When studying the American Poultry Association standard of perfection for a Wheaten Ameraucana cockerel/cockbird, we find the following:
1. The saddle should be “lustrous, light orange, free from dark feathers.” The saddle feathers are found “at the rear of the back extending to the juncture of back and tail of a male fowl, covered with long pointed fingers known as saddle feathers.”
2. The main tail should be “black with lustrous greenish gloss.” The main tail feathers are “the straight, stiff long feathers of the tail located under and between the coverts and sickles of the male.”
3. Lesser sickles should be “lustrous, greenish black with reddish cast in shafting.” The lesser sickles are “the long curved feathers of the male chicken tail, exclusive of the top two longest main-sickles, which hang to the side of and cover most if not all of the main tail.” Shafting is “a color characteristic where the shaft of a feather is either lighter or darker than the color of the web.” So in this case, we want to look for a reddish cast on the shaft of the lesser sickle feathers.
*Here are some notes on cutting for defects:
1. Regarding the main tail feathers, foreign color results in a 1/2 pt deduction per feather that it is present.
2. Regarding the sickle feathers, foreign color results in a 1 pt deduction per feather that it is present.
These are a few points to keep in mind when assessing your wheaten cockerels and cockbirds.
To view the full standard, you can purchase an American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection book at the following link: