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 The "Sable" Mutation---is it a myth? Part 3: The Truth about the Sable Fischeri

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Posts : 15
Join date : 30/11/2010

PostSubject: The "Sable" Mutation---is it a myth? Part 3: The Truth about the Sable Fischeri   Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:22 pm

Hello Birdies!

I have translated from spanish an article of a friend entitled: The Truth about the Sable Fischeri". which he wrote for lovebird breeders based in the Iberian peninsula. Actually, it is in part a summary of the discussion over this type A. fischeri phenotype in the BVA e-group a few years ago and his personal indications regarding the breeding of this A. fischeri phenotype which we find very beautiful.

Below is the article and I hope it could clear up some matters that you may have regarding this bird.

Best regards to all!


P.S. The opinions expressed in this article are only that of the author.



Through this article I will try to clear up some doubts about the sable fischeri, which for many years has fascinated half the world, and from which it appears that little is known about it.

Before I start talking about the sables, I would like to mention that I sent a draft of this article to several Spanish lovebird breeders, eliciting different responses from them. Even though the majority of the responses were positive, on the other hand, I was accused of wanting to throw garbage on the sables so that I will be able to sell my recessive pied, a mutation which I introduced in Spain in 2010 and which I have bred successfully. But nothing could be further from reality because they are birds which neither look nor have anything to do with these sables. Besides, I write the articles to pass on my knowledge and not to make money. Actually, I am losing money with the birds. Also, it was insinuated that this information came from Holland and Belgium with the goal that breeders there could sell the new mutations that have appeared recently. This is also wrong, because I do not take orders from anyone, as will be seen throughout this article whose information came out years ago. Therefore, nothing is new.

This article is not intended to eradicate the breeding of sables, but is intended to clarify certain basic notions over sables and dominant pieds which are still unknown for many and to safeguard the highest purity possible in the fischeri, something we know is complicated because of transmutations, even though fortunately, there are still pure specimens found in Europe.

Before going on, I would like to clarify that I am aware that this is going to be a controversial article and many will say that it is not correct what it says, yet all information is available throughout the world in the BVA forum (http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/BVA-lovebirds/), and this article is a summary of the email exchanges among Guilherme Curval, Dirk Van den Abeele and an e-group around the year 2004. In these messages, Dirk explains very clearly and with reliable data on the true origin of this bird, which Guilherme Curval and I ended up recognizing when we discovered the deceit of Paul Richard on the supposed origin of the sables.

In the beginning it was said that this bird originated from the crossing of a dominant white and a dominant edged. At this time it was shown that this was not true. It was nothing but a deception of the Brazilian breeder and judge Paul Richard. All information on this theory and the subsequent correction and theory of Guilherme Curval can read in the articles published by Guilherme Curval "The fischeri Sable" and "The fischeri Sable II" on the website of ACE (http://agapornisclub.net )

Origin and development
The first reference we have of sables is in 1987 in Holland when they were offered to Dirk Van den Abeele. These birds were pastels with completely white heads. Weeks later, Dirk went to see the breeder and found out that parents were both fischeri-personatus hybrids.

With this in mind, and knowing that in the late 80's and early 90's there was no pure blue fischeri, we can attest that in the process of transmutation, this situation came up: birds having completely white heads.

When we do transmutation between fischeri and personatus, and we recognize that after several generations (in this case, F3 and F4), the eumelanin on the head disappears and the phenotype that predominates is the fischeri. Combining these F3 or F4 birds together, we will be able to notice a number of features and the young will have the same appearance as the parents. This is what is done for example to create new breeds of dogs.

The main feature of the sable is that one sees a reduced black eumelanin in the head and yet in the in green series, we see an increase of red psittacine of which something is wrong, since there are no mutations that reduce eumelanin and at the same time increase the psittacine. This increase in psittacine in the green series comes from personatus; psittacine containing feathers in the black mask and in the F3 and F4 birds is significant. If indeed this mutation will only reduce eumelanin in the green series, the head would become completely yellow instead of orange as what actually happens.

If you select e.g. personatus with a lot of orange on the breast for several generations, we may get personatus with the chest totally orange and crossing with personatus that are completely clean will give personatus with very orange chest. So ... shall we say that the personatus "orange chest" is a dominant mutation?

The same happens if we cross a fischeri with a lot of orange in the neck with a standard bird. The offspring will have orange on the neck. It is easier to add red psittacine to the head of a fischeri and create sables than finding a good wild-type example.

What if e.g., we cross a fischeri with a nigrigenis? ... And continue crossing the F2 hybrids with each other. Certainly we will succeed in developing a different bird, but that does not mean it is a new mutation or specie.

On the other hand, many people equate the sable with standard roseicollis (Long Feather), but the difference is that the standard roseicollis has developed over the years, through the selection and always, using pure specimens. But it is not a mutation and we cannot say that a bird is a carrier of the standard because their characteristics are not inherited in a uniform way.

Another aspect of this mutation is the effect it may produce in nigrigenis or personatus. Is the head completely white? Then one loses one of the salient features of their phenotype.

Another problem arising from the hybridization and which we mentioned earlier, can be seen in lutino birds which as you know also come from the hybridization with personatus. In an interim stage, they began to select birds with fully orange heads, but although the appearance is very nice, it is still a product of hybridization. No one has gone to breed wild type x lutino for 5 generations in order to refine or improve the mutation. Later on, these birds were used to improve the mask of the wild type and of course they forgot that not only did they increase the psittacine in the mask but also to the rest of the head as well, with a consequent detrimental effect on the original form of the species.

Research and combination with sable
During the years 2000 to 2004, crosses were made by several Brazilian and Dutch breeders. The results were that in the offsprings born were edged, dominant pieds, pastels and even NSL ino birds. As you can see, there are no more sable birds for they are always linked mainly to the pied mutation or mutations that reduce eumelanin. There is no existence of sable in itself without the addition of any of these mutations.

While it is true, we can get pure birds with completely white head by combining several mutations that reduce eumelanin, for example with edged x PastelIno and producing a good example of a DF edge PastelIno. This of course can also occur with the pied, DEC and dilute mutations among others.

Those sable birds seen in Thailand, Brazil, Philippines, etc. all come from Belgium and the Netherlands, which all have a common origin.

While it is true that certain combinations with pied can produce birds with heads completely white, we must be totally honest with ourselves, since most of the pied birds in Spain have been crossed with the sables coming from hybridization and inevitably contain personatus blood. So we must be very careful when choosing and selecting our breeders. Many times it is easy to see even some traces of personatus in those sables, which should lead us to discard what you purchased or breed.

We really cannot speak of the sable as a mutation because for a mutation to occur there must be an alteration in the genotype and in this case, there is no such alteration.

As I am about to end, I would like to mention that of course, you can get to breed birds with totally white head through the selection, although this may take many years. Unfortunately, the present path chosen was the easy one, since with hybridization, it takes 3 or 4 generations to get this result, while through the selection, it could take us 10 years or more.

Always remember that the sable will never be a show bird because of its origin, and something to keep in mind is that it is increasingly difficult to find pure wild type birds in any of the races, and these pure birds are essential to improve new mutations, especially if they are a result of transmutation.

From here I encourage you to make a good selection of your birds and if you decide to breed sables coming from the hybridization of its undoubted beauty, one should do it separately from the other mutations that you have (mainly from the dominant pied), because all you get if things are done this way is to lose a mutation like the dominant pied which is beautiful in itself without completely having the white head and worst of all, lose the purity of a very special kind, similar to all other species which are unique and unrepeatable.

If you have the good fortune to have or have selected pure sable through a combination of mutations, I will also encourage you to take care of the breeders and in parallel, raise pied birds with eumelanin in the head.

A simple test to see if our sables come from combinations of mutations or from a good selection is to cross them with the wild type. If we get birds without orange head then we know that we are treading the right path. If on the contrary the head appears completely red, then we can suspect that the purity of their ancestors is questionable.

"The Truth About fischeri Sable" ©
Sergio Sánchez Martínez
September 19, 2011
At 10:43 Posted by Lutino
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The "Sable" Mutation---is it a myth? Part 3: The Truth about the Sable Fischeri
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