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Discussion on Mottles: Part 1
Splash Subcategory


By: Bob Christman
After all the recent questions on the mottles some of our newer breeders have indicated they did not fully understand all the information about mottles and the different mottle subcategories. So I thought it might be useful to post what I look for when judging the different mottle subcategories. Hopefully this information and any comments from the other veteran breeders and judges will help answer those unanswered questions about mottles that still remain. The splashes are covered below. I will post the other subcategories as I get time to write them.

JUDGING MOTTLES FOR MARKINGS.

PART 1 - SPLASH SUBCATEGORY.
General observations -- The most common color shown is black splashes, usually bred from black mottles. This seems to be one of those catch all classes where many of the birds shown should have been kept at home. It sometimes appears that any white bird that has some colored feathers, regardless of what it was bred out of, ends up in this class. Right out the gate, a large number of birds in this class often do not meet the basic standard description for splashes. Many are too white, have poor markings, have too much grizzling or the colored feathers they do have are poor colored.

Standard description: "Bird more than 50% white with whole colored feathers interspersed fairly evenly throughout the entire body. Bird should be at least 20% colored through out the head, neck, body and wingshield. Primaries, muffs and tail may be colored, white, colored interspersed fairly evenly with white feathers, or white interspersed fairly evenly with colored feathers. Quantity of colored feathers should be about the same on both sides."

What the standard description means to me -- Amount of white v.s. color. A splash is more than 50% white and at least 20% colored. In other words a splash is 51% to 80% white, or reversed, a splash is 20% to 49% colored. The reason a splash should be at least 20% colored is to be able to have enough color to exhibit a good splash pattern.
Distribution of color. The colored feathers should be distributed in a random but fairly even pattern throughout the head, neck, body and wingshield.
Same both sides. If the bird has about 35% colored feathers on one side, it should have about 35% colored feathers on the opposite side in roughly the same patterm. For example, it shouldn’t look like a light splash on one side and a dark splash on the other.

As a judge what do I expect to see in a good splash - The colored feathers should be all colored with no grizzling. The color should be deep and vibrant. The bird should have enough color so that there is an obvious contrast between white and the color. There should be no patches of color. There should not be any large areas of white without color. The color should be interspersed throughout the head, neck, body and wingshield in a random but fairly even distribution, especially the wingshield. (The impact of the splash pattern is most dramatic on the wingshield. A splash without at least a well marked wingshield should not be considered a good splash.)

The overall effect should be where the color in contrast to the white jumps out at you. If there is not enough color it distracts from this effect. If the color is not spread evenly enough thoughout the bird it distracts form this effect. If the color is not rich and vibrant it distracts from this effect.

If a bird has too much white, has poor color, has large areas of white with no color, has large patches of color or has noticeable grizzling it should be considered to have a major fault and be bounced down in its class.

I think the most common fault you find in the splashes is large areas of white without color, especially in the wingshield. Even the better marked splashes often have a tendency towards this fault. As a result when you do see a splash where the color is distributed evenly throughout the whole bird you know that is quite an accomplishment.

Bird 1. Black splash hen bred by Van Copple. I would consider this bird a good example of the splash marking. Not an excellent marking but a very good marking nevertheless.The color is spread evenly throughout the head, neck, body and wingshield producing good markings. There are no large areas of white without colored feathers. As a result, this pattern of color to white jumps out at you and is very pleasing to the eye. It has enough colored feathers in the wingshield to insure an overall good splash pattern. The black patch in the head would be a minor fault. With just two or three more strategically placed colored feathers in the wingshield, and if the color was distributed just a little more evenly in the neck and if it did not have the dark patch on the head then I would consider it an excellent marking.

Bird 2. Black splash hen bred by Bob Christman. I would consider this bird a good example of the splash marking, but not as good as the bird 1 in the picture. The color is spread fairly evenly throughout the head, neck, body and wingshield producing good markings and there are no large areas of white without color. However the color is not spread as evenly as bird 1is in the wingshield and in the neck there is a small area with no color. (Note: This bird is out of a black mottle to black self mating and has only 1 gene for the grizzle factor.)

Bird 3. Black splash cock bred by Bob Christman I would consider this bird a poor example of the splash marking. It has color spread fairly evenly through out the head, neck and body but not in the wingshield. This bird does not have an overall good evenly distributed splash pattern. The wingshield has very little color and the little color it does have is not spread evenly. A splash that is almost totally devoid of color in the wingshield is not representative of the splash marking and should be considered to have a major fault and be bounced down in class. (Note: This bird is out of a black mottle to black self mating and has only 1 gene for the grizzle factor.)



 Bob Christman
Discussion on Mottles: Part 1
Splash Subcategory


 
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