|We are very excited to offer the beautiful imported Mottled Orpington
Available now to order for shipping spring 2014
We have 2 imported lines for excellent gene diversity.
Property of Keith Gibbons
Property of Keith Gibbons
ABOUT THE MOTTLING GENE
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 colors 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 color 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 color
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 color 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 color 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.
But because the band and the ground color 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.
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 color of the black band.
All information was obtained with permission from Keith Gibbons
We have obtained some excellent information on the mottling gene courtesy of our friend Keith Gibbons in England who has
some of the most beautiful Mottled Orps I have seen!
There is some information out there that it is acceptable or even recommended to breed Mottled Orps to the Jubilee.
However, we do not recommend doing so because they actually contain a different mix of genes (please read below about
the genetics of the Mottled Orp). The Jubilee can change the color of the Mottled Orp and the resulting offspring will have
red bleed through.
The first generation will appear black mottled in color but when bred back again the red will make it's appearance in the
second generation. It has already been done in some lines in the USA ( possibly even before they were imported) and the
resulting offspring are showing red.
We do not have Mottled Orps with red feathers in our breeding pen. In addition we are
monitoring the off spring for any red leakage so we can make sure our line is pure without the
If you are purchasing Mottled Orps from us we would appreciate pictures or follow up once they
have gotten their adult feathers. While we can not guarantee it has not been done in our line
we have not and will not breed our Mottled Orps to our Jubilees. Nor will we breed Mottled Orps
with red feathers either to our Jubilees or our Mottled Orps.
I understand it is being done and acceptable, this is just our preference.