What color would you call this roo?


12 Years
Apr 7, 2007
Norco, CA
First post, whee!
Hopefully this isn't as stupid a question as I think it is.

I'm hoping you all can solve a mystery for me. What color is this roo? Just black, or...? The yellow "frosting" around his neck is throwing me off. I've been looking at hatchery websites, trying to find anything the exact color, but no luck. He's the neighborhood roo, 7th or 8th generation feral, so no idea what breeds went into the mix originally.


He wooed my EE girls who gave me 8 pretty chipmunk chicks. The feral flock is tough as nails and isn't bothered by the 100F+ summer heat - they've hatched out chicks when it was over 110 and have even brought new fluffballs by on Christmas eve. I'm hoping the EE cross chicks will be just as tough!

One of the chicks-

Thanks in advance,
What a pretty boy you have! he looks like a mutt to me
might have that gene that shows up in blue breeding
where some of the gold comes up.
As for the little chip munk baby i cant wait to see what he looks
like when he gets older.
First, that is a very nice looking rooster! And you're not all that far from me.

My guess would be he is heterozygous for E, Extended black. Heterozygous is another word for "not pure for a specific gene" (pure= homozygous). Heterozygous E birds often have off coloring in the hackles and/or the saddle area, especially in roosters. It is common for hens to appear solid black or also have some off color on the hackles.

The fact he produced a gold(as in not silver.. aka black and white) chick shows he is at least heterozygous for silver and also the chick not being a black reinforces the guess that the rooster is not an homozygote for the black gene.

That is why he has the off color hackles probably. The reason you did not find a match color wise is because the show birds already have been "cleaned up" with various helpful genes. For example homozygous E birds can be solid black.. however it is not uncommon for individuals to show some off coloring, so what show breeders do is throw in extra genes that help make for a solid colored black bird. This is especially obvious by the fact that a lot of apparently solid back birds in fact are Birchen base(black with colored hackles and saddle in the roosters) however other genes are "added" so they appear solid black.

It's due to this same fact that questions like "what do I get if I breed a solid black with X?" are far more complex than it appears.. there actually are at least 3 completely different ways to make a solid black birds- on a Extended Black or Birchen or Recessive black base..

Your chick's pattern is also showing a mix between different genes for basic patterns. My guess is it would grow up looking like a partridge of sorts or a dark brown patterned bird.
well if he was old english game, I would have to say it looks like a black brassy back to me.
Thanks Kev! That makes a lot of sense. I've done a lot of research into equine color genetics, so the basic terminology isn't new.

I don't really care what colors I get, as long as they can keep laying through the summer. My hatchery and feed store chicks were definite under-achievers once the temperature started to climb.

I just like knowing the right names for everything. After awhile brown chicken, browner chicken and sort-of-black chicken just don't cut it as labels.
LOL yeah I got to agree(brown, browner not cutting it). Nice to see someone else with a handle on genetics. And welcome.

BTW in regards to your EE, the O gene(blue eggshell) is located very close to P (pea comb), resulting in a very tight linkage(over 90%) in passing down to the offspring. So if all of your pea combed EE are laying blue or green eggs (green is effect of blue over tinted eggshell) you probably could select for the egg trait simply by keeping and breeding the pea combed progeny(of either sex). Not all pea combed birds have O though so even a peacombed EE could be PP Oo+, throwing a slight loop as for selecting which chicks to keep.

Thought I'd mention it in case it was of interest.

Naked necks(turkens) have good heat tolerance, mine lay year round, even during our 110-120F summers.

Have fun and looks like you'll be having more good looking chickens before long!

Edited to ask off topic question: Are you familiar with paint genetics- overo, tobiano, marked white? I don't know horse genetics.. am curious as a neighbor raises and sells what she calls frame overos.. mentioned Lethal White and genetic tests for it. From skimming via Google, it seemed LW may simply be a homozygous overo and a positive test for LW was merely proof the horse had overo?
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