THE FAWN CHEEK ZEBRA
© 1977 Poule d'eau Publishing
The Fawn Cheek and Grey Cheek Zebras have been in Europe for perhaps 15 years and was first brought into the United State in 1991. The mutation has gone by other names, Lead Cheek and Lead Cheek Lobed. The name Grey Cheek seems to be the preferred and adopted one. The mutation at first might resemble the Florida Fancy. The body color is often similar, a bright near white, with rich buff underparts. The most interesting feature about Grey Cheeks is the presence of cheeks patches on both sexes. The color of the cheek patch varies from dark grey, nearly black to half grey/half orange, and all orange. The Breast bar is very much apparent in males. Grey Cheek and Fawn Cheek are not distinct mutations, but rather the same mutation, one on a Grey Zebra the other on a Fawn Zebra. The Cheeks patch color of hens can vary from dark grey to rich fawn. The body color of both sexes can vary from near white to silver and mixed silver/fawn. Some of the latter color variations in Grey Cheek and Fawn Cheek are almost indistinguishable from Recessive Silvers, and only breeding can determine the true identity if it is unknown.
It is a dominant mutation and can occur as a single factor (SF) and double factor (DF). SF Grey Cheek X Normal = 50% Normal and 50% Grey Cheek, DF Grey Cheek X Normal = 100% SF Grey Cheek. I would always recommend breeding Grey Cheek to Normal and never mate two Grey Cheeks together. Mating Grey Cheeks to Normal birds produces the best color in the Grey Cheek offspring. Pairing two Grey Cheeks produced some offspring which are very pale and lack sufficient dark markings, making them less attractive.
The Grey Cheek is easy to breed, and easy to produce in large sizes, plus it is very attractive. Many Grey Cheeks and Fawn Cheeks are so colorful and well marked that they offer every expectation one could ask for in light colored Zebra Finches.
Below are some of the varieties of Grey Cheek and Fawn Cheek that I am breeding