History of Seney Chicken breed colors
The following pictures, with descriptions, are of the various color patterns I created over the years, but discontinued to pursue other patterns I preferred. Many are not true to type for a Seney because they were discontinued before being completed. There will be some occasional genetic terms thrown in that avid poultry breeders will recognize, but may put others to sleep. I should note that I am a self-taught geneticists and knew the chicken genome very well at the time. For a period of years I answered thousands of poultry questions on several chicken forums under several different avatar names. Many of the questions were genetic in nature.
I hope you enjoy the trip through memory lane!
Red Pyle (Extended Brown based)
The extended brown Red Pyles were pretty birds and the first color that RJ Seney pursued. However, as with all Red Pyles, homozygous dominant white birds become washed out and heterozygous dominant white birds can have a lot of black tick marks in the white sections of the feather. The color was abandoned to pursue other colors that would breed more true. For those pursuing the Red Pyle color, you would need to breed back to a poorly colored Red Pyle bird with the same extend allele (most likely e+) that does not have dominant white. Hatch a lot and let statistics be your friend. You will get 1 out of 100 that will be a show quality Red Pyle. (See standard of Perfection books for description)
These are very old pictures, and as you can see, the birds lack vulture hocks and extreme leg feathering to be considered a "finished" Seney chicken. The male shows a bit of yellowing because he lacks an additional whitening allele called Dominant White. To get a clean white requires two different gene locations to have white alleles, with the recessive location being homozygous. This color was never really bred for, hence the lack of some traits.
Barred Black is a difficult pattern to perfect. It requires Extended Black, melanizers, and slow feathering. Slow feathering is normally only a problem when a chick begins to grow their initial feathers. However, during that time their skin is often exposed, leading to "pecking" of their skin. When that occurs the chicks can become cannibalistic, causing serious loss of chicks. Once cannibalization begins it can be difficult, if not impossible, to break. Therefore, I discontinued this line. If you have fast feathering with this pattern you will not get clean barring. In that case, the color pattern is not called Barred, but Cuckoo. Furthermore, because barring is a sex-linked gene, only the male can carry two copies of the barring allele. One copy of this allele will give you barring, because it is a dominant allele, however, to get a clean distinct barring pattern require two alleles (homozygous). Therefore, the females will never look identical to the males unless the male only has one copy. But again; with only one copy on a male he will not be a good specimen for the barring color.
Barred Wheaten is simply a wheaten color with a barring allele added. When the males have two copies of the barring gene the color can looked washed out. The above cockerel (non-mature male) only has one copy of the barring gene (heterozygous). Therefore he is very colorful. The females looked like washed-out wheatens and are not attractive at all. As with the Barred Blacks, I decided against perfecting this color because I preferred to have a color that can breed true and look good on males and females. I did not include a picture of the female.
Red Birchen is essentially an extended black bird with the sex-linked gold allele and a lack of malanizers. I played around with this color for a bit, but quickly lost interest. The females were black with some gold in their hackles and were not too interesting to me, while the males were rather dark unless in direct sunlight as can be seen in the two photos above. Do note, however, the exceptional tail on these two birds. That is a typical Seney trait in regards to tail conformation. Also not the length of the saddle feathers.
Barred Red Birchen
Take the Red Birchen above this one and add a barring gene and this is what you get. The females looked like cross-bred barnyard fowl, but they were not. These did breed true, but did not hold my interest.
Barred Silver Wheaten
The recipe (genotype) to make this bird is to use Extended Wheaten, sex-linked silver, and sex-linked barring. Females were nothing to white home about and the males were also washed out. I only did this project just to see what it would look like. There is a reason this is not a formal color; nobody likes it.
Calico was a chance occurrence in one of my breeding projects. I did not breed specifically to get it. Therefore, its genotype is not completely know. At this point I could hypothesis at the genotype to be Extended Buttercup (e^bc), cream, and possibly mahogany. This color actually does exist in a breed that I have only seen once at a national poultry show. Unfortunately I did not record the "real" color name. While I really liked the color, I had too many projects going on to be able to pursue this one. Do note the low tail angle. This was a serious fault for a Seney breed. However, note the vulture hocks. Do you see how the line goes from the chest all the way to the ground? Cool!
The ghost Barred color was not purposely created. It just "happened". Many colors are discovered this way. When color alleles are mixed and matched there are a plethora of patterns that come out of hiding. This color was not pursued because, while it was unique, the birds looked like white chickens that were rolled around in the dirt.
We pursued making a clean black and it did not take long to get it. Note the beetle green in the feathers. To get that requires using the gold allele, but one needs to be careful. A double gold in a male can give you troubles at times in black. Black was discontinued because I found it boring. It was too easy and I like colors. I should note that the male in the picture above does not have the typical pea comb of a Seney and is missing inner leg feathers. I posted the picture because the body conformation was really nice.