Colorsplash Rare Poultry

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Last year, several very pale silvery blue Marans cockerels hatched from my carefully-assembled flock based on several lines.  I kept one and put others in the boxes I shipped.  

As he developed, the odd boy went through a lot of changes.  After he lost the pretty silver down, he was a smudgy but rather ordinary-looking cuckoo.  Soon, his belly and bottom feathers became lighter till they looked blue barred.  By the time his wings were blue barred rather than black and white, his belly and dust ruffle were looked solid pale blue.  Then hackles came in.   He has correct white legs.

Hackles are governed by separate genes from body color, so his hackles are ordinary cuckoo.  He has some Birchen or Copper Black behind him though, since there is some gold spangling at the tips of some of his hackles (his father was half Leurquin).

Based on the percentage of each color in his offspring, I believe he is genetically both splash and cuckoo.  

Bred with normal cuckoo hens, he produces 25% each of normal cuckoo with white legs, splash like himself, solid deep blue with dark slate legs, and black with black legs and sometimes dark combs.  Below are a blue, a splash (in the middle, see the pale blue barred dust ruffle), one normal cuckoo, and a black or two.

Except for the splash chicks, I can't tell the colors apart at hatching, because the blues and blacks have black down, and so do the normal cuckoo females.  Maybe I can figure it out this year.  Below, a Bleu pullet working on her first egg.  Her down and first feathers were black.

This year I will be breeding Bleu with the solid blacks and blues to produce some solid blue and black males.  Next year I should be able to produce solids without cuckoo markings.  It will be interesting to see what the splash looks like without barring, I hope it is pale blue rather than white with ticking.






The lines I built my flock on are:  Leurquin, Fitch, LaBelle (Canadian), Fugate, Perth, and Ripley.  <back to top>

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