So everyone was in for the night and so I was able to get those close up of the black roadrunners face as well as hold him for the first time. As such I was able to take a closer look and as it turns out he is not a polish or an ameraucana cross. He's a silver laced Wyandotte crossed with a silkie.
Silver laced Wyandotte Mom (molting)
The silkie father after some rain
I figure this because upon closer inspection he dosent have golden fleks in his feathers but rather a select few feather that have silver lacing which makes the Wyandotte his mother and the blue on his earlobe as well as the Afro and five toes means that the silkie is his father. The part that confused us for the longest time was that this bird is black where as both parents outwardly appear mostly or fully white. But then it occurred to me that with the silver laced Wyandotte the white is not the base color, it's a secondary color hence her babies being largely black, including this one.
Speaking of laced feathers, this is another one of the Wyandotte's daughters you can see that the feathers have three colors and more than one level in the coloring. Right along the spine of the feather being white, then a speckly black and brown ending in black, then solid brown, followed by solid black, and finally the very whispy outside being white though that hard to see in the photo.
Another bird with a lot of color variation is our buff brahma/copper maran cross rooster that buggered my wrist this afternoon when I tried to catch him.
This picture is good at showing the differences in feathers between roosters and hens. You can see a sheen on the neck, tail, wrist of the wing, and saddle which is those long skinny feathers that hang off the side. Hens on the other hand have none of the sheen, shorter neck feathers, and no floppy decorative tail feathers. Black hens though retain the iridescents on their bodies that the black roosters have though more subtlety.
This hen having the more mottled coloration is a good comparison, although she has long tail feathers they are straight and squat off at the end. There is also a complete lack of feathers hanging down in front of the tail.
Other roosters like this one which isn't mine or my photograph. Have tail flight feathers that are long enough to be visible or even be longer than the decorative ones. This happens more in smaller breeds that are good at flying. The coloration on this guy also shows quite well how long the neck feathers on a rooster can be. Chickens, both hens and roosters, can make their neck feathers stand on end in a threat display similar to a dog making the hair on the back of its neck stand up
This is an entirely too long video with lots of unnessisary slow motion of Philip and his half bother (sadly now both deceased on account of a fox or coyote that I'll see dead) going at each other to show the neck feathers on display. Philip in particular had a very impressive display on account of very large neck feathers as well as the golden flecks in them. Hens also fight similar to this but are more fond of pecking rather than kicking (though there's lots of variation), and tend to hold their heads up high getting very close to each other rather than the down low face off these two did.
Another difference between hens and roosters when it comes to fights is the spurs on their legs
This is the spur on our polish rooster (who has a royalty stubborn case of scaly leg mites) since the spurs grow over the lifespan of the bird, the older they are, the more terrifying the spurs. Being that this bird is one of our oldest birds his are some of the biggest, thankfully he is not aggressive so it's not any issue. Hank on the other hand who is tied with the polish rooster has in the past been extreamly protective of his hens and has the strength to back up the attitude. His spurs are a bit bigger though likely on arount of him being a much bigger breed. Though he only has one long sharp one as he broke the tip off the other a long time ago. If he ever starts being aggressive again now that he has hens with him we'll have to be careful as his good spur is a good one and a half or one and three quarter inches and has quite the point.
This is an outdated photo of hanks spurs from just under a year ago.
A select few breeds also have roosters that have multiple spurs such as this Sumatra rooster that's four years old. His longer spurs had been trimmed either for safety sake to his owners or possibly because they got long enough to impede his walking. Spurs in chickens are actually not just a nail as they look like on the inside but are actually a lot closer to a horn, having a keratin sheath over top of a bone core. Hens can sometimes get a spur on one or both legs but they tend to be quite stumpy and normally what would be a spur appears as nothing more than a slightly raised large round scale.
If you've made it this far I thank you for your time and patients on my fairly unorganized card.
As thanks here's a picture of a Boo drinking in its natural habitat.
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