Hi all I'm trying to figure out why some blue-tailed buff hens retain a bit of dark coloring in their hackles and others are completely buff except for their tails. What gene is responsible for that? Also, trying to understand the blue coloring in the tail feathers since it is often quite light blue, lighter than what you might see in an all blue hen. In my hens even the shafts of the blue tails feathers are light colored, yet they are not lavender because then the hen wouldn't be buff anymore, right? She'd be really washed out in color if I understand lavender correctly.... And is all of this possibly related to why some buffs are different hues? There seems to be quite a range. I've heard buff is a complicated color and not well understood... Are the varying buffs due to genes like cream, champagne, dilute gold??? I've heard of those but I don't really understand what they would look like when added into the mix. I have a genetics background, but it's all academic and has nothing to do with chickens which are new to me. I might do some breeding next year, but I want to learn as much as I can before I try that. Here's a picture of Yoda, one of my blue-tailed buff d'uccle mix hens and as you can see she is a very light buff. Yoda is a d'uccle Easter egger mix (mutt) and is standing in front of a red star and a New Hampshire red. Thanks in advance for the help!