Partridge Orpington ColorOrpington, Breeding Questions

Lane Rae

Apr 28, 2018
It's taken me a while to finally decide on what pattern to focus on for my Orpingtons and I've decided on Partridge. If someone would be kind enough to answer some questions for me I'd appreciate it. I know these questions are very basic but since I'm learning I must start at the beginning.

1) When breeding Partridge should you breed only Partridge with Partridge for best results or with solids (black, blue, buff) to maintain color depth and consistency.

2) Is the standard Partridge color black? If so I believe I understand the introduction of dilution and production of blue.

I would like to have a few varieties of Partridge including traditional, blue and chocolate.

3) Is there a buff Partridge already established?

4) What other Partridge colors are there? I'm having a very hard time finding any photos other than traditional, blue and chocolate.

Thank you!


Apr 7, 2017
Shropshire, UK
Although buff is often a unicolour variety, it is caused by a very different genetic base to black and blue birds. Buff as a variety is generally Wheaten on the e-locus, with Colombian, which pushes eumelanin/black pigment to the neck; Mahogany, which promotes pheomelanin/gold pigment, darkening it to a rich red; and Dilute, which dilutes that red to buff.

Conversely, black, blue and chocolate varieties are extended black on the e-locus, and only eumelanin is visible. If you choose to outcross to an extended black variety, you will need to back-cross to Partridge to produce birds that are pure on the e-locus and thus suitable for your breeding group.

I am unsure as to whether the Chocolate variety you speak of is genetically Chocolate or Dun. The two have similar expressions, diluting eumelanin to brown, however Dun is incomplete dominant, like Blue/Splash, and Chocolate is sex-linked recessive, like barring.

I would avoid breeding a recessive gene such as Chocolate/ Lavender/ Recessive White into a line of Black/Blue/Splash. As these genes are Recessive the first generation of offspring will not see any dilution, thus they can hide and pop out unexpectedly generations later. Conversely, with incompletely dominant genes, lIke Dun, Blue/Splash, and Dominant White, single-factor birds express, just not to the same degree as a bird pure for the gene. These varieties can usually be bred interchangeably. A Black Partridge cockerel over Blue Partridge and Dun Partridge would produce half Black and half Blue or Dun depending on the mother, and would make a nice group. I imagine that any bird pure for either Blue/Splash or Dun/Khaki would be messy looking in terms of showing the patterning from the Partridge e-locus, which is why I would suggest a Black cockerel over coloured hens.

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