Purple sheen is usually the result of major stress in the fowl, or a poor quaility feed mix, or an unusual mixed line that breeds that colour. After your cockerel's attack it may have taken him ages to get his head back together. Even though they are supposed to have a short memory span, I reckon they are smarter than some of the "experts" would have us believe.
Gayle, somewhere in here , we were talking about purpeling in feathers..The australians were discussing making the green rich sheen in australorp thread..I borrowed this from Geoff and Ross..if it is helpful to anyone when new feathers are coming in..for reference..thought it was interesting from the aussie breeders.
think I posted this earlier, but interested in your thoughts. Comes from an old book called "The International Poultry Book". "To secure more colour in the plumage of Black Orpingtons and other breeds requiring green sheen, the feeding of sulphur before the last feathering is recommended. Start with a saltspoonful a day and increase the dose to up to a teaspoonful, to be given in mash. Done in late summer to mid autumn(fall)".
There are a few little tricks to enhance the beetle green sheen as Ron is absolutely correct. The oil glands secrete and promote the sheen. I use corn oil and another oil that is used to enhance the coats of show horses mixed sparingly in their feed. I'll feed this to my selected show birds up to four weeks prior to a show and that enhances the sheen. You have to be very careful not to give them too much as it can sometimes send them into a forced moult. Good Australorps should have a natural beetle green sheen.
(I personally feed scrambled eggs which contain sulfer when recovering from molt)
This is very interesting. I am interested in any info you have on this.
American Poultry Advocate, Volume 30 July 1933 Page 359
Here are a few so-called secrets on molting that are said to improve color.:
Sunflower seeds fed liberally promote quick growth of feathers; fed just before exhibiting they impart a brilliant gloss or lustre to the plumage. Sulphur ilso promotes the growth of feathers, but should not be fed during damp and chilly weather.
Hemp seed fed liberally darkens plumage and is especially valuable in imparting a green sheen to black plumage. Linseed is also said to have this effect but not so pronounced.
Certain varieties of peppers, the Bell and Sweet Spanish for instance fed during the molt are said to intensify buff color. The pepper must be pure and of good red color.
White Orpingtons and other white breeds if fed liberally of stale bread soaked in milk and cottage cheese will come through whiter.
Yellow legged varieties will have to have the shanks and beak treated, however, as they will become pale. All fowls will molt better if fed feeds rich in oil.
During the moulting season, which usually lasts one hundred days, a little flaxseed mixed with oil meal, and also sulphur mixed with carbonate of iron is given daily in very small quantities from August to December 1
Hi Gayle..our Aussie friend Ross is going to compile some of his techniques when he gets a few mins.. he has won Sydney royal with his australorps.. it's interesting to get some input from way across the pond..we were discussing sulpher is best gotten from natural food source such as eggs..safe..effective.. that is why dogs get shine coats from eggs..promotes very healthy feather and bone development in young birds especially big orps.. best for birds that do not have access to large pasture grazing and winter conditions. Other natural foods contain it not sure which..I have some pretty dramatic photos of birds identical parents one group fed commercial feeds only, the other eggs, greens a couple times a week..the top sebright breeder feeds only eggs and oats to his chicks..I just thought it was interesting.....whenever I get mis shape eggs or spotty eggs I put them in labled containers in fridge scramble them couple times a week with chopped greens ..he said the chemical sulphur could be too harsh,cause problems..
Here is some more..in some cases they believe the added Monica contributed to some pure in feathers..this was from the American poultry advocate...
Several bantam breeders feed mIzourr (SP )flock blocks with contain fish.
Just ignore the white orp part below...feeding fish in poultry below that. I also give some fish.scrambled eggs works as just as well..it is a complete food every nutrient represented..
Mr. Godfrey Shaw, however, produced his White Orpingtons simply by breeding the black hackle and tail out of Light Sussex fowls, hence the frequent reversion to the original striped hackle and Brahma or Columbian tail. Also hence the difficulty in breeding good combs in W hites because the old Light Sussex was made up from Rose Comb White Dorking and some other breeds, much as the Reds were produced in America. The strong points of the Orpington are their strong vitality, rapid maturity, excellent table qualities and their winter laying; their wonderful ability to stand confinement and their beauty of type and color.
Fish Scrap for Hens and Chicks. DR. SANBORN. It is twelve years since I began to use fish scrap for, my hens and chicks. When I first used it I was pleased with results, both as a substitute for beef scrap and as a help to fertility in the hatching season. Then when I was ready to use it the year around it suddenly went out of the market and I had to fall back in green bone and beef scrap. About two years ago I found that I could get fish scrap again. I bought five hundred pounds and fed it to my growing chicks and laying hens. Then I got a second five hundred pounds. How did I feed it? Let me tell you. My growing chicks on range are hopper fed. One of these hoppers I kept filled with the coarse fish scrap from the time the chicks got through with the brooders till they went to the winter laying house. Then I worked into the dry mash a fine sifted fish scrap and used it largely in place of other animal foods. Two growing seasons, and one'hatching season, has led me to believe that in this fish scrap I have something worth while. It helped fertility in my eggs for hatching —apparently—helped produce the two best season's crop of chicks I ever raised, and through it all my stock never were in better business condition. I understand that fish scrap is made of fresh codfish heads, dried, ground, sifted and bagged. It is about half bone and half fish meat. I have used it freely in my laying pens and the eggs have never had a smell or flavor of fish. My supply was bought of the International Glue Co., Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Mass.