I hatched my very first mixed chickens who are now 5 days old. Dad is a White Plymouth Rock (bought at TSC) and Mom is a Barred Plymouth Rock (bought from a local farm/hatchery). I hatched 2 babies, and when they first hatched, I noticed they had the same blueness that my Blue Orps had when I hatched them. Now that they have the tips of their wing feathers one appears to be blue, the other a lighter blue (almost lavenderish). I have both Blue and Lavender Orps who are either not laying or are in a different coop, so I've experienced what those colors look like. I've tried to research on the internet, but I get so confused at complicated chicken genetics (and I don't confuse easily). I do understand BASIC blue and lavender genetics, though, and I know they're not the same thing genetically, even though they can look similar. I'm curious: Is it possible that my White Rock is hiding some blue genes somewhere, and if so I thought both parents had to have blue genes to create blue offspring. And the chances of both parents having that are slim. Is it really possible to mix white and barred and come out with blue? I should probably wait to see how they continue to feather out, but this is rather exciting. I was also curious as to how people breed for blue in the first place if they don't have any blue/black/splash to begin with. Before Blue Rocks ever existed how did someone make them exist? I always read this: blue x blue + 50% blue, 25% black, 25% splash ...and so forth, but how does a breeder create blue in the first place? When a Blue Plymouth Rock never existed did a breeder have to introduce another blue breed into the mix to get the blue gene then breed back to the standard once it was introduced? I'm fascinated with blue genetics, I just wish I understood it a little more.