SC, Will post what I believe to be fact on the Blue copper and Black Copper. Now you can breed these together but do not use any of the off spring that turn out to be Black Copper back into your pure Black copper. This is where the Black Copper with the Brown lower body feathers come into play. The chick and egg peddlers will say the they are Sun bleached, but is not so. The Black Copper crossed with the Wheaten will also give you the brown lower body feathering.
The Black Copper and Blue Copper cross will also give you more white feathers as the Blue Coppers will have some white feathers as they are not as close to the SOP.
If I were setting up a Blue Copper breeding program. I would use a Blue Copper Splash male over either the Black Copper or Blue Copper females. If your Blue Copper females are on the dark side the splash will lighten them up. I believe the medium Blue color will be what is in the final SOP down the road. You can use a Blue Copper male over the Splash and also the Blue Copper.
Thanks Don. I am going for black only, but Marchick is getting black and blue, no splash are available at this time. I told her she would probably be better off to make her own splash from a blue/blue breeding anyway to hopefully maintain a darker splash, then use those splash offspring to mate back to the black. That's what I'm doing with my splash AM rooster that was a product of 2 blues. Do you agree with that?
We are getting our birds from the same breeder who carries Bev's line, and was actually recommended by Bev