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And You Thought All Chickens Were Brown

The real connoisseur, when asked to describe the colour of his chicken replies, "Nankin spangled".

  • Barring: Stripes of light and dark across each feather.
  • Bay: Browny red colour.
  • Brassiness: Yellow colouring on the back and wing feathers.
  • Cuckoo banding: Stripes where the boundaries are indistinct.
  • Daw eyed: Pearly eyes like a Jackdaw.
  • Double laced: Two stripes running round the edge of the feather.
  • Dusky: Yellowy black colouring.
  • Foxy: A rusty red colour.
  • Frizzled: Feathers that curl back on themselves, with the end eventually pointing towards the bird's head.
  • Gay: Plumage with too much white in the marking.
  • Ground colour: The main plumage colour.
  • Lacing: A thin stripe of colour running all the way around the edge of a feather.
  • Lustre: Shiny plumage. When the feathers are black this is described as a sheen.
  • Mealy: Ground colour mottled with a paler colour.
  • Moons: Round spangles at the tip of the feathers.
  • Mossy: A muddled marking.
  • Mottled: Plumage marked with spots of different colour.
  • Nankin: A yellowy colour named after nankeen cloth.
  • Pencilling: Fine line markings on the feathers.
  • Peppering: A dark colour stippled over a lighter one.
  • Self colour: A uniformly coloured bird.
  • Sheen: Green surface shine on black feathers.
  • Spangled: The pattern produced when there is a spot of colour at the end of the feathers differing from the ground.
  • Splashed: Contrasting colour to ground randomly splashed over feathers.
  • Ticked: Feathers with a v-shaped marking at the tip.
  • Undercolour: The colour of the fluff under the main feathers.
  • Wing bar: A line of colour across the middle of a wing.

Rosalyn Serex's beautiful Salmon Wyandotte Cockerel with an incredible set of colourful feathers
Rosalyn Serex's beautiful Salmon Wyandotte Cockerel with an incredible set of colourful feathers

Customer Images


Fiona, 20 November 2021

Thank you for this great post. I found it to fresh and helpful in this day and age of quick and wrong is king.

Hansell, 6 April 2020

Interesting info for new owner of chickens

Claudia, 9 July 2016

Very nice colour! Does Rosalyn Serex sale chickens? How can we contact her? Thank you!