So here's the story: I had a flock of Buff Orps, with 2 black australorps 2yrs ago (my only roo was a Buff). For a school project I hatched out chicks from my flock and some extra's my friend had from her Rhode Island Reds. Of the hatch I ended up with three chicks, two roo's and Frede (hen), the boys have since gone on, lovely coyotes I always thought Frede was a RIR because she was soooo much darker then my buffs...well this past fall we decided to change to RIR cause Frede was such a prolific layer my husband said we needed more like her. So in comes a flock of RIR's that a friend of his had too many of...and whoa...wait a minute... Frede isnt nearly as dark as they are! So now I am confused....she is really to dark to be buff (at least thats what I thought - since my buffs were rather pale) but she isnt dark enough to be RIR ...is she? I never saw my friends flock of RIR's so ....is there this much variation? here is my Roo, a hen and behind them you can see Frede, and the color difference. and just cause Frede is such a camera hog!!