Creamino budgerigars are a product of complex genetics and purposeful breeding, giving them their unique and interesting coloration.
The creamino budgie can be entirely yellow, usually in a light, soft shade. It can also have a white body with a yellow face.
Creaminos are a combination of the ino and yellowface mutations. However, creaminos must have the blue-series mutation, so the yellowface isn’t canceled out.
Creaminos can be difficult to breed because all the mutations needed are recessive, and one is sex-linked. You need to source the right parents and continue breeding until you achieve the correct combination.
What Does A Creamino Budgie Look Like?
A creamino budgie looks similar to other budgies with completely yellow bodies, including dark-eyed clears or doubled-factor spangles. However, creaminos tend to be more diluted in color and will have the feet and eyes of an albino or lutino budgie.
A creamino will have the following physical traits:
- Body: Commonly light cream, less commonly deep yellow.
- Markings: There should be no visible markings.
- Eyes: Red, or deep ruby red, with a white iris.
- Adult cere color: Pink to purple shades in males; light blue or white in females.
- Feet and legs: Pink.
Creamino Budgie Price
Creamino budgies are relatively rare, which will be reflected in the price.
Creaminos can only be sourced from breeders, and most pet stores don’t carry them. For hand-fed baby creaminos, expect to pay about $600.
Creamino Budgie Gender
Many breeders will only offer creamino females, noting that creaminos are sex-linked when they’re bred. Some people misinterpret this to mean that creaminos can only be females, but this isn’t the case.
Breeders offer creamino females because they’re easier to breed than creamino males. Unless the female is a creamino, you can’t have creamino male offspring.
This happens because the ino mutation is sex-linked. Sex-linked traits are only passed on the Z chromosome, and females only have one Z chromosome. This means that females cannot be split, or have a recessive, hidden gene, for sex-linked genes.
To illustrate, consider the following combinations:
- Ino female + non-ino male: 50% males split for ino, 50% non-ino females.
- Ino male + non-ino female: 50% males split for ino, 50% ino females.
Aside from using creamino parents, it’s easier for breeders to rely on males to carry sex-linked genes.
To get a male creamino, you’ll need a female and a male that’s at least split for each gene. Both are extremely difficult to come by, as creaminos are relatively rare, and split genes are hard to determine.
To determine split genes, you’ll need to determine the parentage of the budgie. It might be more convenient for both parents to be creamino, but that would be an even rarer pairing.
Female creaminos are more common than male creaminos and are easier to produce.
The easiest pairing that produces creaminos is a yellow face, blue-series female, and albino yellow face male. This produces 50% of offspring that are creamino females.
Are Creamino Budgies Rare?
Creamino budgies are quite rare because the genes needed to create a creamino budgie are recessive, and one of those genes is sex-linked. However, there are some rarer colors of budgerigars.
Most budgies that are rare earn this title because it requires a lot of genes for their color to appear. For example, the rainbow budgie needs the blue-series, opaline, clearwing, and yellowface genes.
Some colors are rare because there aren’t many birds bred for them. For example, the anthracite budgerigar, with deep black or grey feathers. It’s also relatively recent, only first noted in 1998.
Creamino Budgie Genetics
Creamino budgies are those with the following mutations.
This mutation lends the creamino budgie its iconic yellow color.
The yellowface mutation comes in three variations, and each variation is more yellow than the last. It doesn’t matter which variation your budgie has unless you’re particular about the shade of yellow your budgie will have. Each variation will still produce a creamino.
The following are the variations of the yellowface mutation:
- Yellowface I
- Yellowface II
The blue-series gene is necessary to create the albino mutation. To understand this, we first have to understand the blue mutation.
The normal type, or wild type, is a green color. According to Cell, researchers have determined that one enzyme produces the yellow pigment in birds. Because of a gene mutation, this pigment is suppressed. When you remove yellow from the green, you get blue.
We need a blue-series budgie because creaminos must have no markings on their body. So, a creamino needs to be an albino. Albino birds can only be created when you have a blue-series bird.
The blue-series gene also works in tandem with the yellowface gene when creating a creamino because green-series birds won’t show a yellowface mutation.
It’s easy to visualize how the yellow pigment in the yellowface mutation can be hidden under a green body color. Genetically, this happens because green-series birds contain yellow pigments in their body. When paired with the yellowface mutation, the yellow pigment disappears within the ‘green series’ yellow.
The ino mutation affects the body color of a bird, removing the blue pigment. So, it’s responsible for lutinos and albinos.
In green-series birds, the ino gene creates lutinos, which are completely yellow birds. Remember that green is a mixture of yellow and blue. Remove the blue, and you’ll get a yellow bird. In blue series birds, the ino gene creates albinos.
In creamino budgies, this genetic mutation removes all markings on the budgie’s body, allowing it to have a single, yellow color or a white body with a yellow face.
The suppression of the blue pigment lends the creamino its red eyes and pink legs and feet.
The ino gene is sex-linked. Specifically, it’s linked to the Z chromosome, which is the equivalent of the X chromosome in mammals.
The following is a reference for chromosomes in birds:
- ZZ – Male
- ZW – Female
Note that this is the opposite of the chromosome pairings in mammals. It’s important to note sex-linked genes because they affect which mutations should be found in which parent.
If you don’t have sex-linked mutations, you don’t have to worry about whether it is the mother or the father who has a specific mutation.
In the case of creaminos, you’ll need to ensure that the father has the ino mutation. Otherwise, none of the pair’s offspring will be visually creamino.
How To Breed A Creamino Budgie
Now you know the mutations needed for a creamino budgie, and how these mutations work. How do you breed a creamino budgie? You’ll need the following:
- Both parents must be yellowface or split for yellowface
- The male must be ino or split for ino
- Both parents must be blue-series or split for blue-series
The best combination without using creamino parents is:
- Female: yellowface, blue series
- Male: yellowface, albino
This pairing will produce 50% offspring that are creamino females. It doesn’t matter if any other mutations are present in both birds, as the albinism will mask these mutations.
Male Creamino Pairings
To create a male creamino, you’ll need creamino parents, specifically the female. The male has to be split for all the needed genes as well. You’ll need the following:
- Male must be ino or split for ino
- Female must be a creamino
- Male must be yellowface or split for yellowface
- Male must be blue-series or split for blue-series
If the male is split for all genes, 25% of the offspring will be creamino males. Males who have fewer split genes will be more likely to create creamino males.
Less Ideal Pairings
Perhaps the least ideal pairing to find that will still create a creamino are the following:
- Hen: split for yellow face, split for blue
- Cock: split for yellow face, split for blue, split for ino
With this pairing, 25% of the offspring will be creamino hens. Using these combinations, you can create creaminos.