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Colours & Variations


Plan Your Breeding

When good colour in Fifes is mentioned I immediately think of the clear yellow Border cocks my grandfather kept. I recall them as being almost orange on the head and throat when they had finished their moult. The correct definition for such birds is Buttercup Yellow.

Good colour is an essential part of a quality exhibition Fife but is often neglected by judges. Since it is part of the standard of excellence, why neglect it? Clearly the shape is more important but sound colour is essential and most be exhibited in our Fifes, particularly the Cock birds.

"The main point to remember is that colour is bred in to a bird and cannot be added to any significant degree."

Self Green Yellow Cock


Self Green Yellow Cock

The ideal colour is a rich grass green, with as little bronziness as possible. Clear, distinct markings on the flanks and back, with the legs and beak matching these markings.
This bird would be a cinnamon carrier if its father was a cinnamon and its mother a normal green.


Self Cinnamon Yellow Cock  

Self Cinnamon Yellow Cock

The cinnamon Fife is a beautiful bird. It is a green minus the black pigment, once referred to as a 'burnished copper' colour. As the cinnamon is produced from parents carrying the recessive genetic colouring, it is the only colour that can be accurately predicted whilst constructing a breeding programme.

The breeding of good cinnamons requires basic genetic knowledge, which I deal with in depth in the book and video2.

Variegated White  

Variegated White Ground Cock

What is a white?
All birds have a basic ground colour, irrespective of the other colours and markings they have. Whites are not albinos, (this is where a total lack of melanin produces a pure white bird with no pigmentation), instead the normal yellow base colour is genetically suppressed, producing a white bird.
Whites are not sexed linked. A white cock or white hen would produce offspring of 50% normal and 50% white of either sex.


Please watch The Fife Canary Video 2
or read chapter Eleven of The Fife Canary book
to gain more information on breeding and genetics.

Drawings by Andy McEwan


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