Managing Color Bleed

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Stacykins, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    With my Araucana I've had issues with color bleed in roosters. I've gotten some nice birds from other breeders, only to have them pop all these red feathers as they reach maturity. Frustrating, to say the least.

    How well do hens hide bleed? It seems even with related birds, the females are thankfully free of color bleed, while the roosters are as red as red could be. However, if the girls are hiding the red, could be trouble.

    I just removed a rooster from my flock whom I adored. Large, double tufted, rumpless, a gorgeous shade of blue, excellent body posture, right feet color, etc. except he matured with so much red it looked like he was dipped in paint. Too much red to be workable. It would have been a nightmare.


    This lavender rooster of mine, he has red bleed that has been diluted to gold. I am going to use him, get a few black split to lavenders, but I worry about the red. I dearly love the color lavender, and he was the only successful lavender I acquired after so many lavender hatching egg purchases. You can see the gold on his wings mostly.

    I do have a big, black rooster who will be my man to hopefully clean up any bleed. He is jet black without any trace of bleed. Bred to a few tufted girls, and he could make some pretty awesome birds to work with. I also have another black rooster who is tufted, but has a scant amount of red in his 'tail' area (he is rumpless, so he doesn't truly have a tail).

  2. Wappoke

    Wappoke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2015
    The males that have red in the hackles is missing a gene called melanotic. Females do not show red as easilyy as males do and can produce males that have red in the hackles even when the female parent does not have red in her hackles. When you breed the black male to your females keep track of which eggs came from which female. Then keep track of the males and which female they came from. If a black female produces males with red in the hackles do not use her for breeding. Nice looking birds especially the lav male- very handsome.
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    If your males are leakage free, then it's coming from one or more of the hens. Hens won't express the leakage, but will pass the genes for it to their chicks.
    Do not breed any males with leakage. It will just perpetuate the leakage. His sons will all have it, and his daughters will be carriers for it. It's a very difficult thing to breed out of your stock, once it's been introduced somehow.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There you go. Hopefully, you've some birds, or can secure some new birds without this issue to speed along your program.
  5. sugarstark

    sugarstark Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2015
    Hudson Valley New York
    Id be happy to help hatch for you ;)
  6. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    So I will definitely use the untufted black male without a trace of red, then. He is such a big, study boy, too. I think he'll add a lot of strength and weight. He is a bit sassier than my tufted rooster with the little bit of bleed, but I can live with that.

    I will probably do a few weeks of crossing that lavender lad to some black hens. I've purchased some purple zip ties to use as leg bands to mark the chicks so I'll know they are split to lavender. If a black split to lavender rooster pops up without any bleed (unlikely with all that gold the rooster has, but I can hope) that would be quite exciting. At worst I have some roosters with bleed to butcher and some hens to sell as culls (they always sell well around here, people like them for the egg color).

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