The Fallow Budgie Varieties

The fallow budgie is a very attractive pastel bird. It comes in several varieties some of which are very similar. 

All types of fallow have red eyes, pink legs and feet, and an orange beak. Like all other budgie varieties with red eyes, the hens have the usual brown or whitish blue cere, whilst the cocks keep the pink/purple cere of a youngster all their life. The lovely bird on the right is showing these characteristics (though the eyes do not look red in the image).  The tail and markings are greyish brown and the body colour is very reduced, sometimes nearly white or yellow (especially if opaline is also present), but often it is strong enough on the rump to determine the true colour.

fallow budgerigar

There are in fact several fallow types; the german fallow, japanese fallow, australian fallow, english fallow and scottish fallow.

The most common two are the english and german, they look very much the same except for the eyes. The german fallows have a darker red eye with a white iris ring. The english have paler red eyes with a similar red coloured iris ring, so it appears they are solid red.

Fallow Budgie Genetics

Fallow is always a recessive gene, regardless of which type you have. See the page about dominant and recessive genes if you are not sure what that means.

The inheritance of fallow goes as follows:

fallow x fallow
- 100% fallow

normal x fallow
- 100% normal/fallow

normal/fallow x fallow
- 50% fallow
- 50% normal/fallow

The fallow gene removes all the pigment from the eyes, skin, and beak and much of the pigment from the feather. Due to this action it can be considered a form of albinism. As this type of mutation has occurred in other hook beak species it can be understood from their view point as well as from the budgie breeders one.  The english fallow mutation is often called pale fallow in other species whilst it is likely that the german fallow mutation is an allele of non sexlinked ino and it is often referred to as bronze fallow. Though this ino mutation has not been established in budgerigars yet, it is in other parrot species and may one day be established in budgies also.  If it does we will be able to confirm if german fallow is inded an allele of that gene.

The genetic symbols are:
- german fallow = abz with the wild type = a+ and non sexlinked ino = a
- english fallow = pf with wild type = pf+

All the fallow varieties are especially lovely looking birds, and fairly uncommon. This makes them special and worthy of keeping an eye out for.

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