Originally Posted by LeslieDJoyce
I'm going to try to post a few more photos of the hens from last year that are coming out of molt with worse color issues than they went in. I'm having phone and computer issues, and don't even see the "add photo" button right now, so this may take several passes. I'll try to post them as edits to this post, so keep checking back ...
Due to technical difficulties here, I had to take the LOOOOOOOONG way around to get photos onto my computer. And got stuck on facebook talking about the photos. If you are on FB, it might be worth a trip over to the Delaware Poultry Club United's group where some very useful info has popped up into the discussion below this photo that I posted. @kathyinmo and @capayvalleychick even stopped by with some super useful information about other lines and such.
Yep. Quite the Conversation Piece, this hen (one of the F5 culls, who is finishing up her first big adult molt looking like this). Interesting how posting a photo of a cull brought so many people out of the woodwork to comment. I think I received exactly ONE comment about the photos of "good" birds I've posted recently, and that one was from @capayvalleychick (thank you, Kim).
I also posted this photo, of a more buff colored hen. She is super fluffy, so I would not use her anyway based on that. But she is looking super cute with those fresh tail feathers peeking out back.
Note that both of these hens have "perfect" tail color ... if you ignore the smudgy brown present along with the white frosted/shafted black. They also have the striped neck feathers. When I looked closely at these birds as pullets, I could already see hints of the brown/red/buff that is showing up so strongly now. So they were put in with the laying flock. If I have any of them that finish up the molt with white bodies, I'll consider breeding them next season.
Meanwhile, in the breeding pen the females I mated last year are behind with their molt. For sure some have bad color coming in.
The "perfect" tail color on the pullets comes with the striped necks and the promise of buff/brown/red feathers. Those birds also tend to have lovely orange legs. So when I see the striped necks and/or "perfect" tails sprouting on the pullets, my heart sinks a little.