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.
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With the introduction of new birds into the USA there are issues with limited gene pool and the Mottled Orpington was no exception.
Several years ago the Mottled Orpington was imported to the USA. The few hens that arrived were lost and only the roosters were available for
propagating the breed. It was thought that the Jubilee would be a good choice in this task, however, that was not the case. The Mottled Orp and the
Jubilee actually contain a different mix of genes. By crossing the two it created red bleed through on the Mottled Orpington.
We have done extensive research on the genetic color issue that has resulted from this cross and have discussed it with several breed
experts. We have researched and compiled information on this cross to help identify and breed for better Mottled Orpingtons.
Please click here to visit this page prior to purchasing Mottled Orpington chicks to become better familiar with the breed.
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Mottle Orpington Breed Standards:
Eye Color - Brown-red or Brown
Beak - Horn color (light gray) or white with some horn color
Legs - Black with white spots- correct leg color is pictured below
|This variety is available
For Fall shipping 2015
We have purchased Mottled Orpingtons that have been crossed to Black English Orpingtons as well as Mottled Orpingtons from Ewe Crazy Farms
second import line (these chicks were not purchased directly from Bryce)
We have combined these with our own English Mottled Orpingtons split with Black English Orpingtons to form our own line of Mottled Orpingtons in
hopes of eliminating some or all of the red bleed-through. While we do not breed Mottled Orpingtons with red bleed through and are not seeing it in
our chicks, due to the genetic nature of the USA mottled orps we can not guarantee it will not show up in future generations.
|About our Mottled Orpingtons
The Mottled Orpingtons have been a log time favorite of mine even before they were imported into the USA. We had one of the first Mottled Orpington project lines in the USA
before the English Orpingtons made their presence onto the American soil.
While our American project carried the mottling gene (isolated from Hink JC's Lavender Orpingtons crossed back to black) they were not even close in beauty to their
European cousins. We were thrilled when they were imported and of course quickly abandoned our American project.
|We will once again be offering English Mottled Orpington chicks in the Fall of 2015. We encourage you to read the researched information about
the Mottled gene HERE to understand the genetic make up of these English beauties. Whether you will be using them for eggs, breeding or just
back yard eye candy I have no doubts you will be as thrilled with these beauties as we are!
The Fancy Chick Rare and Heritage Poultry
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