I had always thought that the salmons were my favourite colour, with the striking differences between the male and female in plumage. Then Simon Harvey turned up about 4 years ago with a cardboard box containing a wonderful trio of bantam blue faverolles. The cockerel looked up and me and chuckled, and I was smitten.
I have to admit not knowing a great deal about breeding blues, not that I do now, but I hope I now know a bit more than I did then. Maybe I can persuade a few hardened salmon faverolles keepers to consider this lovely bantam. These tubby, friendly faverolles take a couple of minutes to endear themselves with their pretty lacing and dark eyes.
We have had a few challenges along the way with developing our own strain of bantam blues. In order to improve type and inject some fresh blood, we used a really typey bantam salmon faverolles . We felt that the gene pool was just too narrow at the time to make any significant headway in terms of improving the general shape, wing carriage and broadness across the back. Using salmon has certainly had its drawbacks, 2 years for one of gold leakage as you would expect,especially through the hackles of the males, so progress has been slow but rather fun with a few colourful all sorts running around the garden!
So what is blue? Well Blue is not strictly a colour, but in simple terms a dilution of black. .Blue is also an unstable gene, so typically you will find different combinations occur when breeding blue to blue. Blue is really a washed out black, with splash being a paler version again.
Blue x Blue = 50% Blue
25% Splash - A note here on black from blue, this is not an ideal black, and the blue may give a matt, purple hue. When breeding for black, if possible use black to black to give a nice glossy black with that lovely beetle green sheen. If you want to hatch just blue offspring then you would need a combination of black to splash (100% blue). Blue to Splash 50% will be blue and 50% will be black.
The Faverolles Blue..
Calls for a laced blue (same as the Orpington standard, but different to Andulusians). So what does this mean? The feather should ideally should have nice wide webbing, blue inside and a black fringe giving this lovely blue-laced appearance, with clearly defined feathering:
BFS Standard for Blue..