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1. Basic Genetics 1

2. Basic Genetics 2

3. The Pigeons & Humans

4. Mutation & Natural Selection

5. Pigeon Colors 1

6. Pigeon Colors 2

7. Pigeon Patterns

8. Pigeon Eye Colors

9. X-Pigeons


am - Amputated


An “amputated toe” was originally discovered by Wilbert H. Bernshouse in the strain of auto-sexing Kings developed at Palmetto Pigeon Plant, about 1945. By 1948 he worked out the pedigree chart showing that anomaly, which he called “mutilated toes”, had appeared in five matings, all more or less related. Since the parents seemed quite normal, he figured the anomaly to be recessive, and proceeded to eliminate it.

Typically the affected birds lacked the tips of the inner and rear toes; therefore it was renamed by Willard F. Hollander as amputated. According to studies done by Willard F. Hollander, amputated condition was varied. In some cases only one toe tip of one foot was missing; others had up to all toes affected, and also missing wing tips. In addition, several that failed to hatch had extremely short lower beak. “Hook beak” was also evident in some of the survivors, and needed periodic trimming.

Willard F. Hollander thought all these variations are dependent on a single recessive mutant, for which he proposed the symbol am. He also thought modifying factors play a part, or conditions of incubation may be decisive. Probably a fair percentage of homozygous birds pass for normal.

If any of you out there have a picture of amputated toe by birth, please send it to me, so I can share this with everyone else in here.


1. Hollander, W. F. (1983). Origins And Excursions In Pigeon Genetics: A Compilation. Burrton, Kan.: The Ink Spot.

Copyright May, 2011 by Arif Mümtaz

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