Red feathers on blue cochins

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CynthiaMQ, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. CynthiaMQ

    CynthiaMQ In the Brooder

    Nov 17, 2010
    Grindrod, B.C.
    I have a few blue cochins I am breeding. I was reading that if there are any red feathers that show up on offspring, they should not be used in the breeding program. And I totally agree.

    I have two offspring of my blue cochins that are now 5 months old. They are cockerals. One has very dark and beautiful lacing, a stunning bird, the brother is much lighter, with not very deeply coloured lacing, he began to show red feathers on his wings. Not one to keep for breeding I know that.

    What I need to know is, will any offspring from my blues that are splash or black coloured, show red feathers on their wings as they age, or is this significant only to the colour of blue. I really need an answer, as I need to know.

    I have done some studying on this, so I am not being lazy, but just don't quite understand about these red feathers.

    Where does this red feather thing come from? How can it be prevented from showing up again. Have that most wonderful day, CynthiaM.

  2. chickenlittle2

    chickenlittle2 Hatching

    Oct 27, 2010
    Does anyone have the answer to the post? This is the first time I have read about this condition and what do the red feathers signify? Saw a pic of a blue cochin in the auction section and it had a few red feathers in its wing.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  3. CynthiaMQ

    CynthiaMQ In the Brooder

    Nov 17, 2010
    Grindrod, B.C.
    Bumping, I'm going to show a picture of that young blue, he is 5 months old, the red flecks on the wings was very prevalent at 4 months old, and had started to show about 4 months of age. Have that wonderful day, CynthiaMQ.

    Taken about a month ago, note the light coloured bird, look at the wingfeathers:


    His brother of the same age, dark blue lacing, with zero red feathers on his body

  4. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    The red leakage will show up on offspring. He would not be a canidate for breeding. If you bred him I would try to figure out who made him to avoid this later. Leakage can be a big deal in some cases.
  5. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    I believe it's the result of an insufficient amount of melanizers. Not 100% sure.
  6. tallyho

    tallyho Songster

    Aug 24, 2010
    I am seeing some red edged feathers on the tiny back feathers of one of my 3 week old BBS cochins babies. She was born buff colored with a bluish tinge along her back so I assume that means she will be splash. I'm curious if she will have red and black splashing or if this is just a baby thing. The other is definitely already showing black flecks. Of course all of this coloring I have noticed is microscopic but when they've all climbed on me and are sitting in my lap I have plenty of time to 'study' them. I won't be breeding, so red leakage be darned! It's interesting to see how the colors develop.
  7. CynthiaMQ

    CynthiaMQ In the Brooder

    Nov 17, 2010
    Grindrod, B.C.
    Hmm. Should have clarified a little, I have searched and searched on the internet to find out more about the leakage of red, can't seem to find anything, but will still still pursue this, I know it is not good in the breeding pool.

    That blue cockeral with the red leaking is not going into the breeding pool, I have already understood this and know he is not of good genetics for breeding at all. He will be sold, and the purchaser will be advised of a request to not use for breeding purposes. His brother, on the other hand is a beautiful young cockeral. Presently at the poultry show in our community, I will see if he takes any places in this event. I am heading off to the show this morning, the presentations are taking place. I have a trio of gold laced wyandottes there as well, I know the one gold laced hen was judged as best American breed, so this will be interesting.

    I need more comments on where to find information about what causes the red leakage in blue birds. Does it manifest in only the males, or is it not gender-specific. Have a most wonderful day, CynthiaM.

  8. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    I've seen quite a bit of red leakage in some of my cochins as well- always the blues and splashes. It seems to show up more in males as they mature, but I am told that it can show up in females as well. Any sisters of the red-leaking males may also pass on the unwanted trait. I'm getting awfully sick of looking for replacemant roosters as soon as they are grown out. Best to get some unrelated stock from someone that hasn't had it show up in thier birds.
  9. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Cull, cull, cull.

    If I remember correctly red is pretty much gold in the color world. It just means that the bird does not carry enough melanizers to cover the underlying gold he is also carrying. It will be hard the first couple of years, but cull all birds that have any red or gold leakage. You will eventually see it disappear from your flock.

    If you have a small flock, you could do some test breedings to see if one hen is throwing it more than the others and remove her from your breeding program.
  10. CynthiaMQ

    CynthiaMQ In the Brooder

    Nov 17, 2010
    Grindrod, B.C.
    This has posed many questions, oh dear, on and upwards. When one speaks of culling, does that mean killing? I really need to know what this terminology means, I have heard it used many times in many places. I cannot kill a bird because of colours leaking out, seems rather racist if you ask me, smiling that big smile. I could imagine though, selling that red leaking little devil, be it of whatever gender, to someone but, totally ensuring they understand there is a leakage (sounds like a faucet if you ask me) and should absolutely not being used for breeding purposes.

    I suspect this leakage of the gold gene is the adult rooster of the blue Cochin breed I have. Well, actually, I know it is he that is the culprit. As big and blue and beautiful as he is, he has some goldish feathers on his cape, I suspect this is the "red" that is spoken of. He is not in the breeding pool. He just hangs out, with the birds that I am not using for breeding, so this upcoming year, there may be no red leaking through. I am not a breeder, nor do I profess to be, perhaps one day, that fine day, but doubt if I would ever get that deep, just small backyard chicken breeding, a few birds here and there, that is surely enough for me. Have those beautiful days, of love, health and peacefulness, CynthiaMQ.

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