"How to" of Lemon Cuckoo?


9 Years
Sep 11, 2010
I believe I have an accidental lemon cuckoo banty cochin roo and am wondering how to mate him for more of this lovely color. (I will post a pic as soon as I figure out the new system).

So, he was hatched from a pen of all my banties - many different colored male and female cohins and 1 cuckoo silkie roo (mostly white with black barring on wings and tail). I was not breeding from this pen, but one of the buff hens decided to take matters into her own "wings" and sat a clutch of her own choosing. I cannot guarantee she was the only hen to "contribute" eggs to this clutch as they are great at hiding away where I cannot reach the nest.

In any event, I assume that this pretty roo that I had hatch is the result of a buff cochin hen and the cuckoo silkie roo as no other bird in this pen has the cuckoo pattern. And in previous hatchings from this pen of buff to buff, I always got solid buff babies. Good assumption so far? Apart from the pattern, this roo exhibits none of the silkie traits - his feathers are a little "looser", but more like the feathers on our SQ large cochins. His skin, shank, etc. are all correct for the buff color, but perhaps a bit lighter than would be liked. The silkie who may have "donated" the cuckoo pattern is not in the least show quality, and probably a "mutt". But as I wasn't trying to breed from him it didn't matter.

So now that I have this lovely blend, I have a few questions:

Is this how you get Lemon cuckoo? Breed a white with black barred cuckoo to a buff bird? He is lighter in color than his buff mama so definitely not a good "buff"color. Is this what is considered "lemon." He has some tail feathers that are half light buff and half bright white, too. Is this acceptable in a cuckoo bird?

Now that he has the cuckoo pattern gene, should I mate him to white with black barred cuckoo cochin girls or can I mate him to solid buff hens and retain the pattern. At this point I will only mate him back to nice looking cochins to keep any other silkie traits out of the mix.

His pattern is not very strong and clear, so would it be better to try to increase the pattern or work on the color at this point?

I am still trying to get the gist of genetics so I am wondering why the black becomes white with a buff ground color.

I am really interested in the cuckoo pattern so would appreciate any other explanations or descriptions for breeding this color.

Thank you all for your input.
Here is a photo (not great I'm afraid, as you can't see the barring well enough) that perhaps will get this discussion rolling.

How do you breed for the cuckoo coloration called "lemon cuckoo" Does this bird have the beginnings? What can I breed him to in order to develop more barring in the offspring?


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