins: Eumelanin
black, Eumelanin brown, Phaeomelanin brown, and then a more recently named
erythromelanin is chestnut red. Birds synthesize
melanins, which they are then deposit on the feathersgoingfrom a light gray to a jet black
The amino acid responsible for the formation of melanin in the skin, feathers, and hair is tyrosine.

If a black eumelanin, and phaeomelanin brown pigment are superimposed :
Over white ground = the bird is a blue
Over yellow ground = the birds is a green
Over red ground= the bird is a bronze
Over yellow ivory ground = the bird is a gold green ivory
Over red ivory (rose) ground= the bird is a rose bronze.

If the eumelanin dark brown and phaeomelanin brown are superimposed:
Over white ground = the bird is a silver brown
Over yellow ground = the bird is a gold brown
Over red ground = the bird is a red brown
Over yellow ivory ground= the bird is a yellow brown ivory
Over red ivory (rose) ground =the bird is a rose brown

Of course there are dilutions of those color i.e.; Agate, Isabel, Pastel,
Inos, Opals, Topaz, Onyx, Eumo, Satinets.

If there is no eumelanins and only the dark pigment phaeomelanin is superimposed:
Over white ground = the bird is a silver ino
( phaeo silver )
Over yellow ground = the bird is a gold ino ( phaeolutino )
Over red ground= the bird is a red ino ( phaeorubino )
Over yellow ivory ground = the bird is a yellow ivory ino ( phaeoivory lutino )

As we can see a melanic canary is a bird that has a pigmented substance called melanin in his make up superimposed over a ground color named
Those pigmented colors as mentioned above are : black, dark brown, and a lighter brown one , thephaeomelanin ( this last pigment is on the edge of the feathers ).
The combination ofthose pigments are the ones that characterizes the phenotype of a color bred canary, of course according to the different chromatic grade of the melanic colors depends on the Bio- Chemical process and most of all to the grade of oxidation.

Q – Are they color bred or color fed?

A –
They are both, if you don’t give any substance to improve color you will never stand a change to place a bird in theshow bench. A soon as I hear “ I don’t color feed” it means I don’t show them, to be more specific, even the
(spinus cocullatus) or better known by Venezuelan Black Hooded Red
Siskin, if fed only seed and egg food he will moult kind of a cream yellow, the same thing happens to a cardinal, to a flamingo or any other wild bird kept in captivity.
In the wild state they get fruits, berries, insects, crustaceans; from this food they metabolized the red pigment and deposit on their feathers.
Then as you can see, if the red factor is a hybrid of the red siskin and a canary he most get a form of carotenoid to make the convertion in to red pigment.
So, if you don’t feed a red factor canary any color supplement it is simple that you don’t exhibit them, andthe birddoes not
have a scarlet red color.

As a via of information: the history of the red canaries began in the late 1920’s.

Q -What is a ticked canary?

A –A ticked canary is a lipochrome that has a dark spot on this plumage.
This dark spot has to be small enough to be cover by a dime coin.
If the canary has two spots, and each one can be cover by a dime coin is not a ticked, but a variegated (two different colors in the same bird ).

Q -What is a foul canary?

A –A melanic canary also called ( self) is a complete dark bird ,when he has a lipochrome feather, usually in the flightfeathers (wings) or in the tail is named as a foul canary, this is explainedin genetic as a

Q -Is not a yellow canary the original one?

A – No, the original canary is green. Note that I said ( is ) because they stillin the wild form in the canary islands.
The green canary has a typical original plumage (wild type).
Its color are constituted of eumelanins black and phaeomelanin brown over a carotenoid
(lipochrome) yellow also named ground color.

The yellow canary was a mutation of the green.

From the genetic point of view a green homozygote male canary is :
E+ ( X ) bl+ rbl+ rb+ B+ YL+
E+ ( X ) bl+ rbl+ rb+ B+ YL+

A green homozygote female canary is :
E+ ( X ) bl+ rbl+ rb+ B+ YL+
E+ ( Y )B+ YL+

The reduced formula for a male green is :
( X ) bl+ rb+
( X ) bl+ rb+

And a green female is :
( X ) bl+ rb+
( Y )

A yellow canary male bearing dark or black eyes his genetic formula is:
E ( X ) bl+ rbl+ rb+ B+ YL+
E ( X ) bl+ rbl+ rb+ B+ YL+

As it is shown the factor E+ is mutated and inhibits the formation of the melanin in the plumage of the bird and is present in both homologous chromosomes.
The above yellow canary is a frosted male.

As discussed before the formation of melanin pigment and formation of carotenoid
(Lipochrome ) are regulated by an enzymatic process.

As a brief explanation of the genetic symbols in the formulas are :
E+ is the symbol that designate the formation o melanin
E is the symbol that designates the inhibitor factor of dark pigment then it determine a mutation to lipochrome
( X ) designate the sex of the bird in this case a male
( X )

( X ) is a female:
( Y )

bl+ =initials for black
rbl+=initials to designate the term reductive black factor
rb+ = initials for the reductive brown factor
B+= initials for designate a brown factor
YL+ = initials for the yellow factorgroundcolor ( normal factor of the lipochrome )

The following bookswere consulted:

The color Bred canaries by Gino Abbate.
Avian Nutrition by Robert G. Black.
Diseases of Cage and Aviary Birds by Dr. Margaret L. Petrak V. M. D.
Colored canaries by G. B. R. Walker

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