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Dark Grey (dg), also called Recessive Grey

This is a naturally occuring mutation. It is recessive, so an hamster will only be Dark Grey if it inherits the dg gene from both parents. However, a fair number of black hamsters have Dark Grey animals a long way back in their ancestry. As a result, "throwbacks" may occur and a Dark Grey youngster appear in a litter where both parents have black in their pedigrees. Dark Grey animals, and those with Dark Grey as part of their colour's makeup, occasionally display a genetic fault, known in the hamster fancy as "kinky tail". This varies in severity from a barely noticeable bend in the tail, (which can be felt but not seen), to a corkscrew tail, twisted up over the hamster's back. This does not seem to affect the health of the hamster itself; such hamsters seem as healthy and longlived as their unaffected littermates. It would be unwise, however, to breed from such an animal, since the fault may become more severe over time and affect more vital parts of the spine. Manx cats, for example, have genes which alter the design of their tails - and some Manx kittens are born with Spina Bifida.

Dark Grey combines with the sexlinked Yellow gene to give Smoke Pearl, (adding Cinnamon to this mixture gives Lilac Pearl), with Cream to give Ivory, (adding Cinnamon will give Red Eyed Ivory), with Cinnamon to give Lilac and with Cream, Cinnamon and Umbrous to give Blue Mink. A good mating for both colours is Dark Grey to Dark Golden; the resulting litter, (all Goldens), have improved ticking, while mating a youngster back to Dark Grey will give Goldens and Dark Greys. Since Dark Greys and their derived colours have a tendency to "shrink" from generation to generation and become undersized, this "outcross" keeps up the vigour and size of the resulting Dark Grey young.

NHC Standard
GREY, DARK (dgdg)
TOP COAT Pearly grey carried approximately one quarter of the way down
BASE COLOUR Dark slate grey
BELLY FUR Ivory, with a grey under coat
TICKING Heavily and evenly ticked with black, shaded as for dark golden, i.e. face to be swarthy with black eye rings
CHEST BAND Very dark slate grey
EAR COLOUR Dark grey, almost black
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