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Old 11-29-2011, 08:34 PM  
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Flea Bitten Gray

Does flea bitten gray only happen on chestnuts? I was thinking about the possibility of my stallion (who was born black) turning flea bitten, and then realized that I have never seen a flea bitten gray with black or bay flecks....what is the genetics of this? Can my black-gray horse turn flea bitten? Only two horses in his pedigree were flea bitten, both are his great great granddams on his damside (Bandola & Lalage).
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:45 PM  
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I don't know exactly what you mean by 'flea bitten', but the greying gene works on any base coat color, and when fully expressed, that horse will be white, not matter with what base coat he started out with
The rate of the greying gene (time taken to replace all pigmented hair with non pigmented hair ) , can vary greatly, and it is this in between phase when some base coat color hair remains, that rises to the 'different greys ' , defined by various people. Thus we get the rose greys, the flea bitten, or whatever,but these stages are passing stages only, time taken for all base colored hair the horse was born with to be replaced by non pigmented hair. Grey is grey in my books!
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:11 PM  
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When I first started riding, I rode a small mare that was flea bitten and her spots were black, so I'm pretty sure it can happen on any color. I've heard that some flea bitten greys will go completely white before they get their freckles.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:14 PM  
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I have a black morgan pony that has started "roaning" out.

The thing is- equine genetics are SO complicated, you'd never know, so I'd assume it's possible- but probably is more like roaning- like blacks and greys can roan out. =]
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:15 PM  
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My horse is bay based, and he is turining flea bitten..

He has flea bites on his head and neck, a bloody shoulder, and a dapple butt.. stinking horse can't make up his mind...
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:26 PM  
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I have had 2

I have had 2 both had black fleabites the gelding was put down at 31 and the mare is 28 so I don't know that they turn completely white.
This is my favorite color by the way. i now have a bunch of black horses. Shalom
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:47 AM  
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Greys that turn flea bitten are 99.9% of the time heterozygous for the grey gene. Homozygous greys tend to not get flea bites. It is a natural progression for heterozygous greys. It does not matter what the base coat color is as grey blankets all colors/patterns. It is the ultimate color cover up.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:38 AM  
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I was just curious, not all grey's do it, I was just confused on the genetics of it (i.e. if it was a modifying gene or a natural phase all greys go through). I'll have to ask my breeder on what color his granddam was...she was grey but died at 35 or something, so its a process, then she should've been flea bitten at some point right? Backfire's dam is white currently (she's around 15) so I can't judge her.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:56 AM  
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My 30 year old gelding started out a really pretty dun with all the primitive markings. He is now a flea bitten gray, with red flea bites where he was red and black flea bites where he was black (legs and cross on withers). He has never, and I expect at his age won't ever, turn completely white. I will have to dig up a photo of him to show.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:14 AM  
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Here are a couple photos taken this past summer. It is hard to tell the difference in the flea bites. It is hard to believe that his mane used to be jet black and he is registered as having a star and strip!
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:07 PM  
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Wow thank you for sharing those. I asked his breeder about the color of his granddam, and she said that his granddam was flea bitten. She also mentioned that his dam, who is currently white, is starting to get flea bites but their black. I am still confused if this is a modifying gene, or a natural stage of gray that all grays will go through at some point or another. Either way, with a dam, granddam, great granddam who are flea bitten...I'd say my chances of Backfire eventually being flea bitten is pretty high. All well, at least he is black...hopefully he'll keep some color in his mane & tail.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:22 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anbphotography View Post
Wow thank you for sharing those. I asked his breeder about the color of his granddam, and she said that his granddam was flea bitten. She also mentioned that his dam, who is currently white, is starting to get flea bites but their black. I am still confused if this is a modifying gene, or a natural stage of gray that all grays will go through at some point or another. Either way, with a dam, granddam, great granddam who are flea bitten...I'd say my chances of Backfire eventually being flea bitten is pretty high. All well, at least he is black...hopefully he'll keep some color in his mane & tail.
I really think that the greying process is random. My guy is 10 years old. And he is a million differnt patterns happening at once. He has had a mainly white tail his entire life, but his mane is still dark, wouldn't even have a white patch in his mane except he rubbed his mane out and it grew in white.. He has a huge bloody shoulder that i wish would go away, it is just too odd looking.... but nope... dern grey horses... I love the look of an all-flea bitten horse. I have a feeling my horse will never get there. =(
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:36 PM  
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My mare was born bay and is a flea bitten grey now (and at coming 19, I don't think she is going to grey much more)
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:11 PM  
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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/w/index.ph..._nor mal_site

Not sure if the link will work right cause I'm on my phone, but it has a quite a bit of interesting info.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:02 AM  
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I have 2 flea bitten greys and one is black flea bitten and the other is sorrel flea bitten. I have researched this and was told Blue was born black and Luigi was born sorrel, I think in a few years Blue will be black again, he is almost 19 and each year more and more black comes out.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:41 AM  
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Hmm..something to hope for!
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