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I have recently had the opportunity to purchase some lavender cuckoo Orpington chicks. This will be my first time delving into the genetic world of lavender cuckoo and could really use some help developing a breeding game plan. Lavender cuckoo Orps are not common in Canada.

I have received two lines of chicks. The first are offspring of the breeder's original lavender cuckoo line. Her original birds were imported from the US. They have a very nice cuckoo pattern but it is quite light. The second group is a cross between her original cuckoo lav Orp line and barred rock. She called this the 'improved line'. This cross resulted in a much darker lavender cuckoo pattern. I am going to watch them carefully as they grow out to ensure that Orpington type is maintained.

My questions:
For the original lavender cuckoo offspring- what crosses do you suggest I use to deepen the lavender cuckoo color? Black cuckoo Orp? Solid black Orp?

For the crosses, I want to ensure that I am bringing their offspring back to the SOP. Can they be bred back to the original cuckoo lav line or should I breed them to a solid color Orp (black, lav)?

Thanks for your help!