- In 2015 I finally released my first Chocolate Cuckoo frizzle Orpington and Spangled Frizzle Orpington pullets for sale. Frizzle poultry are like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. But it seems that lots of you out there love them as much as I do as all the 2015 pullets sold out. Unfortunately they were all collected at 14 weeks old so as yet I do not have any photos of my 2015 Frizzles as more mature birds.
Frizzle chicks are born with a completely normal looking feather down but as soon as the first feathers start to grow the distinctive curving of the wing tips can be seen.
These two chicks are from the same hatch with the same parentage
THE MOTTLED GENE ( mo )
The mottled gene ( mo ) was discovered in 1930 by Amundson and Milne and is one of the most controversial and least documented of all the genes.
In Orpingtons mo is partly responsible for the Mille Fleur pattern of the Jubilee Orpington and the normal mottled variety but although both these colours are influenced by mo they have a different mix of other genes that cause the two separate distinct feather patterns. This gene is varied in its expression from indistinct irregular mottles to a uniform even distribution and the desired even mottling is only obtainable by years of careful selection.
The mottling gene does not cause a white splodge on top of the normal feather colour but in fact when the feather is being grown causes a lack of pigment on the first tip of the feather , followed by a black band and then the rest of the feather takes on the bird’s particular ground colour
This is another recessive gene so in theory for a bird to express mottles both parents would have to carry the gene. However in practice a degree of mottling can appear on a bird that only had one mottled parent. I have noticed that my split mottled birds often have white wing tips and the odd faint mottles. Mottled Orpingtons are a colour for the patient breeder and aiming for perfection is a slow and long process. Mottled Orpington growers can show little expression of the mottles and only after the first moult into their adult plumage do they show their full colour. But over the years after each consecutive moult the mottling can increase to show a greater expanse of white and thus causing a blurred and muddled appearance. Also the mottled expression on an individual feather can change so if a perfectly mottled feather was plucked on its regrowth it may either return the same, increase the mottling or show no signs of mottling. Because the mottling gene causes a lack of pigment and is not a colour changing gene it can be introduced onto any solid colour but remembering that if any colour diluting genes are also present that the black band will either change colour or become less visible. For example my Large Fowl Black Mottled Orpingtons still have a pigment free tip to the feather followed by a Black band and then followed by a Black ground colour to the rest of the feather. But because the band and the ground colour are the same it gives the appearance of just a white tipped feather but if you inspect the feather closely the black band is a dull black and the rest of the feather is a brighter black with the desired Orpington Green sheen. So if I chose to breed Mottled Blue Orpingtons then the action of the Blue gene would cause both the Black band and the ground colour of the feather to become Blue thus causing the appearance of a white tipped Blue feather. Because the Mille Fleur pattern of the Jubilee Orpington contains a different mix of genes to the standard mottled variety it if possible to change just the colour of the black band.
THE BARRING IN THE CHOCOLATE CUCKOO FRIZZLE ORPINGTON IS A SEX LINKED DOMINANT GENE
In poultry the sex of any chick is determined by the hen not the cockerel. The cockerel carries two Z chromosomes so he is ZZ. The hen carries one Z chromosome and one W chromosome so she is ZW.The cockerel must pass one of his Z chromosomes onto his offspring so any sex linked genes that are on that chromosome such as Silver, Bantam, Barring and Chocolate will be inherited. The hen can pass either her Z or her W chromosome on to her offspring. If she passes her Z chromosome on her chicks will be male and they will inherit all the sex linked genes that are on that Z chromosome but if she passes her W chromosome on, her chicks will be female and they will inherit none of the sex linked genes she is carrying. Genes that are sex linked can only be carried on the male chromosome.
THE CHOCOLATE IN THE CHOCOLATE CUCKOO FRIZZLE ORPINGTON IS A SEX LINKED RECESSIVE GENE
So a cockerel needs two copies of the gene to be chocolate but the hen only needs one.
Chocolate x Chocolate = 100% Chocolate
Black split Chocolate cockeral x Black hen = 25% Black split cockerals/ 25% Black cockerals/ 25% Black hens/ 25% Chocolate hens
Chocolate cockeral x Black hen = 50% Black split cockerals / 50% Chocolate hens
Black cockeral x Chocolate hen = 50% Black split cockerals/ 50% Black hens
Black split Chocolate cockeral x Chocolate hen =25% Black split Chocolate cockerals/ 25% Chocolate cockerals/ 25% Black hens/ 25% Chocolate hens
My line of Chocolate Cuckoo Orpingtons carry the recessive white gene so a small percentage of the chicks each year are born white. having used this line of Chocolate Cuckoo to create the Chocolate Cuckoo Frizzle then they also have inherited the recessive white gene and will produce a small number of white Frizzle birds.
More information on the Recessive White Gene coming soon.