I'm fascinated with blue chickens...I know how to get blue Jerseys, but are the genetics the same for blue cochins and blue orpingtons? Can anyone recommend a "chicken genetics" book for how to get blue for the breeds that it can be done?
As outlined by Rareroo ; easiest way is to introduce it through a splash over black or visa versa . Of course there's also self-blue , or lavender , a generally lighter blue which breeds true once you have a pair to work with [ though you have to watch the black's genotype to prevent gold leakage ] .
When a new color variety calls for adding a "single" dose/copy of blue, is it best to use a blue or self-blue? What exactly does "single" dose mean? I believe a splash is a "double" dose . . . does that mean a self-blue would also be a double dose?
Blue and Self Blue are two, completely unrelated genes. Blue (Andalusian Blue) is an incompletely dominant gene that only dilutes Black, 1 copy dilutes Black to Blue, 2 copies dilutes Black to Splash. Self Blue (Lavender) is a recessive gene that dilutes black to Self Blue aka Lavender and dilutes Gold to a light buff/straw color. Two copies of the lav gene must be present to show the effects of lavender.
I've really never heard of somthing that calls for adding a single copy of Blue, but I would imagaine you would use Andalusian Blue which is the one refered to when simply saying blue.
Can you give us a senario what you are talking about when adding a single copy?
From Brian Reeder's book, pg 58, regarding Blue Laced Red: "This variety is a darker version (no dilute) of Golden Laced to which one dose of blue is added to make the darker blue laced while two doses of blue are added (Bl/Bl) to make the light for of blue laced which is actually a splash laced red. The genome is eb/eb s+/s+ Ap/Ap Mh/Mh Co/Co Pg/Pg Ml/Ml Bl/bl+. The lighter colored or splash birds are the same genome except they are Bl/Bl."
I think you're correct - that this would basically mean an Andalusian Blue x Golden Laced. And if I understand the percentages correctly, it would yield 50% BLR and 50% GL. But if you were to dilute it by using Splash x Golden Laced, you would get 100% Splash Red-Laced.
Am I getting close at all to comprehending this???
Your on the right track, ( and it is Andalusian Blue), but it takes more than just a F1 cross of a solid andalusian Blue on a GL to get the right color. Actually, if you are wanting to breed these, don't use a golden laced, or you will end up with brassy orange in stead of the mohagany red and this is a problem that most BLR breeders are running into. There are already some really good quality and colored BLRs available and you would be far better off investing in getting some of them instead of recreating them if thats what you are planning on doing.
But like a said, if your just curious and wanting to know, your on the right track but it take more than one generation to get more pure laced birds.
Rareroo, thanx for the great advice. My Mille Fleur Project Bantam Cochins just aren't enough frustration for me, LOL!!, so I thought I'd give the BLR Bantam Cochins a try. As you noted, I've already been advised to use the "reddest" GL I can find. I know the GL Cochins don't have very good type, so I'm hoping to bring that to the mix with an excellent pair of Blues.