The Blue Orpington continues to prove popular year after year and rightly holds its place.
The Blue colouring consists of a delicate lacing and is not an easy colour to breed true.
Blue Orpington Standard
The male is distinguished by a dark mantle/ cape colour covering the whole of the neck, back, saddle and tail with the remainder of the body under parts distinct, medium slate blue colour, plus each feather laced with a darker shade.
The female matches the under parts ( breast, thigh ) colour of the male with the whole of the body a distinct medium slate blue, each feather laced with a darker shade all through except head and neck, contrasting dark slate blue.
Dark capes in males and dark slate blue neck hackles of females are essential requirements to maintain consistent lacing..
THE BLUE GENE
The Blue gene is an incomplete dominant gene which means that if a bird has inherited one Blue gene from one of it's parents then it will be Blue but if it is pure for the Blue gene and has inherited two Blue genes ( one from each of it's parents ) then it will be Splash.
So Splash is actually the pure breeding form of Blue and therefore will breed true so Splash mated to Splash will always breed Splash
Orpington's have an established required Blue shade that the dedicated breeders have perfected but in other poultry Blue can be anything from a very pastel powder Blue through to a dark Blue Black.
It is believed that the more Black that is present in the genetic make up of an individual bird the darker the shade of Blue.
Black x Blue
= 50% Black / 50% Blue
Blue x Blue
= 25% Black / 50% Blue / 25% Splash
Black x Splash
= 100% Blue
Blue x Splash
= 50% Blue / 50% Splash