Leg Color

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By Casey Joslyn


The shank/feet color is controlled by genes that affect the skin at different depths. The visible color is due to the combined effect of the different colors of the dermis and the epidermis. So, the shank/feet colors are a combination of upper skin and deeper skin pigmentations. The following table gives the shank/feet colors that result from the major gene combinations (the bird has two copies of each gene). It is important to remember that other genes can modify shank and foot color. For example, the sex-linked barring gene, B, is a potent inhibitor of dermal melanin. The Barred Plymouth Rocks, for example, would not have light shanks and feet if it were not for the fact that they have sex-linked barring. The female Barred Rocks tend to have darker shanks due to the dose effect of the barring gene. The following table is intended as a guide but should not be considered to be absolute, since (as mentioned) other genes, such as sex-linked barring, can modify shank/foot color.


  • Near Black with white soles W+,Id,E
  • White Shanks and Feet W+,Id,e+
  • Black Shanks, White Soles W+,id+,E
  • Blue Shanks,White Soles W+,id+,e+
  • Near Black with Yellow Soles w,Id,E
  • Yellow shanks and feet w,Id,e+
  • Black Shanks with Yellow Soles w.id+,E
  • Green Shanks with Yellow Soles w,id+,e+


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