Black feathers look green in sunlight. Rooster?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by texas_is_home, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. texas_is_home

    texas_is_home Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 30, 2009
    Boerne, Texas
    I'm wondering if only Roosters have that greenish tinge in their black feathers? I'm pretty sure that is the case because, none of my hens have ever had that trait. I just need confirmation from some of ya'll more experienced Chicken Lovers. Thanks for ya'lls help.
  2. Sock Puppet

    Sock Puppet Grumpy Hen

    Mar 3, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Nope, hens can have green or even purple tinged feathers. My black hens have green. I actually had one that had both purple and green, really cool looking.
  3. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    I have plenty of girls with green.
  4. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    All of my BA hens look like they have green in their feathers.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Yes, indeedy. My Black Australorp is BEAUTIFUL in the sun, with the irridescent shimmer of green, blue and purples over her black feathers.
  6. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Quote:Exactly! My girls are just beautiful in the sun... Not just the australorps either. My polish girls also shimmer [​IMG] Post a pic if you're not sure of gender... We should be able to help you out with that [​IMG]
  7. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    I had this really great article about iridescence in feathers, written in layman's terms, but alas, I can't locate it. I hope this slight brief helps explain it some, while I keep looking for that darn article. :

    Pigments - Bird feather colours are produced by a variety of pigments and structural adaptations of the feathers.

    * Melanins are the most common and produce black, gray, and brown. They are synthesized through oxidation of the amino acid tyrosine. Melanin granules produce colour in direct proportion to their presence in the feather; the more melanin, the darker the colour. Melanins can be found in all types of feathers, especially the major flight feathers. The pigment eumelanin produces the black, gray, and dark brown while phaeomelanin produces light brown, brick red, and dull yellow or tan.

    * Carotenoids produce intense reds and yellows. They are derived exclusively from the bird’s diet, mainly the yellow carotene pigmets in grains, seeds, and other vegetable matter. Carotenoids are rarely seen in flight feathers but mainly in back and breast plummage and only in the contour and simiplume feather types. The pigment lutein (a xanthophyll), zeaxanthin, and beta carotene form the bright yellows. Astaxanthin, rhodoxanthin, and canthaxanthin form the bright reds.

    * Porphyrins produce a range of red, brown, green, and the brown pigment of many owls. These feather pigments are related to hemoglobin and other bile pigments formed by the breakdown of hemoglobin by the liver. The most common porphyrins produce brown pigments but can also produce the bright reds and greens seen in turacos and a few other species. The pigment turacoverdin produces green while turacin (uroporphyrin) produces red, and coproporphyrin III produces brown and reddish-brown.

    * Blue and green birds usually have no blue or green pigment in their plummage but rather are able to create complex patterns of reflection and refraction in the cell walls at the surface of the barbs and barbules of each feather. For example, the blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is not really blue but reflects only the blue light wavelengths.

    * Iridescent colours result from an interaction of the microstructure of the feather and melanin granules imbedded in the barbules of each feather. In some species, iridescence results from the many laminations of keratin layers, with each reflecting different wavelengths of light. Hummingbirds have an elaborate layering of reflective melanin granules, and colours are determined by the angle of these layers relative to the viewer’s eye.

    * Structural colours result from the modification or separation of the components of white light by the structure of the feather. In white feathers, the whole feather structure simply reflects back the whole colour spectrum. Blue is usually structural and rarely results from pigmentation. Green is usually structural but can sometimes be from a combination of yellow carotenoids and black melanins. Combinations of structural and pigment colours are common, particularly in yellow-green, green, and blue-green feathers. Iridescence is caused by the complex layering of cell walls or melanin granules in the barbules of feathers. These colours selectively absorb or reflect varying wavelengths of light and exact colours will depend on the viewer’s eyesight. Iridescence is primarily structural although melanin granules are almost always abundant in iridescent feathers.


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