I have received an answer from Walt Leonard concerning the SOP definition and description on the Delaware. I did ask him a few questions to clarify a few things I still didn't understand, being a newbie, and I am going to quote him exactly wherever I can. I am making bold some of the info that refers directly to our discussions. If you still have questions, please post them, and I will try to get answers. Mr. Leonard has said he will help in any way to make this presentation clear. His words are in quotes. "The description in the SOP will stand as it is. The barring in the males will say black and white. The American Bantam Association says the same thing. Black with sheen only applies to the solid color black and the breeds that are black are listed in the SOP. I don't expect any judge to discriminate if he/she runs into barring with a sheen. If it has not been a problem in the past 58 years it shouldn't be a problem now." Mr. Leonard said he realized most of the folks on BYC are not into showing, but did give this advice: "Breed for good tail barring and don't worry about sheen or no sheen. Their biggest color problem is getting the tail barring correct, not if it is black with a sheen or not. From what I have seen of Dels, the sheen in barring is also associated with incomplete barring. Because of that, the New Hampshire sheen shows through." re: incomplete barring and how black is black, Mr. Leonard says" Incomplete barring is when each feather is not barred throughout. Irregular is another word that could be used. Tail feathers that only have some of the feathers or part of a feather that are not barred. Each tail feather should show barring with NO places that show large amounts of black or white without barring. The barring could be charcoal black and barring by nature dilutes colors, but that would be a fault; it says black, not gray, blue or diluted black. White and gray is a defect even if barred. Green sheen could and does show up when a male tail feather is not barred throughout the length of the feather. This applies to the male hackle as well since that is how it is described in the SOP". This will not be reworded in the SOP as the "concensus of the Committee, judges and breeders contacted is to leave it as is. This was discussed by both APA and ABA judges. Another heads up.. The Bantam Dels seem to be made from more than just Barred Rocks and New Hampshire, so the genetics could be different depending on how they made the finished bird." Folks, it seems to me that this gives us a clear answer. In other email exchanges with Mr. Leonard, he has reiterated information stated here on BYC by others. The outline is important- go for that compact, chunky shape, that full bowl underline, the correct tail angle- no squirrel tails!! And aim for black and white complete barring in the roo's tail. You can make your own decisions about breeding up from the stock you have, which may take time. However, some people like that challenge, and like a long term plan. As a respected person on this site has said, THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. I am going to make one more rather bold statement, and a plea. Be helpful. Let us PLEASE encourage each other, not bluntly tell each other to junk our birds. If someone post's a picture of their Delaware and wants a critique, than TELL the person what faults you see, AND also point out any good features. Make suggestions of what kind of hens a roo might need to correct a fault, and vice versa. Aren't we all in this together? Newbies to the breed need encouragement. Some people LIKE to take their time and breed up. It's a personal choice, and I think we can be of much more use to this breed if we stand together, no matter WHAT point our breeding programs are at. The manner in which we treat each other matters. Have a good day, folks, and remember: SDWD!!!!