Why are gray chickens called blue?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Triplecross, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I mean, they are obviously gray in color and I can't see any blue hues so why is that?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It's marketing. I sell a lot more "blue" chickens than if they were called gray.
    For the same reason we call some breeds "crested" rather than saying they are visually impaired by an unruly mop of feathers.

    Naming is animal breeds has no regulation and accuracy is not a priority. Look up "Iowa Blues" or "California Grays" they aren't even gray, no blue genes at all in either breed. Names can have a lot to do with a breed's popularity, who would raise a breed call "Scots Dumpy" ? Apparently almost no one and so they are nearly extinct.
     
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Because it has more to do with the genes that they carry than the actual color.
    A good Blue fowl should look Blue but with poor breeding, bad genes etc. the color can change some.

    Also there are many types of Blue.

    Blue
    Self Blue (aka Lavender)
    Lemon Blue
    Blue Red
    Silver Blue
    Just to name a few.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some breeds have both blues and grays, like silkies. But I don't know how they are differentiated. I think I have one of each.
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  5. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Um, those are interesting points. I can relate the most with marketing, I like the name of things that sound "good" or "impressive".
    So Dorking sounds horrible and I still want that breed someday, but I'll be embarrassed to tell family and friends what they're called, lol [​IMG]
     
  6. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I googled "blue chickens" and agree that there must be poor breeding (or photoshopping) because most the chicken pictures looked gray, only 2 looked blueish.

    And lightning can make a difference. I raised blue eyed Nigerian goats and you couldn't tell indoors at all. But outside on a sunny day and those eyes were brilliant blue!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  7. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Isn't the term blue also to differentiate from true black? In dogs, blue is used a lot. But I've never seen an actual blue looking dog.
     
  8. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Chris brings up such a good point about the genes.... In the animal world -- colors -- are not what they are in the paint box.
    [​IMG]
    Here is my dog a 'blue heeler' -- she is meryl gray, with black and tan -- but the breed is called 'blue' -- in some lights she does look blue.

    In the chicken world, a gold chicken isn't gold, a silver chicken isn't sliver. (as in metallic) -- gold = brown, silver = white with black usually. Blue equals slate gray usually -- unless it is 'self blue' which as Chris said is lavender -- which is a mellow color of gray --

    Roll with it -- in the world of chickens - colors are -- hmmmmmm -- different.
    [​IMG]
    Blue Isbar -- male....
    [​IMG]
    Lots of non-blue colors showing up in that sun-saturated photo.
    [​IMG]
    Close up of his tail which looks like it is starting to frizzle after molt.

    (Just wanted an excuse to put up pictures of this guy -- because I think he is so cool)

    There is also the fact that the colors look different in different lighting, under different circumstances and after exposure to UV lighting.

    If you want to have some fun (and drive yourself crazy at the same time) -- down load a phone app called 'color detector' by mobialia - (free - android) on a phone or tablet, you can put the camera on something and then touch the screen and it analyses the object's color that is in the center of a white circle on the screen, and names the color analyzes the Red/Green/Blue percentages...and then gives you the hex number for the color.

    I have Legbars that lay blue eggs -- and there is such controversy about the eggs -- are they blue? are they green? etc. ad nauseum.

    So I take a picture of the egg and analyze the color -- in different lights in different wave-lengths -- it feeds back different colors from the analysis -- and it is so precises. I get colors like "Botticelli Blue" --
    Here is an example - Just analyzed an egg indoors in northern light - the result is 'Viking/Blue' Red 36% Green 67% Blue 77% -- that's pretty nice blue -- if you go to an onscreen program you can enter the HTML color #5eabc5

    and you would get this:
    http://www.color-hex.com/color/5eabc5

    Pretty turquoise blue - huh? -- but that doesn/t match the egg.... the egg is one of the tints - the egg looks more like this
    http://www.color-hex.com/color/eef6f9

    but the colors get so precise that the tints on that lower band are hardly discernable -- and it depends on your eyes and of course the computer monitor sensitivity etc. it gets really complex. ( Add to that the rods and cones in people's eyes see blue and green a bit differently from each other's)
    https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/retina.html

    Is this cool or what?
    [​IMG]

    Or is it just TMI?
    [​IMG]

    something that you can get really deeply into and have a lot of fun IMO --

    bottom line -- it is the jargon of the chicken world and maybe just roll with it. Glad that you brought up the question about colors and chickens it has been plaguing me for years.

    ETA - just went out to the pens and used the phone app on my Blue Isbar male -- and the analysis came back with shades of -- you guessed it, gray! That is in bright harsh sunlight though.....:O)

    Used it on my dog's coat -- and the color came back called 'gray suit/blue and the RGB is R 54% G 54% B 58% and the HTML for that is #8d8c96 - but then it depends on what part of her coat you analyze.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  9. big medicine

    big medicine custom Brahmas

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    To the best of my knowledge there are two acknowledged types of blue.

    Self blue, a recessive trait.

    And the more common andalusian blue, with it's blue/black/splash possible variables. I suspect there are multiple modifiers that can affect the hue and clarity of the blue, or splash.
     
  10. big medicine

    big medicine custom Brahmas

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    An example of two blue columbian patterned pullets. The rear bird shows a darker shade of blue on a buffier shade of gold base, while the front pullet has a lighter blue on a redder shade of gold

    [​IMG]
     

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