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Letter 5299

Tegetmeier, W. B. to Darwin, C. R.

10 Dec [1866]

    Summary Add

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    WBT interested in ancestors of domestic guinea-fowl, ducks, and geese.

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    Egg colours in fowls.


Muswell Hill

Monday Decr 10.

My dear Sir

I did not write before as I expected to see Mr Zurhorst at Birmingham,— — From the conversation I have had with him respecting the eggs I do not think his information is sufficiently definite to be of use— It really amounts only to this, that a spanish hen running with his cochins laid dark eggs.— Whether she did so before or not he does not know

My single experiment was that a spanish hen running with cochins laid perfectly white eggs, that were fertilized by the cochin and from which I hatched chickens

I regretted much not seeing you   I wished to ask you your conclusions respecting the original stock of the Guinea fowl, the Duck—The so called Buenos Ayres duck and the Goose— I know practically very little of the origin of these birds and should like to be in accord with you in the Poultry Book

Trusting you are quite strong | Believe me | Yours very truly | W B Tegetmeier.

C Darwin Esq

Should you like to write to Mr Zurhorst his address is


Donny brook

Co Dublin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 5299.f1
    The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 4 December [1866].
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    f2 5299.f2
    CD had asked for Frederick William Zurhorst's address in order to ask him about the eggs of a cross between a Cochin hen and a Spanish fowl (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 4 December [1866] and n. 2).
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    f3 5299.f3
    CD had been unable to see Tegetmeier in London during his November visit (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 4 December [1866] and n. 3).
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    f4 5299.f4
    The Buenos Aires duck was also referred to as the Labrador or the East Indian duck (see Tegetmeier 1867, p. 306, and Variation 1: 276). CD described the Labrador duck in Variation as having entirely black plumage and as a variety of the common domestic duck, descended from the common wild duck, Anas boschas (Variation 1: 276--7).
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    f5 5299.f5
    The reference is to Tegetmeier 1867 (see letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 22 January [1866] and nn. 10 and 11).
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