I'm experimenting with hair particles to simulate feathers on a bird. I have painted a texture to designate the color of the individual strands. The texture has a simple node setup with UV texture coordinates, vector mapping, an image texture and diffuse shader. The texture is indicated in the render tab of the particle system. However, the hair particles are not taking on this color. The head and chest should have a green and purple color, but instead the body is a uniform grey. Am I missing something?

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Well applying a texture to hair particles is that easy.
All you need is a texture on the emitting object. The hair will use the color of the surface at the point where it attaches.

So you must have something else going on. From your screen shot it looks like you have the material (with the image being used). You have the particle system using that material. But do you have the mesh using that material?

Try a render with the particle system turned off. Does the object have the texture showing?
Particle system settings

If not then that is where your problem is. In edit mode select the correct parts of the mesh and assign the material.
Material tab of the properties window

Without your blend that is my best guess, that when you added other materials for your bird, some how it ended up that the material you are using the with the texture is not assigned to the mesh.

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