Originally Posted by Fire Ant Farm
Can I be really dense and stupid and ask someone to remind me again what "double cream" looks like? (In either a new chick or an adult.) Is it related to how dark they are, or how gold vs non gold they are? (Cream is the diluter that takes "gold" toward "silver" right?) In my current batch of seven pullets most are gold-ish, but two are definitely cream and not gold in the hackles (both Paula's girls) - but they are also dark/melanized. Trying to get the lingo right. I know folks have discussed it before A LOT - but I think my poor brain never quite gets the "double cream" thing when describing APPEARANCE.
Or, more likely, whenever anyone says "double cream" it makes me hungry and I get distracted and head into the kitchen for coffee and a pastry.
(Does this thread make my butt look big?!)
- Ant Farm
Cream Legbars are a gold based bird (let's leave silver out of the discussion).
So if you can identify the gold and where it should be expressed, that is an important starting point.
In the males, the gold is found in the crest, the hackles, the saddle feathers and the wings (primary/secondaries).
Other "colors", i.e. "chestnut", may be found on some areas such as the crest, shoulders & back, but should be very limited.
In the females gold is concentrated in the crest and hackle feathers, although it also influences the body color.
When they are homozygous for cream, i.e. both parents have contributed a cream gene so the offspring is "double for cream", then those areas of the body which express gold will be diluted to cream. Cream is significantly lighter than gold. A pitcher of cream is a good visual. Whipping cream that has been developed into a very pale buttery color is another good visual. Please note that all of the gold is diluted, not just some areas.
Most males have mismatched hackle and saddle feathers, which means the hackle feathers are lacking gold while the saddle feathers are clearly gold. The top of the hackle feathers may express gold which then disappears toward the bottom of the hackle feathers, as if the gold is doing a fade from top to bottom. This "halo" effect reminds me of the fade in Marans hackle feathers (which is not desirable). When the gold is diluted to cream, the hackle and saddle feathers still look a bit mismatched because the saddle feathers may have less definition/barring.
The best tell for females is a nicely contrasted hackle - to - body feathers. The hackle feathers clearly standout from the body color. This is still true even if the bird has a black crest, or heavily barred hackle feathers, and is generally more melanized.
Here's two hens with black crests that are sisters, the top hen is gold, the bottom hen is cream.
You may also be able to see the diffuse gold through the body of the top hen.
Here's two hens with gold/cream crests. The one on the left has a gold crest and gold hackles, the one on the right has a cream crest and cream hackles.
They are sisters, see parents below.
Here's their parents, some of my early stock. The hen is cream and the rooster appears gold.
From this mating I learned that the rooster appears gold but is heterozygous for cream (has one copy of cream), i.e. is "split for cream".
His gold offspring from this mating are also split for cream.
His cream offspring from this mating have two copies of gold, and two copies of cream which dilutes the gold (i.e. double for cream).
He also has a lot of chestnut.
Here's a different cream rooster and hen, so you can see their hackles are the same color.
The hen has the advantage of contrasting body feathers, while the rooster tends to look more uniform across the body unless he has areas of chestnut.
(his rival was outside the fence...)
And finally, the extremes in my breeding flocks: a very cream hen in the back and a decidedly gold hen in the front.
I have been able to project gold vs cream in my flocks from their down colors.
Here's some pretty typical cream examples. The pullet has a cream crest (not black).
These two feathered in gold.
Hope that was helpful. This is what I have learned from my flocks.
Edited by sol2go - 6/1/16 at 12:58am