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Understanding the Splash (variety) in Dutch Bantams

By Jean Robocker

What is this color that isn't a real color in the same way that Light Brown, Blue Light Brown and Silver, Black, Blue, White are? We are familiar with Dominant and Recessive. But in poultry breeding it is not that simple. Sometimes intermediate "colors" are exposed, and Splash is one of them. These intermediates are useful in breeding. Because Splash is an intermediate of Blue, Black, Light Brown, Blue Light Brown, Cream Light Brown, Cream Blue Light Brown, it is not possible to describe one color or color pattern which is Splash. Jeffrey gives little help, really, as his color descriptions do not fit any Splash Dutch Bantams that I have seen, nor do his genetic codes fit the ones in HS Gankema's book "Vererving Van Veerkleur"-in Dutch! Dr. Gankema, for a number of years, raised up to 600 birds, mostly bantams-many Dutch Bantams-to study and document color and pattern inheritance. His book is limited to color and patterns, is clear and not wordy, but it is in Dutch! The genetic codes, however, are easy to read, and with known color names in Dutch, the little book is most useful in learning "what you get" when you breed varieties "purely" , ei. ( LB x LB) and when you cross breed varieties---and when you MUST crossbreed varieties to predict certain varieties you want to breed! Splash is called Vuilwit in Dutch and it translates: Dirty White. It is not an Exhibition variety in The Netherlands. What does a Splash bird look like? Male: Lots of white and after that, best described as "no two alike". There may be just 2 colors, Red splashed on white with blotchy breast, hackle, back, saddle, white tail. Or-Blue splashed on white. Or several colors, red splashed on white with gold hackle, other gold pattern or marking, and usually with black feathers or black flecks or part black or part blue or all blue tails, or some all black tail feathers, irregular black striping in hackle. Some have white breast, hackle, saddle, tail and red, gold, black, blue flecks or markings. Females: Often body all dirty white with gold laced hackle and light salmon breast. Others will have various fleckings of black, blue, a few blue or black or partly blue or black tail feathers. Some of the Splash birds are truly beautiful and some have excellent Dutch Type, nice curved sickles (maybe NO fluff) perfect Dutch combs, heavy hackle and saddle, fine rounded back, in all, very attractive Dutch Bantams. And it is this bird, which may be very useful in improvement of type in Black and Blue Light Brown Dutch Bantams. A Black Dutch Bantam cock bred to a Splash hen will produce ALL Blue Dutch Bantams. A Blue Dutch Bantam bred to a Blue Dutch Bantam will produce Splash, Blue, and Black offspring. Maybe those Blacks and Blues will inherit the wonderful tail or back carried by the Splash bird!--A chance for improvement. A Splash bred with a Light Brown will produce ALL Blue Light Browns. Anna Banning describes these BLBs as usually having a darker Blue color when a Splash bird is one parent. BLB x BLB, by genetic chart produces Light Brown, Blue Light Brown, Splash.(I must add my personal experience, which has found BLBxBLB to produce mostly Splash birds .) If you do not want Splash birds, do not breed your Blue Light Browns together, but use a Light Brown mate, which will give you about 50/50 LB and BLB, and all the birds will be more saleable ! Cream Blue Light Brown Splash are the result of breeding 2 Cream Blue Light Browns together.

Splash bred to Splash should produce all Splash (but I have also had several lovely pale Blue Light Browns result from SPxSP. As in all theoretical charts, there may be exceptions to the above "rules". Hope this may be helpful in understanding a little more about the Splash Dutch Bantam without the genetic codes and charts. And it may help you avoid breeding Splash birds, if you do not want any! To Show the Splash is difficult, as they really can be only judged on Dutch type, as there can be no uniform color or pattern. But some Splash birds are exceedingly beautiful and worth showing to the public. However, don't expect a big winner in Splash just yet!


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