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Breeding Blue Poultry
When breeding blue poultry, it is important to recognize that the color blue is not a dominant gene. This means that if you breed two blue colored chickens together, you will not get ALL blue offspring. Instead, you may get 3 possible options: blue, black or splash chicks. When you breed two black chickens together, you will get all black chicks, etc. There is a table below laid out for you. When you purchase Blue Orpington or Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chicks or hatching eggs from us, you will likely get a variety of Blue, Black and Splash! We do not breed splash to black to get 100% blue, as we feel this does not produce reliably good quality blues with any kind of consistency.
Blue Poultry Genetics:
Blue X Blue = 50% Blue, 25% Black, 25% Splash Blue X Black = 50% Blue, 50% Black Blue X Splash = 50% Blue, 50% Splash Black X Black = 100% Black Splash X Splash = 100% Splash Splash X Black = 100% Blue
One note, about lavender chickens, is that these birds DO breed true. What this means is if you breed a lavender hen to a lavender rooster, all of your chicks will be the same lavender color. You can also introduce a black rooster to help improve body type, feathering, size, etc. This will result in a "split" chick that is a black chick that carries the lavender gene. The lavender gene will then be expressed if you breed to a lavender colored chicken, or if you breed two splits together, some of the resulting offspring will be lavender. Note: at this time we ONLY have pure lavender chickens on the farm and any and all lavender hatching eggs purchased from us will hatch as true Lavender Orpingtons.
Chocolate Breeding & Variations
Chocolate is a fun sex linked gene for colour that can be played with lots! For example, using chocolate you can make black birds that carry for chocolate that are usually referred to as Split to Chocolate or Splits, as well as dilute blue/chocolates that are also known as Mauve. Of note, PULLETS that are black can NOT be split to chocolate, it's a sex link gene and pullets have to BE chocolate to "carry the gene" for chocolate.
Here's a look at how that all works:
Rooster Hen Chocolate x chocolate = chocolate (obviously!) Chocolate x black = chocolate pullets, black cockerels split to chocolate Split x black = split cockerels, black cockerels and pullets, chocolate pullets Split x chocolate = split & chocolate cockerels, black pullets, chocolate pullets Black x Chocolate = all black offspring (cockerels will be split to chocolate)
Chocolate x splash = mauve pullets, blue cockerels Splash x chocolate = mauve and blue pullets and cockerels Chocolate x blue = mauve, chocolate and blue pullets and cockerels Blue x chocolate = mauve, chocolate and blue pullets and cockerels
*OF NOTE: Chocolate is NOT the same as Khaki. Chocolate is found in breeds such as orpingtons, turkeys, muscovy ducks. Khaki is developed in the Polish breed of chickens in the states, but not in Canada as far as we are aware. Khaki does not breed true, while chocolate does in the sense that chocolate x chocolate = chocolate*
There are some similarities between chocolate and cuckoo breedings, in the sense that cuckoo is also sex link. Cuckoo can NOT be hidden, it's either present or it's not, there is no such thing as a bird that is "split to cuckoo". That said, cuckoo is also a fun gene to play with, whether creating a new cuckoo variety or just breeding yourself some sex link birds for fun. The interesting (or frustrating as the case may be) part about cuckoo is that a rooster can carry ONE gene for cuckoo or TWO genes for cuckoo, but either way will have cuckoo coloured feathering. The only 100% guarantee'd sure way to know your rooster is double barred (DB or carrying two genes) is if you know that both parents were cuckoo and all of their offspring is cuckoo. That said, single barred (SB or carrying one gene for cuckoo) is often a cockerel with darker colouring who may have solid feathers in their wings or tail. Hens are always only single barred.
More info below:
Rooster Hen Single barred x solid = single barred males, barred females, solid males and females Single barred x barred = double & single barred males, barred & solid females Double barred x solid = single barred males, barred females Double barred x barred = double barred males, barred females Solid x barred = barred males, solid females
As you can see above, all you really need is one barred bird to work on a whole new colour variety. For example, if you're playing with chocolate cuckoo and blue/splash, it doesn't take long to make yourself some mauve cuckoo's! This applies to all barred/cuckoo varieties of various breeds.