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The splash color

  Blanc-sale à gauche et Bleu-cuivré à droite

On the left :
Splash Marans

On the right : Blue-red or Coppery-blue Marans

The genetic bl  Splash Marans cock, a 100% pure variety called "splash". In english, it means streaked with bright colors or spattered with spots. We can notice, by the presence of sharp fawn marks, that the Splash (off-white) cock is made on the Brown-red basis (ER/ER) and not on the pure Black basis (E/E), which is usual for a Marans. When it is associated with Brown-red hens, it gives 100% of young Blue-red subjects.ue (BI) factor acts in a very particular way to appear in the plumage. It must only express itself at the simple state and not at the double state about the chromosomes, i.e at the impure state or heterozygous for the (BI) factor.

On the other hand, at the double state (BI/BI), also called homozygous for this (BI) factor, it gives birth to another color, the off-white color or "Splash" and not the blue color any more.

The off-white plumage (Splash) appears like a white plumage and which is irregularly streaked with blackish or fawn marks which can even be found on the tarsus.

On the esthetical plan, this color is not wonderful (even through…) to such an extent that, to date, the various standard don(t accept it like an official plumage color variety.

On the contrary, on a purely genetic plan, it is obvious that off-white is a pure color because it represents the plumage which is strictly reserved to the only pure and homozygous genotype (BI/BI).

Indeed, it is a case which is a little similar to the one of the different silver-cuckoo breeds when the (B) gene at the homozygous state gives birth to lighter subjects which are in this way always pure as for this (B) characteristic.


The principle, which might appear to be trivial, has yet important consequences because to obtain 100% of coppery-blue subject descendance in the Marans as well as for any other breed it is the Splash breeding stock which must be used. It must be crossed with Brown-red subjects.

Furthermore, if we self cross the obtained 100% coppery-blue subjects, we will only be able to obtain 50% of coppery-blue descendants to which can be added about 25% of pure Splash and 25% of pure Brown-red subjects.

So the Coppery-blue color can't reproduce itself alone at 100%. Indeed, it is obliged, for its selection, to resort to pure Splash Marans with pure Brown-red Marans if we want to obtain the Coppery-blue subjects which are heterozygous.

Of course, this characteristic passing on logic is exactly the same as for the case of the Silver-blue color with Birchen and the "plain" Blue color with "plain" black. The (BI) characteristic can act by a black thinning only on the black parts of the plumage. The coppery or silver parts are not thined. They remain intact even  through the coppery color seems to be rather golden than reddish-coppery. These subjects are called "blue" and they are heterozygous (only one expressed BI allel).

In the self crossing of blue subjects, when two (BI) alleles are expressed together by the gene association  (in 25% of cases). As ths (BI) thinning gene is dubly expressed, the Blue color disappears for the pure and homozygous "Splash" color called off-white in French (Blanc sale). In the purebred pigeons, we called this color "harlequin". It's more elegant and this plumage is aprreciated up to its singularism.

So the "Splash" is a pure variety which reproduces itself at 100%. This variety is not recognized by the standard (nevertheless it is not recognized in the other poultry breed either ??) perhaps because of esthetical or ignoring reasons for which we should really organize a debate.

Nota bene : the (BI) genetic characteristic is said to be "autosamal" (not linked to sex).In each of the obtained color of the descendance, we should equally obtain hens as well as cocks.



Silver-cuckoo Variety
Golden-cuckoo Variety
Black Variety
Brown-red Variety
Birchen Variety
Wheaten Variety
Black-tailed buff Variety
White Variety
Columbian Variety

The Bantam's Marans


Golden-blue and Silver-blue Varietys
Splash Variety
Golden-salmon and Silver-salmon Variety


main page

see above