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the-aloha-chicken-project

 

 

Meet my colorful flock of Aloha Chickens!

 

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What are Aloha Chickens?  A few years ago, I saw a photo of "Swedish Flower Hens" on Feathersite.  I decided they were exactly what I was looking for.  The only problem was, back in 2008, there were NO Swedish Flowers in the United States!  HMMM.  What to do? 

 

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Above:  Confetti colored Aloha hen.

 

So, I set about trying to make my own All-American version of Blommehons, or Swedish Flower Chickens!  

 

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I couldn't call them "Swedish Flowers" if they were bred in America and had no Swedish blood, so I had to come up with a new name for this breed.  "American Flower" just didn't have the same ring to it.

 

I thought about Hawaii, our 50th State and the super-colorful Aloha shirts from there, and decided to call them "Aloha Chickens".  (Even though I'm actually in Arizona!)  The goal became to create a useful farm chicken that was also super-colorful.  Sort of like if you took your Rhode Island Reds and dressed them up in crazy Aloha shirts!  

 

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Above:  Three orange-mottled Aloha Chicken pullets.

 

I had a hard time creating anything that looked remotely like a Swedish Flower Hen at first.  I tried Exchequer Leghorns crossed with Speckled Sussex, but the chicks just looked like one parent or the other.  Nothing new or exciting was happening, until I found one weird hen in a neighbor's yard.  I have absolutely no idea what was in her background, but her color was unlike anything I'd ever seen before  She was white with little flecks of gold and black all over.  I guess the color would technically be called something like Creole or Crele with Mottling or the Pied gene - but I find it a lot easier to just call this color "Confetti".   

 

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Her son "Vanilla" wasn't that colorful, but he was a gorgeous rooster overall, big and robust, and I knew he carried all kinds of fabulous colors because of his Mom.  "Vanilla" was the foundation rooster for my Aloha flock:

 

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Above:  Foundation Aloha rooster, "Vanilla"

 

When the offspring of Vanilla were crossed together, the Confetti color proved very easy to reproduce!

 

 

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Shades of Confetti vary from mostly dark with a few white flecks to nearly white with bits of peachy feathers peeking through here or there. 

 

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(Early Alohas have showed double combs and muffs, but future generations are being bred for clean faces, yellow legs, and single combs.)  

 

The Confetti color also appears in roosters:

 

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Above:  Patch, a foundation Aloha rooster.

 

My Aloha flock is now very unique.  Even though it started with a goal to just copy what was found in Sweden, already some new and exciting colors have appeared that are not found in Swedish Flower Hens.  I have worked really hard to expand this bloodline, hatching out hundreds of chicks just to find the few truly special ones.

 

I've had true red/white mottled (with little or no black):

 

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Above:  Flame, a red mottled Aloha rooster.

 

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Above and Below:  Red Mottled Aloha Chickens

 

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Some lovely orange mottled Alohas, with black and white accents:

 

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Above and below:  Orange mottled foundation Aloha hens.

 

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Another color that resembles a lighter Jubilee Orpington:

 

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And also a very unique "Pumpkin" color that is usually only found in some lines of Game birds, (Pumpkin Hulsey Games)

 

Below:  Pumpkin Mottled Aloha Roosters.

 

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Recently, I've had my first Buff Barred Mottled Rooster:

 

 

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And a Buff Mottled Hen:

 

 

This is very much a breed in progress.  Now I'm getting all sorts of fun colors but my Alohas are small, and even though they are good layers, the eggs are only small to medium in size.  The goal now is to outcross the small Aloha foundation stock with five main popular laying breeds.  These outcross breeds include: Speckled Sussex, New Hampshire Red, Buff Rock, Rhode Island Red, and Buff Orpington.  The end goal is to create a big, hearty, dual-purpose farm breed . . . but dressed up in a very colorful package.  Already some BYC'ers have stepped up to help, but more are needed to make this project a success!  

 

Feel free to follow my Blog here for updates and info:  http://alohachickens.blogspot.com/

 

This website is no longer updated, but it does have the history of the project for the first two years:

 

http://www.alohachickens.webs.com/

 

And, there is also a BYC thread you can follow to see updates by fellow members:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/600281/the-aloha-chicken-project

 

It has been a ton of work, but I'm so thrilled with the progress so far!  Please note the PHOTOS show chickens that DO NOT CONTAIN ANY SWEDISH FLOWER BLOODLINES!  While I may introduce Swedish Flower Hens to the mix now that they are available in the US, the chickens shown on this page were all created in the U.S. without any imported stock.  Cool, huh?

 

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Above:  Two colorful Aloha roosters. 

 

Aloha Chickens are very tough, strong, disease resistant, active and good fliers.  Excellent layers of small to medium tinted eggs.  They are currently small in size and show much variation but goal to eventually create a heavier, single-combed, yellow-legged dual purpose farm and homestead breed, while keeping the wonderful colors you see here.

 

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

 

- Aloha!

 

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Comments (49)

oh my! these aloha chickens of you are just gorgeous!!! I would love to have some!!!! Blessings!
Aww, thanks! I hope that there will be many more available in the future, now that others are stepping in to help. :)
HI, I just checked out your aloha chickens and I am now in L-O-V-E with them!! So very cool. Many years ago, My first breeding pair of chickens were Millie Fleurs and I loved then so much. The color is so similar even tho the looks are not :( . I was wondering what size the hens get to? Also, I would be very interested in your project. I used to raise various types of parrots and still have an old incubator that I used for them. .How would one go about getting a few of this type of chicken? Thanks
Hi Puffycheeks!
Right now, unfortunately, a few folks in the state of AZ are the only source of these, but I am currently trying to set up new breeders. There are two new breeders in the Pacific NW who currently have LIVE Aloha flocks, and will soon be three! I am also trying to set up about five new breeders this year using shipped eggs.
I do share eggs or chicks at little or no cost to new breeders, but because they are so rare, I have to ask that new breeders be very dedicated to the project and willing to work on it for a couple of years. There just aren't enough right now to go to pet homes where they will not be bred. Hopefully as new breeders sign up, they will be able to meet the demand.
Because there is a lot of variation, you have to hatch out LOTS of chicks and keep only the best ones. I have been hatching out around 100-200 chicks per year, but only about one in ten chicks is a really nice quality hen that I keep for the program. It takes a lot of effort to hatch so many and keep so few. It is a lot of work but very rewarding.
They are small, and work needs to be done to get them to full size. They are in between Banty and full size. I'd say they are probably close to a small Leghorn. Hens are likely about four pounds and roosters maybe five to six pounds? These need to be crossed to big chickens to improve size. Until then - they are very much a work in progress!
There is a thread on BYC called "The Aloha Chicken Project" that lists new breeders and lots of info! Check it out here:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/600281/the-aloha-chicken-project
You posted some pictures on a project-thread and I became curious, but I think you've got a great project going on with stunning results! I'm not colse to you and am doing totally different project, but you really inspire me to do something with this colours and my own breed (the Brabanter). Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the kind words of encouragement! This year looks like the most exciting one yet! Will update with more photos when the latest round of chicks matures. They are showing tons of promise. :)
Would you ever start a "mini hatchery" where people could buy chicks?
Congratulations, we've chosen one of your chicken pics for the Picture Of the Week. Thanks for posting your chickens to our "My Chickens" pages! You can find more info about our POW here: BYC POW process

Wow! Those are amazing, gorgeous birds! I love your idea of beautiful and useful birds! Those chicks are adorable!!!
Beautiful birds!
You said, "I have been hatching out around 100-200 chicks per year, but only about one in ten chicks is a really nice quality hen that I keep for the program." Just out of curiosity, what do you do with all the chicks you don't keep for the program?
Sounds like a lot of work!
Your birds are so beautiful!
Beautiful, my kids just went crazy over them!
breed them with barred rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <:D
they are beautiful. some of your hens look like they are wearing sequin dresses
You could get some feather footed ones by out crossing w/ d uccles
@TamTam84 - My friends and neighbors are always standing in line to get my "culls" which are often very beautiful. Many are given as gifts. Ones not used in the program may be excluded for something as small as the wrong leg color, but otherwise are otherwise lovely!
@Whittni - I'm trying to keep the goals as very much a "practical farm chicken" which is why I don't want to get distracted with fuzzy feet, topknots, and the like. The end goal of the Aloha program is to get a chicken as useful as a Rhode Island Red, but with lovely spotted feathers in a rainbow of mottled colors. I've owned all sorts of fancy breeds, but in the end I always came back to hearty, healthy egg layers!
@SmallFarmChick - I hope to be selling chicks this fall. I've already shipped a couple of "test boxes" out of state and it worked beautifully!
WOW these are amazing =] I am hoping to start doing something of the same.... I am going to try and cross HUGE speckled sussex roo, with soem of my best RIR's... And see what happens from there! possibly throw a tiny bit of barred rock, and buff orpington into the mix, and lets see what we can get =] BTW I am now following you on blog =] PLEASE keep us updated!
Also I was thinking and i was wondering what would a small amount of light brahma do? would they get the neck feathering as well???? That could be BEAUTIFULL!!
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