Dark Greens and Cobalts

Dark factor birds – particularly Dark Greens and Cobalts – have a firm place in any serious exhibitor’s stud, whether or not they are bred for their own qualities, or, as a means of maintaining the colour of other varieties. Many breeders find it difficult to breed dark factor birds which are as big as other normals. To achieve good size they are often mated to large Light Greens and Skyblues. Such matings not only improve size, they also have the required effect on width of head and depth of mask.

Grey Greens can also be used for this purpose, although it is often impossible to detect if these Grey Greens carry the dark factor. This may not deter most exhibitors, except the purists, who must know just what colours they can expect from their matings.

By the same token, Dark Greens and Cobalts, as already suggested, can be used to improve and maintain the colour of Light Greens and Skyblues. Breeders attempting to use dark factor birds, however, should take account of the fact that there are both Type 1 and Type 2 Dark Greens. Type 1 dark factors are produced by crossing Skyblues with Olives. Type 2 is produced by crossing Light Greens with Mauves. Dark Green/Blue Type 1 mated to Skyblue will produce more Dark Greens and Skyblues than Cobalts and Light Greens. Dark green/Blue Type 2 crossed to Skyblue will result in more Cobalts and Light Greens than Dark Greens and Skyblues. To clarify the position, remember that the dark factor of any bird described as Type 1 had its origin in the Olive and in Type 2 in a bird which was a Mauve.

Olives and Mauves are, on the whole, smaller and not up to the quality seen in Dark Greens and Cobalts. For this reason, many serious exhibitors, quite wrongly, neglect these colours. Certainly Olive Olive, Olive Cobalt, Cobalt Cobalt, and to a lesser degree Dark Green Dark Green or Dark Green Cobalt, will result in offspring which are not as big as progeny from pairings which include a single dark factor stock, such as Skyblue Cobalt and Skyblue Dark Green. However they have a charm of their own, are very popular – so that they find a ready market – and the best can be mated to Light Greens and Skyblues.

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