P1010777cs

Early Millefleur Wyandottes

Tolbunt means something like jazzy. It is usually mottled over laced pattern but any plumage pattern can be mottled, (autosomal) barred and spangled also work well.

For a while I have been trying to marshal my thoughts on the effect of the mottled gene on mottling and what is actually involved in the millefleur pattern.

The mottle gene, symbol: mo when homozygous, mo/mo stops the growing feather producing pigment for a while, which causes the white tip.  Then the effect of the gene switches off and pigment is produced again and because melanin  (black pigment) can be formed faster than phaeomelanin (gold/red pigment) so black is laid down first and in a particularly concentrated way which is why the initial band behind the white mottle is matt black, and doesn’t develop a green sheen.  After the black the feather colour is laid down in the normal way.

Millefleur Wyandotte pullet
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Millefleur Wyandotte pullet

In black mottled I’d agree. It also appears to be the case in Speckled Sussex and Spangled Game . I see a lot of mottled laced and the mottle gene has little impact on the pattern  Unexpectedly a lot of feathers don’t develop matt black and the centre of the feather behind the white tip comes in almost pure gold with no matt black band ; even though it is a melanised bird..  It looks as if the effect of pattern gene in this case is overriding the usual effect of mottling. Pg organises the colour so effectively there is almost no melanin in the gold area that separates out.

Tricolour/mottled spangled Wyandotte cockerel
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Tricolour/mottled spangled Wyandotte cockerel (note matt black band between the green sheen of the spangled area and white mottle)

I had always supposed millefleur to be spangled plus mottled, but looking at mottled spangled it probably isn’t. The birds I breed that come closest to millefleur initially  look like barred or black tailed buffs (Db through some probably have Co too) with no evidence of Ml. As they grow they develop little black teardrops which are quite unlike normal spangled.

A young millefleur type
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A young millefleur type

Spangled Tolbunts

In my flock which is mainly Eb I get to see a lot of variations of mottling.  On a normal spangled (Pg, Ml, Db) pattern the mottles form normally, get a matt band and the feather follows up with a big teardrop black spot and then gold.

A young mottled spangled tolbunt cockerel
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A young mottled spangled tolbunt cockerel
An intermediate tolbunt hen showing real spangles
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An intermediate tolbunt hen showing real spangles
An intermediate tolbunt Wyandotte presumed het for Ml and Co
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An intermediate tolbunt Wyandotte presumed het for Ml and Co showing her early barred pattern (but also some feathers that hint at lacing indicating Co)

Tolbunts a spin-off

Some of my early millefleur have been various forms of Tolbunt.

Barred Tolbunt Wyandotte hen

Barred Tolbunt Wyandotte hens
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Barred Tolbunt Wyandotte hens one showing much less white.