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RARE COLORS

Almond
Almond is relatively new color to Old Dutch Capuchines having been added by George Mihalik of New Mexico in the early 1980s. George raised almond Chinese Owls and had an accidental cross of a Chinese Owl with a Capuchine. The resulting youngster was almond colored so he decided to continue crossing the almond colored offspring back to Capuchines until the almonds looked like Capuchines. The best mating for an almond is a kite. Kite, as defined in Capuchines, is a blue t-pattern with bronze, dirty, and sooty. Kites are uncommon in the breed but are occasionally found. Usually they are bred from either blacks, or the occasional red cock bird carrying kite. Often kite will be referred to as a poor colored black but it must be realized that a kite differs from black in that it lacks the gene for spread. This spread gene is responsible for giving the black Capuchine its deep rich color. In contrast, the kite Capuchine may have iridescence but lacks the deep black color. The wing shield usually shows some bronze coloration and the upper belly at the demarcation of colored and white areas often shows some bluish tinting. Two kites mated together will never produce blacks. Vernon Gardner of Colton, California is a long time almond breeder and specializes in this color. One of the difficulties associated with almond is cracked eyes. I have never seen an almond Capuchine with both eyes properly colored. At present this fault is tolerated although breeders are working to overcome this apparent linkage of cracked eyes with almond. Another fault often seen is color in the tail or rump. We have bred almonds for about a dozen years and this fault stills continues to crop up.


Dominant Opal
In the late 1970s I added the dominant opal gene to Old Dutch Capuchines. In the early 80s I spent 18 months in Germany doing church service during which time I was forced to give up my birds. Upon returning I was unable to locate any of my previous stock and the opals appeared to have vanished. In 1984 I repeated the cross of a flying roller with a red Capuchine and began the project anew. Opal Capuchines have done reasonable well in competition with a yellow opal winning champion at the first Lancaster National and an additional yellow opal being rating Highly Superior at the second Portland National. The bird pictured is a blue bar Dominant Opal bred by Cody Taylor of Castle Dale, Utah.


Blue Bar
Barred Capuchines have never been very popular and as a result, have lagged behind other colors in quality. There has been a recent surge of interest in the barred colors and the quality is beginning to rise. The blue bar pictured was bred by Hans Hellmann of Ketsch, Germany. I photographed this bird during my visit in December, 1995. American blues are not yet as good as the European birds but progress is continual and the next few years should reveal some very fine blues.


Andalusian
Andalusian was added to Capuchines in the 1980s by Howard Bruensteiner of Sebastopol, California. When Howard had to give up his pigeons in 1993 Frank Soto was the recipient of the andalusians. Frank shared the stock with Jay Beals and the two of them have been the primary breeders of this color. Currently there are a handful of breeders working with andalusian and the quality is beginning to rise. The heads of andalusian Capuchines are often "Komorner Tumbler-like" and this fault has proven very difficult to eliminate. The bird pictured shows very dark color with barely discernable lacing. A lighter color is preferred.


Reduced
The reduced gene is well named as it reduces the amount of pigment. In a black pigeon, the color is "reduced" to a greyish coloration generally with a darker lacing effect around the edge of each feather. The breast is usually much lightened forming a silverish crescent. In some expressions of reduced black the lacing is quite delicate with the bird being a light silver with fine lacing in the wings. Other expressions are more a charcoal grey with very little lacing. The reduced gene has great variability but one of the key effects is the lightening of the breast feathers. Other expressions of reduced which are attractive are reduced blue t-pattern and reduced blue bar. The t-pattern is a rusty ashy color with dark grey lacing. As a child I bred this color in flying rollers where it was called "pink lace". The reduced blue bar has a light pastel blue-grey ground color with rusty pink bars with dark grey edging. A very attractive color and one which I hope to breed again in the future.
Reduced is a sex-linked recessive factor and easy to introduce to a new breed by using a reduced cock bird for the initial cross. All hens from such mating will be reduced and can be used for further breeding. These reduced hens mated back to cock birds of the desired breed will produce sons which carry reduced and daughters which do not. Discard the daughters and mate the sons to hens of the desired breed. These pairs will produce mostly non-reduced offspring but will occasionally breed a reduced youngster which will always be a hen. Then the process is repeated indefinitely until the reduced birds are as good as the desired breed. At this point a reduced hen can be mated to a cock bird carrying reduced to produce the occasional reduced cock bird. When such a cock bird is bred it can be mated to a reduced hen and produce only reduced offspring. This is a fairly easy genetics project.

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