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Tri-coloured Wyandottes


For a while I have been trying to marshal my thoughts on the patterns associated mottling whether the Mottling gene does more than preventing colour in the tip of the feather with following a melanin intense band and what is actually involved in the millefleur pattern.

Millefleur Wyandotte cockerel



The current wisdom is the mottled gene when homozygous 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 put in the feather and because melanin can be formed faster black is laid down first, in a particularly concentrated way which is why the initial band is matt black and doesn't develop a green sheen.  After the black the feather colour is laid down in the normal way.  The amount of black is proportionate to the amount of black available to be separated out from the colour of the feather. Hence buff birds having no black between the feather body and the white mottle.

Millefleur Wyandotte pullet.

In black mottled I'd agree. It also appears to be the case in Speckled Sussex and Spangled Game . I have assumed that the introduction of Ml produces the tricolour/mottled spangled pattern.

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


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 goldI. had always supposed millefleur to be spangled plus mottled, but looking at mottled spangled it obviously isn't.

A young mottled spangled cockerel



Many of 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








An intermediate hen showing real spangles

An intermediate presumed het for Ml and Co showing her early barred pattern (but also some feathers that hint at lacing indicating Co) gradually turning into slightly teardrop-shaped spangles (bigger than just a black crescent around the mottle) with age; would this happen without mottling?

I see a lot of mottled laced (reconstituted from the above flock) and the mottle gene has little or no impact on the pattern it simply overlays it.   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.

A young mottled laced cockerel. I was thinking this combination of pattern and colour  was just a pretty accident but I have discovered that it has  been given a name: Tolbunt or Jazz!


(These are very attractive but not what i am aiming for so i sometimes  have birds like this for sale - if you are interested please phone me on  01403 268844 or email  . They are useful to introduce the mottle pattern into a flock of gold or blue laced or buff Columbian.)

Side view.

Breast markings




a strange looking mottled with barred pattern.