Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is the "Confetti" Color?

I first spotted "Oddball" the Banty hen, next door, early Spring 2009.  She was mixed in a pen of chickens that belonged to my neighbors, and was the only one.  What attracted my attention was her color, which looked very similar to a few photos of the Swedish Flower Hens pictured on the amazing chicken breeds web site, - which you guys should all check out by the way, it's awesome!

Here's the "Feathersite" photo that even got me to notice the oddball hen next door.  This picture was borrowed from for whom I'll always be grateful to, because without this site, I wouldn't have known such a breed existed, or know what to look for to try and re-create it:

Blommehons/Swedish Flower Hens from Sweden

Above:  Photo from showing Swedish Spotted Hens

Today I now have chickens that look very similar to the ones seen on that page, at least in color. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of body size, leg color, and overall type. However, check out this pullet that is growing up here and look at how much she resembles (in color) the Feathersite photos:


Until this chicken was born, I thought the exteme amount of white on the "Confetti" chickens was related to barring.  (Barring is stripes on the feathers.)  But, this new girl, who I may call "Streaky" has no barring. 

The neatest thing about the "Confetti" color, is how strongly it reproduces itself.  I've raised many chickens in this color now.  What else I like about it, is how different it is from Speckled Sussex and Mottled Java, the current American mottled colors.  If you had to decribe those breeds, you would call them "a dark chicken with white spots" whereas Confetti chickens might be called "a light chicken with dark spots".

I am not really sure what gene or genes are causing this color, but I am very pleased at how easy it has been to reproduce in generation after generation.  As I go into 2012, the goal will be to get the Confetti color onto a true "big chicken" body type.  We want to keep the color, and ONLY the color, and basically transfer that color onto a body type of a Sussex, Orpington, or other large dual-purpose breed. 

I am hoping the fact that this color has been easy to work with so far, will mean in a year or so, we'll have the color on a true "big chicken" body type.  Right now, the Alohas have been small in size, with a tendency towards a "gamey" or thinner and lanky body.  The goal is big, fat, round, bodies, while keeping these same bright colors.

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