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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To get straight to the point, I went through a spurt of depression after having lost one of the chicks from my pastelface/whiteface breeding. I really tried hard to give that baby everything it needed when I realized it didn't appear to by thriving, but it just wasn't enough and I've been very sad about it. Those of you who are breeders, and some of you who have experienced this type of thing may be more used to it, but it really bothers me - I guess I feel so responsible for them since I chose to allow them to be laid/hatched. Anyway, I just withdrew from the whole board thing, and since mom and dad were taking good care of the remaining 2 babies I just let them be and wallowed in my own sadness over the whole thing. But, now it is time to get up and carry on sooo ...


... I took some pictures today of the two babies produced from this clutch. They are three weeks (21 and 20 days) old and really doing well. They each weigh more than their parents - in fact their dad only weighs in the upper 70's believe it or not! He's healthy but not a large bred bird for sure. One baby weighs 105 and the other 101 grams. As well prepared as I thought I was for the genetic outcomes of these babies, I got a shock! The father's pedigree states he is a pastelface split to lutino, whiteface, pearl and pied. Mom is a whiteface cinnamon pearl, and it is unknown whether she is split to pied however I don't believe she is. The babies appear to be pastelface CINNAMON pearls! I was *almost* starting to believe one of them could be pied as well, but I'm not sold yet. If that were the case of course mom would have to be split to pied and as I said I don't think she is. Funny too - I just finished raising 2 baby pearls that came from a set of parents in which neither is a visual pearl... Mia and Lilly if you've followed any of my other posts. Sure do wish there was a way I could tell whether we have boy(s) or girl(s). I was spoiled by being able to identify Mia and Lilly as being females right away.

Anyway, here they are in all their glory - the sweetest, most loveable babies. I just began hand-feeding a couple days ago, twice a day and finally pulled them from mom and dad today when they appeared to lose interest in feeding. They're mating again leading me to believe they're ready for them to get out anyway. :eek: So these are their "get out of nestbox free" photos. Enjoy!

















 

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(((HUGS)))...I know what you mean. Sometimes I'll stop posting for several days because I get depressed over a death of a bird even though it is not my own.

Do you have any pix's of the partents?...front and sides. In looking at the last pix the wing tips look interesting and similar in color to a dominant silver.
 

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I got like that after Meatball died, I didn't want to see how everyone was doing because I was so sad over him. But now I enjoy reading about others. They look so cute btw!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here are a few pictures of mom and dad. I just took these for you and had to use flash since it's dark outside. Of all the shots I can't believe Billie Jean didn't give me her other side! I just realized this. Her other side looks like this one though! :D

All of my birds are fully flighted, but for some reason Stempie hasn't grown his flights out in a VERY long time. I'm pretty sure I bought him in mid-winter, so he should have molted new ones in by now. Hmm.. I have always thought Stempie's tail was ultra light for being a "normal grey" color. I have another WF cinnamon pearl cock who is just like this with a very whitish tail.

I don't know anything about Billie Jean's background (she was dropped off here to me by my husband's daughter who "knew someone who didn't want their bird anymore). Like I said before, Stempie is said to be pastelface-whiteface split to lutino, pearl and pied but IMO he's split to cinnamon too unless you think the babies' coloring is due to another mutation such as the dominant silver. I suppose they could be both cinnamon and dominant silver too though!











 

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I'm suspecting the Mama Bird is a WF SFDS pearl. In looking at your location, in the early 2000's there were alot of breeders of the rares in your state. I beleive most of them are no longer breeding. BUT when dominant silvers, especially young they appear as normal mutations. And with hens it is harder to tell. I had a hard time telling which were DS, and accidently sold several that looked like normal mutations when young.

IF your babies are domiant silvers I'm also guessing that the back baby in the last pix is a male. If so I can later post some pix's to show you what he will look like in 1-2 years. My Rascal looked just like him as a baby and when he lost his pearls and got in his dominant silver color he almost looked like an Emerald cockatiel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow this is interesting information! So, if you believe she may be SFDS does that mean you don't believe her to be cinnamon? And I guess that leads to the cinnamon question regarding the babies too. I'd love it if she were a silver - the babies too. When I got my very first cockatiel, I wanted a DS WF male - BAD. I never got one (that I realized I had) so it would be awesome if she were actually a silver.

So now you have to tell me what characteristics you're seeing that lead you to believe she's potentially of that mutation. And the baby too - something to do with the coloring of the tail? You suspect male because....? And, what about the front baby? Does he/she appear to be totally different than the back baby?

Would LOVE to see any and all pictures you'd like to share. :) How long do I have to wait to really get any kind of definitive knowledge? I was offered a baby Emerald today as a matter of fact. I've not been terribly impressed with them however and prefer the silvers to the emeralds. I am going to get a big show tiel from her though bred by Kathy Short. A Dominant Yellowcheek Cinnamon Pearl Pied hen - this weekend.
 

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Your babies are not the right color to be cinnamon pearls. Normal SFDS pearl babies will look very similar to cinnamon pearls, and it takes knowing the different mutations to tell the difference. It took me several years. The first pix is young SFDS pearls, and the second pix is a SFDS pearl male at about 2 years, after a couple of molts.
I suspect the one to be a male because of the dark edging to the wing flights. Male DS tend to show more of the DS traits than females do.
And Billie Jean is not the right color for a cinnamon pearl WF. I'm suspecting she is a light toned SFDS. She is almost the color of a DFDS, but her flights are too dark.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your babies are not the right color to be cinnamon pearls. Normal SFDS pearl babies will look very similar to cinnamon pearls, and it takes knowing the different mutations to tell the difference. It took me several years. The first pix is young SFDS pearls, and the second pix is a SFDS pearl male at about 2 years, after a couple of molts.
I suspect the one to be a male because of the dark edging to the wing flights. Male DS tend to show more of the DS traits than females do.
And Billie Jean is not the right color for a cinnamon pearl WF. I'm suspecting she is a light toned SFDS. She is almost the color of a DFDS, but her flights are too dark.


Your observations have me thinking for sure, and realizing how little I know about the DS mutation. There isn't a lot of good data out there either it seems because the mutation is so similar to a normal grey. So this has me questioning a few of my other birds. I took and compiled some pictures for you to look at and give me your thoughts. I see some commonalities between several of them including Billie Jean which makes me think ok either she's not a DS or they may be. I read that DS's have dark (black) feet and beaks and most of my birds have light feet and beaks, but I'm not sure how accurate some of this info is since most is from websites updated last in 2002. LOL


Duke came to me with no background information or history. However, I have some info on him because he came with 2 of his babies to me. One is a cinnamon pearl female and the other is a normal (appearing) male split to pied. Duke's mate is Daisy who is a visual lutino and is apparently split to pied since I don't believe Duke is. So, it seems Duke must be either cinnamon or split to cinnamon. He's also either split to pearl or is a visual pearl. I've often wondered about his coloring because he's *so* light like Billie Jean and also another male WF I have (and you'll see in the pictures) Orlando. I find it very interesting the color similarities between Billie Jean, Orlando and Duke. You said Billie Jean isn't the right color for a WF cinnamon pearl - is it just that she's quite light? I did a search for WF cinnamon pearls and found most to look much like her. Help me see what I'm missing.


I received Orlando via a 3rd party bringing him from the breeder, so I didn't see his parents myself, but I did see pictures. They are stated as being a WF cinnamon pearl hen and a WF cinnamon pied split pearl cock. He was 6 months when I got him and was in full pearl display. So, his mutation, based on the above is a WF Cinnamon Pearl split Pied.


Sonny is a bird that has been shown, and has a full pedigree. His stated mutation is Cinnamon split Pearl. When I received Sonny, he came along with his daughter and son. His previous mate (mom of 2 babies) is a normal Pearl. His son is Logan - a normal split to Cinnamon and Pearl. Bunny is his daughter and is a visual Cinnamon Pearl. I find Logan's 1/2 white flights and his near-white tail very strange. His tail keeps getting lighter and lighter. Most of my birds have dark tails, so I have to assume his lighter tail (and Orlando and Sonny's) means SOMETHING.


Since your photos show young and 2 year old DS's, I thought I'd include the ages of the birds as I know them. Sonny is around 6, Logan just over a year. Billie Jean is unknown but through 2nd and 3rd hand off the cuff remarks, I've guessed her to be about a year and a half. Duke's age is also unknown but his babies are guessed to be about 2 1/2, and he was housed with his mate from when he was purchased by his last owner from a pet shop, sooo I'm guessing he's maybe a year older than his babies putting him at about 3 - 3 1/2.


I realize this is a book but if you haven't been able to tell by now, genetics are very fascinating to me and I want to learn as much as I can from those who have more experience with it than I. I appreciate all input.













 

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Discussion Starter #9
Your babies are not the right color to be cinnamon pearls. Normal SFDS pearl babies will look very similar to cinnamon pearls, and it takes knowing the different mutations to tell the difference. It took me several years.
I'm really struggling with it myself. When I look at the babies I visually see a rusty colored crest and when I compare their flight feather color to one of my cinnamon girls (Bunny) the color is almost identical. I'll include a picture of Bunny for you to see her coloring.

I've always considered cockatiel genetics to be really easy especially when compared to parakeet genetics, but I am really bothered that I can't easily understand what definitively makes a bird dominant silver. In the past I had used the super diluted feather centers but as you have stated, young birds don't start off that way, and in Billie Jean's case, I don't see the darker coloring on her head, nor the dark feet/beak, OR the diluted feather centers.



 

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Unfortunitely most mutation info out there is old, and is parroted from what that person heard or read, and many times have had no experience breeding the mutations. It's depressing but true.

Ok...as to knowing if an adult male is a pearl or a split pearl is easy to determine and only takes a few seconds to know for sure. Hold the bird, and fan out the tail feathers. If a split to pearl the entire length from body to the tip of the tail will be a solid color. If a pearl then the upper portion of the tail feathers about 1-3" downward from the body will have a mottled, speckled look.

As to dominat silvers, the classic traits are dark beaks and feet and dark scullcaps on the nape of the neck. Unfortunitely with the breeding of other mutations to the DS, over several years and generations these traits get more and more diluted, to many times not there. Also the feet and beak tend to regain more pigment if the bird is housed outdoor versus inside. Mixing cinnamon with DS is a major No-No. It totally masks the DS traits. Especially the diluted center to the wing flights and the dark edges. Pied also is a no-no because most pied patterns appear on the wing flights and head, and contributes to a pale/pink beak color,..thus areas on the bird to look for DS traits are not appearent. And pearl makes it harder to tell if DS or cinnamon pearl, if other mutations are mixed in like pied there is further masking of the traits. In addition pearl can contribute to a thinness to balness to the feathering behind the crest. This is true of emeralds, lutinos and fallows too.

When working with DS you want to work backwards and work out all the splits (except WF, if you like WF-DS) until you have a bird with no splits. The best bird to pair any DS with is either a qood quality normal or WF normal. And also work for good quality SFDS. I discourage most people to breed for DFDS. There is heatbreak when trying for this mutation and part of the reason why so many people got out of breeding the Ds, is because they couldn't understand the losses. Unforntunitely DF tends to be smaller and weaker and the losses can almost be 100% in the nest. If you get 2-3 live healthy DFDS out of 10-12 chicks you would be darn lucky.

The downside in working just for DFDS is that 90% of the chicks when feathered are hard to tell if they are DS or not. It is the rare baby that shows the classic DS traits once it feathers. Most times you have to wait till the first molt to be sure. Even after 10+ years of working with DS I still have trouble knowing if they are or aren't when weaned. This year I sold off all my DS and rares and just held back 18 tiels. I have some oddly marked birds that I wanted to work with so I kept (from early in the year hatches) several normal greys to pair with them. They were offspring of a SFDS to a normal, and they did not show the ANY DS traits. Well last week I looked in the outside flight and I thought 'Oh crap!!!' A couple of these normal greys molted and are DS :(
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ow as to your birds. In the first pix because of the lighting Billie Jean (BJ) looks CP, and in the 2nd pix below it she looks SFDS, and has the very slight darkening to the tips of the wings. Sadly the hens rarely show the dilute centers to the flights like the males. And Bunny is defintely a CP.

Your males are not showing any DS traits. Were any of them a darker shade of color when they were younger? The odd tan color is sometimes an indication of a split to emerald too, if they appeared as normals when younger. If not then they would be cinnamons.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Unfortunitely most mutation info out there is old, and is parroted from what that person heard or read, and many times have had no experience breeding the mutations. It's depressing but true.

Ugh! This is so annoying, and so true! I wish there was some kind of google filter or something that would eliminate those sites that haven't been updated within the past 3 years or something!

Ok...as to knowing if an adult male is a pearl or a split pearl is easy to determine and only takes a few seconds to know for sure. Hold the bird, and fan out the tail feathers. If a split to pearl the entire length from body to the tip of the tail will be a solid color. If a pearl then the upper portion of the tail feathers about 1-3" downward from the body will have a mottled, speckled look.

Thank you for the info!! I had never really had reason to go seek out ways to determine pearl or split pearl status, but since I now know, I learned that Duke is actually pearl rather than split pearl. Very nice to know!

As to dominat silvers, the classic traits are dark beaks and feet and dark scullcaps on the nape of the neck. Unfortunitely with the breeding of other mutations to the DS, over several years and generations these traits get more and more diluted, to many times not there. Also the feet and beak tend to regain more pigment if the bird is housed outdoor versus inside. Mixing cinnamon with DS is a major No-No. It totally masks the DS traits. Especially the diluted center to the wing flights and the dark edges. Pied also is a no-no because most pied patterns appear on the wing flights and head, and contributes to a pale/pink beak color,..thus areas on the bird to look for DS traits are not appearent. And pearl makes it harder to tell if DS or cinnamon pearl, if other mutations are mixed in like pied there is further masking of the traits. In addition pearl can contribute to a thinness to balness to the feathering behind the crest. This is true of emeralds, lutinos and fallows too.

I knew lutinos and fallows could have a thinner feather coat over the back of the head, but did not know pearl also contributed to this! Your explanation about the feet and beak being lighter makes total sense. Especially if also cinnamon since cinnamon typically displays pink beaks and feet. Wait til you see the newest baby pictures I'll attach!

When working with DS you want to work backwards and work out all the splits (except WF, if you like WF-DS) until you have a bird with no splits. The best bird to pair any DS with is either a qood quality normal or WF normal. And also work for good quality SFDS. I discourage most people to breed for DFDS. There is heatbreak when trying for this mutation and part of the reason why so many people got out of breeding the Ds, is because they couldn't understand the losses. Unforntunitely DF tends to be smaller and weaker and the losses can almost be 100% in the nest. If you get 2-3 live healthy DFDS out of 10-12 chicks you would be darn lucky.

So if DFDS is typically weak and small, does it make sense to assume a SFDS also carries some of this negativity? I didn't realize DFDS's weren't strong. :( I really love the way they look and had fantasized a bit about having one for myself.

The downside in working just for DFDS is that 90% of the chicks when feathered are hard to tell if they are DS or not. It is the rare baby that shows the classic DS traits once it feathers. Most times you have to wait till the first molt to be sure. Even after 10+ years of working with DS I still have trouble knowing if they are or aren't when weaned. This year I sold off all my DS and rares and just held back 18 tiels. I have some oddly marked birds that I wanted to work with so I kept (from early in the year hatches) several normal greys to pair with them. They were offspring of a SFDS to a normal, and they did not show the ANY DS traits. Well last week I looked in the outside flight and I thought 'Oh crap!!!' A couple of these normal greys molted and are DS :(

Why is it hard to tell if a DFDS is actually a silver or not, while still in the nest? I would think due to their very light color, they would be more obvious by far than a SFDS. How old are your DS birds in the flight? I'm assuming just after their first molt. How strange that it's so difficult, even for an expert to tell they have DS birds right in front of them. I guess the good news for you is that they should sell for a little more than normals would, right? Hopefully you still have a few good quality normals to work with.
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ow as to your birds. In the first pix because of the lighting Billie Jean (BJ) looks CP, and in the 2nd pix below it she looks SFDS, and has the very slight darkening to the tips of the wings. Sadly the hens rarely show the dilute centers to the flights like the males. And Bunny is defintely a CP.

Your males are not showing any DS traits. Were any of them a darker shade of color when they were younger?

I haven't had the males for a terribly long time, except for Logan and Orlando, and they've both been about the same color for their lifetimes. Orlando is a pearl however, so his color was masked by pearling for much of his baby life. I guess at this point it is safe to assume the white tails, and very light grey feathers of like Duke - are just a variation of normal cinnamon coloring in a WF bird?

The odd tan color is sometimes an indication of a split to emerald too, if they appeared as normals when younger. If not then they would be cinnamons.

Who do you see having an odd tan color? I picked up a split to Emerald bird today from a breeder who says he is "wild," and thought I may be able to tame him. It's the same breeder I got Sonny, Logan, Bunny and Stempie from. Got him home and he's sweet as puddin' with both me and my 10 yr old daughter! :D She gave him to me free of charge too! Woot. Also picked up my first dominant yellowcheek hen! She's a beauty - a DYC cinnamon pearl pied.
Ok so time for new pictures. The last ones were 5 days ago, so they've feathered in quite a bit since then. I tried to get several different natural light exposures so you can see best their true coloring. I definitely think something is up with them - the cinnamon just seems to light. I want to think fallow, but their eyes are dark. Of course I have no DS experience and you do, AND Stempie (dad) is not known to carry fallow. Stempie has had several clutches in the past with his previous owner and never has she documented a fallow chick. However, she has never gotten a cinnamon either, and she said she paired him with a cinnamon pearl pied hen!

Anyway what do you think now that they've feathered in more? One of them (the older one) is definitely lighter than the younger one, and the feathers are white whereas the younger one's "pearl" feathers are yellow as they normally would be. It was my understanding the PF gene only lightens the orange cheek patch but has no bearing on the body color. Stempie is a very dark grey, leading me to conclude this may be true.




















 

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I don't know anything about the mutation aspect but I do know they are beautiful birds!!!
 

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I'm trying to find pix....grrrr, and can't find them for examples. PF does have a diluting effect to the entire plumage but not as much as what is showing on your babies. Shown below is a normal PF pearl, and the 3rd pix is a PF SFDS.

Also looking at the thin head feathering behind the crest of one of your chicks, again makes me lean towards DS. Pearl tends to do that with some DS.

The 4th pix is a normal grey (I thught at the time) with a SFDS. I kept the normal grey and a few months later when he started to molt he looked like the last pix. I held him back because I needed greys not SFDS. He had no indications of being a DS when feathered out when young.

I learned to just stay away from breeding for DF. With selective breeding of SF to a normal you can increase size nicely over a few generations. I've had some nice sized SF and thought what the heck, pair 2 together for a nice DF. Big mistake, lost most of the clutch and the one that survived was tricky trying to get to weaning and weaned out at almost 100 grams, which is respectable for a DF...but I would never do it again. The only purpose for a DF in breeding is you know that when paired with any normal you will get 100% SFDS.

I meant to say it is hard to tell SF, it is easy to tell DF. BUT, since I was just working exclusively to breed SFDS, I learned that over successive generations I could lighten the color, and I had a couple of lines of SFDS that after a couple of molts looked just like DFDS. I found out it was the babies that did not exhibit the DS traits that were the foundation stock for those light colored lines later on.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for digging up pictures. Pictures are allllways helpful when talking about slight variations in color.

PF does have a diluting effect to the entire plumage but not as much as what is showing on your babies.

If PF has a diluting effect over all plumage, it certainly isn't actively diluting plumage in Stempie! He's very dark, IMO! Also, your baby PF there in your example photo - do you feel she is diluted in body color? She looks like a pretty normal color to me but sometimes pictures can be deceiving.



Also looking at the thin head feathering behind the crest of one of your chicks, again makes me lean towards DS. Pearl tends to do that with some DS.

I'm sure you are aware of this already but they're still feathering in. I'm guessing you can tell their plumage heaviness by pin feather dispersal? I hope they both feather in fully on their heads - hadn't even considered them being bald or with few feathers there.

The 4th pix is a normal grey (I thught at the time) with a SFDS. I kept the normal grey and a few months later when he started to molt he looked like the last pix. I held him back because I needed greys not SFDS. He had no indications of being a DS when feathered out when young.

He really doesn't look anything like what I've read to look for in a DS! Easy to see how you could be fooled by that one!

I learned to just stay away from breeding for DF. With selective breeding of SF to a normal you can increase size nicely over a few generations. I've had some nice sized SF and thought what the heck, pair 2 together for a nice DF. Big mistake, lost most of the clutch and the one that survived was tricky trying to get to weaning and weaned out at almost 100 grams, which is respectable for a DF...but I would never do it again. The only purpose for a DF in breeding is you know that when paired with any normal you will get 100% SFDS.

Wow! I wonder what exactly causes the wonky gene that is fatal? If you have 2 good sized, healthy birds you expect at least an average healthy baby... but something with doubling up the DS gene is fatal. How sad is that.

I meant to say it is hard to tell SF, it is easy to tell DF. BUT, since I was just working exclusively to breed SFDS, I learned that over successive generations I could lighten the color, and I had a couple of lines of SFDS that after a couple of molts looked just like DFDS. I found out it was the babies that did not exhibit the DS traits that were the foundation stock for those light colored lines later on.
That's interesting! I love the look of the DF Silvers so this would be the best way to achieve that look it sounds like. I am not good with chick death, so I really do want to stay away from combinations in which a lot of chicks have been known to perish.

I wanted to ask you, in regard to the tail feathers of the babies... one of them - the lighter one, has 2 very solid feathers dead center of the tail that go all the way up to the body. Surrounding those feathers are your usual mottled looking ones that come from a pearl. The other baby has no solid feathers at all in the tail, and the two center ones have little grey. Does this mean anything significant?

Someone recommended I send photos to Linda Rubin of cockatielsplusparrots.com for evaluation. The person who recommended her said she is THE go-to person for mutation evaluation. The thing is, she charges for her opinion and I don't feel much like dropping $20 per bird for a persons opinion. Thoughts? Anyone?

 

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As to the pearls tail feathers they all vary in the degree of grey suffusion and barring. Some pearls will have no barring, but have the dark center vein in the feather. Some pearled barred tail feathers can be solid barred and yellow to the tip, and others will have alot of grey wash to the tip and going up the feather. This is individual to the bird.

Oops!...I have seen the diluting look more on pearls, and pieds or split pieds. I had to go back thru my pix's and the normal cocks tened to be a darker grey. This is a pix of one I kept back. His brother is the pied, which the pied areas are very dilute and the dark colors are very dark. My normal PF pearl baby came from a Normal pearl split WF cinn pied, and a PF CP hen. Since the dark feathers were deep it gave an overall sharpness to the pattern
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As to the pearls tail feathers they all vary in the degree of grey suffusion and barring. Some pearls will have no barring, but have the dark center vein in the feather. Some pearled barred tail feathers can be solid barred and yellow to the tip, and others will have alot of grey wash to the tip and going up the feather. This is individual to the bird.

Oops!...I have seen the diluting look more on pearls, and pieds or split pieds. I had to go back thru my pix's and the normal cocks tened to be a darker grey. This is a pix of one I kept back. His brother is the pied, which the pied areas are very dilute and the dark colors are very dark. My normal PF pearl baby came from a Normal pearl split WF cinn pied, and a PF CP hen. Since the dark feathers were deep it gave an overall sharpness to the pattern
Very nice pictures!! I love how dark he is, and with the sharp pastelface contrast it's just fabulous!
 
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