What Causes Chicken Feathers Color and Spots?
Chicken feather colors are created by diluting, intensifying, or disguising black and red.
The Rhode Island Reds, for example, have the gold gene combined with the dominant rosewood gene.
When a dark feathered chicken contains the blue gene, the black hue is diluted, resulting in blue feathering.
Vitamin B2 insufficiency is the underlying cause of speckled chicken feathers.’
Different parasites may be detected on the heads and bodies of chickens.
On hens, these parasites show as black, brown, or red “spots.”
Mites, fleas, lice, and ticks are examples of these pests. Another reason for chickens feather coloring is the natural process through which hens shed their feathers and develop new ones, known as molting.
When your birds begin to molt, you’ll notice that they turn white.
When your hens begin to lose their feathers, especially around their necks, they will become white.
Feathers can also become yellow if there is too much maize in the chicken diet.
If you do incorporate crack corn with your feed and detect yellowing, you may want to reduce or eliminate it entirely.
There are a variety of foods that might produce yellowing as well.
Marigolds, grass, and dark leafy greens. Let’s go over some speckled chickens…
- Speckled Sussex
While the Sussex is available in a variety of colors, the Speckled Sussex is indeed a deep mahogany tint. Closer to the tip, their wings have a vivid green barring, and each tip is white or buff in hue. These feathers have a lovely iridescence when the sun shines on them. The Speckled Sussex is a nice bird with a kind nature. They are ideally suited to a family environment because roosters are typically good with children — the only exception being aggressive roosters. The Speckled Sussex is an English breed. They are also available in different hues, including white and red. Their weight is approximately nine pounds, while hens will weigh approximately seven pounds. The speckled Sussex chicken is the earliest color variant. They are very friendly and a great breed to add to a family with children. The speckled Sussex will give you roughly 4-5 eggs per week, or around 250 eggs per year.
- The Plymouth Rock Chicken
The banded plumage of the Plymouth Rock chicken makes it easy to identify. With its black and white bars, it resembles a prisoner, and while males and females appear to be quite similar, there are some differences between the genders. Males have equal quantities of both black and white barring. The Plymouth Rock was first seen in Massachusetts in 1849. Nobody knows what happened to the original birds, who seem to have vanished over the past 20 years or so. Around 1869, a Mr. Upham of Worcester, Massachusetts, started breeding barred males with Java hens, and the trail heats up again. It’s been suggested that he was aiming to breed for banded plumage and clean legs. These birds are now regarded to be the progenitors of today’s Plymouth Rock. They lay approximately 200 eggs each year on average, which works out to around 4 eggs per week. Even the roosters are characterized as nice, quiet, and gentle by their owners. Plymouth Rocks are naturally curious, and they like exploring their surroundings and following you about to see what you’re up to and if there are any treats to be found. Rocks love to roam free and hunt for yummy treats in the yard, but they may accept confinement if given enough room. This is a really trustworthy chicken after you’ve built a bond, and fantastic with the family and children.
- Brahma chicken
The Brahma chicken was the dominant breed for meat production in the United States from the 1850s until around 1930. The light and dark variations of the Brahma chicken were first recognized in the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874, with the Buff form following in the 1920s. When it comes to Brahmas, there are three different hues to pick from. Light, Buff, and Dark are the three hues that are officially acknowledged. Their plumage is silky and thick down covers their entire body. Brahma chickens are extremely personable and may be taught to appreciate human interaction. Simply feed them plenty of sweets, and they’ll crawl straight into your hand for a snuggle or a snack. These birds are peaceful and gentle, and they get along with other chicken breeds as well. Even Brahma roosters are placid and less prone than other types to assault humans or other birds. The yolks, egg especially, are enormous and ideal for use in frying and baking. They are also productive layers, producing around 300 eggs each year or five to six eggs per week. A light Brahma will have a white base color with black and white hairs on the back and a black tail. The saddle feathers of this kind of rooster will have black stripes. The Dark Brahma has the most distinct hen and rooster characteristics, with a grayish hen and a black hen. The Dark Brahma can also have fair skinned wings and white-edged main feathers. The Buff Brahma is identical to the light Brahma, but instead of a white base color, it has a golden buff one. There are also certain Brahma variants that are more difficult to get by. The Australian Poultry Association acknowledges partridge, blue, black, and barred variants, which aren’t often acknowledged in the United States.
- Golden Laced Wyandotte
A loner is the best way to define the Golden Wyandotte. They like to be in the company of their own kind and only mix with other kinds seldom, giving them the appearance of being aloof. They aren’t one of those chickens who appreciates cuddling or lap time. They’re happy to be your friend and hang out for goodies and the odd pet, but they don’t like to be held all the time. A dual-purpose chicken that lay a considerable number of eggs and was large enough to serve a family when table fare was needed. We’ll never know the exact genetic makeup of the original Wyandotte, but we do know that Brahmas and Hamburgs were employed. The Golden Laced Wyandotte’s genetics, on the other hand, are well-known. Silver Laced Wyandottes were crossed with a Partridge, Brown Leghorn, and Cochin in Wisconsin. Wyandottes originally had both single and rose combs, but the rose comb won out when the breed standard was established in 1883. They were a popular choice in the colder northern areas of the United States since they tolerated the cold well. While there are numerous color variants in the Wyandotte breed family, the gold laced is entirely gold laced with no variances. The background is dark brown or black in tone. The color of their head and neck is more golden than black. Gold feathers are bordered in black on the breast, wings, and saddle. The gold lacing looks great on the hens, but not so much on the rooster. The head and neck of a rooster will be yellow or chestnut in color. Lacing is restricted to the breast and wings, however it is less pronounced than in hens. The sickles are black, while the hackles and saddle plumes are a gold chestnut hue. Expect four eggs every week, or a little more than 200 eggs per year, which is a respectable lot.
- Hamburg chicken
These chickens lay about four eggs a week or around 200 a year. Hamburg hens have close-fitting feathers, grayish blue shanks (except in the Black variant), and reddish bay eyes. They feature red rose combs, tiny to medium wattles, and ears that are either white or a lovely brilliant blue hue. Hamburg hens’ rose combs should have a point that goes directly backward, up and off the head.
Hamburg chickens come in a variety of colors and patterns. Black, Penciled in gold, Spangled Golden, Penciled in silver, Spangled in Silver, and White are recognized by the American Poultry Association. Hamburgs are also available in Blue, Penciled in Yellow and White, Penciled in lemon, Penciled in golden blue, and Cuckoo.
Here’s some important info you’ll want to know:
Brooding hens are disliked by hens.
Hamburgs are tough as nails.
They adore flying.
They aren’t cuddly or tame.
When they’re among other chickens, they may get violent.
They make a lot of noise.
Hamburg chickens have a tumultuous past. Many European nations have claimed the birds as their own, and some poultry historians believe they originated many years ago in the Eastern Mediterranean, maybe Turkey. Even within a country, poultry enthusiasts have historically been unable to agree on the name of the breed.
- Ostfriesische Möwe
Silver-penciled and gold-penciled versions are both available. The Möwe gets its name from the typical rural fowl of East Friesland and West Friesland, respectively, in northwestern Germany and north-eastern Holland. It is closely linked to the Braekel and the Westfälische Totleger.
Each year, they lay around 170 eggs. This chicken is a domestic breed from Germany. It’s an uncommon breed: in 2016, there were only 215 cocks and 979 hens in Germany, with 130 breeders. It is classified as gefährdet, or “endangered.” They have excellent flight and lay a great number of big light cream to white eggs. Their demeanor is serene yet unfriendly. Even as chicks, they are tough and disease resistant. They are extremely rare in their home nations, with reports numbering in the thousands. Greenfire Farm introduced East Frisian Gulls from the coasts of Belgium, Germany, and Denmark in 2014. They are an “Old World” kind of fowl.
Ostfriesische Möwe is the German term for these fowl. These hens are an elegant landrace with excellent foraging abilities.
- Booted Bantam
These birds were not included in William Tegetmeier’s first British poultry standard in 1865, but he states that a pure white color variation had lately been presented. Both the white and black varieties are assumed to have been developed in the United Kingdom; the black type has been documented since 1841, when William Entwisle got a pair as a gift. By 1836, the birds had arrived in the United States and were being raised in Massachusetts. In 1879, the American Standard of Perfection was updated to include a white color option. A breed society, the Booted Bantam Society UK, was founded in 2014 in the United Kingdom. The Booted Bantam is kept as a display bird. Hens may produce around 120 eggs per year, each weighing about 30 g and ranging in color from colored to white. The Booted Bantam has a small compact body, a short back, and a well-propelled breast; the top line of the neck, back, and tail has a distinct U-shape.
The legs feature well-developed vulture hocks, with long stiff feathers sticking down from the backs of the thighs and almost touching the ground; the shanks and feet, especially on the outer side, are densely feathered. There are four toes on each foot. The wings are huge and lengthy, and they point down at a similar inclination as the vulture hocks. The ears and wattles are crimson, and the comb is solitary and erect with five to seven points. The color of the beak changes depending on the plumage of the bird.