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Discussion on Mottles: Part 2
Mottle Subcategory


By: Bob Christman
JUDGING MOTTLES FOR MARKINGS.

PART 2 - MOTTLE SUBCATEGORY. (Note: all references to mottle below are to mottles in the mottle subcategory.)

General observations -- The most common color shown in mottles is black. Occasionally a brown or andalusian will be shown. Sometimes you will see a red, gold or yellow mottle shown.

Standard description for mottle markings - "Bird more than 50% colored with whole white feathers interspersed fairly evenly throughout the entire body. Bird should be at least 20% white throughout the head, neck, neck, body and wingshield. Primaries, muffs and tail may be colored, colored interspersed fairly evenly with white feathers, or white interspersed fairly evenly with colored feathers, but should not be solid white. Quantity of white feathers should be about the same on both sides."

What the standard description means to me -- Amount of white vs. color. A mottle is more than 50% colored and at least 20% white. In other words a mottle is 51% to 80% colored, or reversed, a mottle is 20% to 49% white. A bird needs to be at least 20% white to be able to produce a good mottle pattern.
Distribution of color. The white 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% white feathers on one side, it should have about 35% white feathers on the opposite side in roughly the same pattern. For example, it shouldn’t look like a light mottle on one side and a dark mottle on the other.

As a judge what do I expect to see in a good mottle - The colored feathers should be all colored, no grizzling. The color should be deep and vibrant. The bird should have enough white so that there is an obvious contrast between the white and the color. There should be no large patches of white without color. There should not be any large areas of color in the head, neck, body and wingshield without white. The white should be interspersed throughout the head, neck, body and wingshield in a random but fairly even distribution, especially the wingshield. (The wingshield is, by far, the primary area where the mottle marking is expressed in mottles. A mottle without a well marked wingshield should not be considered a good mottle.)

Mottles typically have a much darker body then the splashes, with the darker body usually being the main reason the bird is more than 50% colored. Even the lighter mottles that have just 51% to 60% color usually have mostly dark bodies. The darker the mottle usually the less white there is found in the body. A mottle that is 20% white to 30% will normally have very little white in the body. This is just a basic characteristic of the mottles. Since dark bodies are prevalent the lack of white in the body has been mostly treated as a minor fault by our judges.

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

If a bird does not have enough white (too dark), if the white is distributed very unevenly, has poor color, has large patches of white without color, has a poor wingshield mottle marking or has noticeable amount of grizzling it should be considered to have a major fault and be bounced down in its class.

Common faults - I think the most common fault found in the mottles is grizzled feathers in the wingshield and flights. The grizzled feathers greatly distract from the desired impact of the mottle marking. Most grizzled feathers will eventually turn white with subsequent plucking. (I am continually plucking the grizzle feathers in my mottles, so that by the shows in the fall they have turned white. Some of the more stubborn grizzled feathers may need to be plucked several times before they turn all white.)

Classifying a 50% splash vs. a 50% mottle -- Occasionally there is a bird that is so close to 50% white and 50% colored that the owner is unable to decide with any certainty whether to enter it as a splash or as a mottle. In this situation I think the classification should be handled in the following way. If the show secretary and/or judge are also unable to classify the bird with any certainty, the bird should remain in which ever class, splash or mottle, the exhibitor entered it in. If entered as a splash it should be judged to the standard description for a splash. If entered as a mottle it should be judged to the standard description for a mottle. In either case, no points should be deducted because of the uncertainty regarding which class it should be in.

Bird 1. Black mottle hen bred by Bob Christman. I would consider this bird a poor example of the mottle marking. It has white distributed throughout the head, neck and body fairly well. However the wingshield has a poor mottle marking with only some mottling in the forward part of the wingshield. A mottle with a poor mottle marking in the wingshield should not be considered a good mottle. This is a major fault and the bird should be bumped down in its class.

Bird 2. Black mottle cock bred by Bob Christman. I would consider this bird a very good example of the mottle marking. There are no grizzled feathers. The color is rich and even. The wingshield has a very good marking interspersed through the entire wingshield. The white is interspersed through the hocks and muffs in an even and pleasing pattern, There is excellent contrast between color and white. Minor faults: There should be a little more color in the head. The upper body lacks white feathering.

Bird 3. Black mottle hen bred by Jim Krebaum Sr. I would consider this bird to be an very goog example of the mottle marking. The white is interspersed fairly evenly thoughout the head, neck, body and wingshield. White evenly interspersed through the body is particularly difficult to achieve. The wingshield has a very good marking interspersed through the entire wingshield. Minor faults: too much white in the head and neck so that it looks more like a splash marking instead of a mottle marking.

Bird 4. Black mottle hen bred by Terry Bishop. I would consider this bird a very good example of the mottle marking. There are no grizzled feathers. The color is rich and even. The wingshield has very good markings interspersed throughout the wingshield. The white is interspersed through the flights and muffs in an even and pleasing pattern The pattern of pure white flights alternating with the pure black flights is striking. The intermixture of white in the muffs and flights I think is a good example of what standard description intended where it states that when the primaries and muffs are mixed, color with white, that the color be "interspersed fairly evenly with white feathers" These markings jump out at you. Minor faults: The body lacks any white feathering. Lacks some white in lower edge of wingshield.

Bird 5. Black mottle cock. I would consider this bird a poor example of the mottle marking. This bird lacks white throughout the neck, body and wingshield. This bird does not have any good mottle markings. The wingshield is very poorly marked with only a couple of white feathers. A mottle with a poor mottle marking in the wingshield should not be considered a good mottle. This is a major fault and the bird should be bumped down in its class.



 Bob Christman
Discussion on Mottles: Part 2
Mottle Subcategory


 
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