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the sultan thread - Page 221

post #2201 of 2342
Originally Posted by yellowherb View Post

Flossy's egg was a late quitter.  I am bummed about it since I was so excited to see her chick.  I have since hatched out 1 more pure sultan chick. 

I'm up to 3 pure sultans and 2 sultan type mixes, 1 non sultan type mix.
It looks like a week before my next round is due to hatch.

One of my hatchery chicks is starting to get the type of head poof I like.  I want it to look like a giant bubble sitting on their head and not a Mohawk as seems more typical.  It's early days yet, so maybe...

I am upset that it seems the missing toenail thing is genetic and passes easily.  at least one of my chicks is missing a toenail.  The mixes are fine on toenails, it's a pure sultan problem.

So it is common for Sultans to have missing toenails? Hmm, Bubbles used to have all of his, until he lost the tip of his toe when he got it stuck in something.
post #2202 of 2342

I don't think it's common.  It's common for bad quality (hatchery) sultans I guess.  My Ideal hatchery sultans are missing toenails(over 50% of them).  My adult rooster and young rooster, of unknown origins are both missing nails.  I think only one of my hens has missing nails and it's from the same source as the young rooster.


I either have a foot fetish or sultans have foot/nail issues and I just happen to be ocd on it.  Flossy's brother had only 4 toes and was a cross beak, so I would have never used him in a breeding program.  But at least he had his toenails, which gives me hope that Flossy may one day have a rooster chick with all his toes and toenails and I can replace my two existing roosters.  I'm hoping this is a recessive gene.


I'm still keeping my eyes open for better breeding stock but at the same time I'm doing a project which in 4-5+ generations I hope will fix a lot of problems I see in sultans.  I'm not using polish for my crosses since most sultans are already crossed into polish, I'm starting from scratch and with good laying normal chickens and silkie mixes.  But this will be a balancing act of keeping my husband happy and trying to keep my numbers down.  Not a problem right now, since I only have 8 or 9 adults, but I do have 12 hatchery chicks and my own sultan chicks hatching as they may.  Most of the hatchery sultan chicks will most likely end up at auction or sold on craigslist since I'm being pretty brutal about what I keep.


I don't mean to come across as if I do not care about sultans.  It's really the opposite, I care a great deal about sultans as a whole and want to get them, as a breed to inspire people to add them to their flocks, to preserve them.  But one reason no one has a high interest except people who showis that Sultans are actually fairly useless as meat or egg birds.  No one wants to feed a hen who will maybe give you 1 or 2 eggs a week when there are much better hens out there for laying purposes.


I'm tempted to order more chicks, when my husband isn't looking haha..but there's no guarantee they would be any better than the ones I already have.  I noticed that Privett hatchery picture (you have to image search their crested breeds for one) is the exact same sultan as strombergs picture.  With things like this happening it makes me wonder if one or the other has such bad sultans they have been forced to "steal" a image from another to act as their representative sultan picture.  Or maybe privet and strombergs are actually related companies.


I have found a place which claims to have show quality sultan chicks for sale.  I have to order at least 15 chicks total of any number of breeds.. But again there is the worry of they have no pictures to show more than one sultan rooster which may or may not be their own. 


After the 4 toed crossbeak I'm also wary of ordering eggs.  Ok, I got Flossy, my best hen, from those eggs but I also got CB and a very weak runty chick.  Out of 6 eggs I did hatch 4 chicks, 2 were sickly with one dying eventually, 1 was 4 toed cross beak, one was small and I think eventually hawk food since he disappeared without a trace one day, and Flossy my girl.  6 eggs, one good chicken.  Which I suppose in the scheme of things is not bad, but I can't have just one founding bloodline or my sultans will keep getting weaker and weaker.  They need new blood and lots of it.


I'm not a show person.  I might talk shows and standards, but I do not show.  I do believe the sultan should meet certain standards, but since there's no SOP on them, this standard is in my head.  I do know it would be a heavy penalty to have a otherwise great sultan who might win a show, but have a missing toenail or three.  It would probably be disqualified.  I just love this breed so much it almost hurts to see all the hatchery "mutts".  And I mean no offense to hatchery sultans, some are very beautiful and regardless of any flaws they are still wonderful pet chickens.


4h and shows are what will ultimately save the breed as well as back yard owners who love this bird.  It's incapable of saving itself with it's poor egg laying and meat providing.  I apologize about my little book above but I am very passionate about sultans.  I truly do love them and think everyone in the world should have a pet sultan or 10 :D 

Edited by yellowherb - 3/19/16 at 6:57am

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock


Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

post #2203 of 2342

Yellowherb...thank you for the information about crossing with sultans.   That's great what your trying to do for the breed.  I agree they are probably not appreciated because of low/small egg production and non meat type birds.  I love my Sultans regardless!  They are calm, friendly, and interesting.  For no more that they eat, it is worth it to me to keep them for the pure enjoyment and relaxation I get from them.  They are exited to see me (like a dog) want to love on me (like a cat).  I don't mind at all that I get only a few small white eggs every now and then.  They are lovey and sweet, and have wonderful personalities!  But then again, I keep chickens for myself mostly...not for profit.  We have eggs for all our family, a few others.  We don't do it to make a buck, we don't even quite break even.  We enjoy our chicken pets! 

post #2204 of 2342

I call to mine and they all come wandering over, or if I have a bag of dried meal worms they run.  They will follow me across the yard just because they are curious.


I keep chickens just because I love watching them.  We do not eat many eggs but I do feed eggs to the cockatiels, budgies and chickens.  Scrambled.  I started the chicken hobby just to supplement the supermarket eggs which I feed to the birds.  I can easily use 5 eggs a day just for the birds.  But when looking at chicken breeds I seen sultans.  Wowzer.  I fell head over heels in love with how they looked.  I finally was able to find some hatching eggs.  Then a friend let me know about a small flock of adults for sale, so I bought those and added to my chicks from the eggs.  It's not unheard of to see me sitting in the yard surrounded by beautiful sultans, maybe one on my lap or them gathered around my hand which is filled with dried mealworms.  I'm sure my neighbors think I'm nuts lol.


I still use supermarket eggs, all my sultan eggs are set in the incubator.  I will pull clears and scramble those for the birds.


Good news though!!  I go to a livestock auction weekly if possible and last night I found 1 really great sultan rooster with all his toes.  He has a lovely head shape, he's in overall pretty rough shape and needs a good molt, but his comb is nice and bright.  I also bought another which was with him and even though he's not as nice, he has all his toenails and a pretty good shape.  My two existing roosters will unfortunately have to go to auction next week.  4 roosters are just too many and my neighbors would likely kill me or them haha.


My two new boys are in quarantine and I plan to look them over really well today.  It was pretty late when we got home.


I also promised my husband I will take all the hatchery sultan chicks with missing nails to auction.  Regardless of if they are male or female.  I figure I might as well get brutal with my "cull" before I grow to attached to any.  When the others grow out, then I will have to have a smaller "cull" (cull means auction to me unless it's deformed).  My smaller cull will remove any roosters which may not be as good as I want and remove roosters to keep me down to only 2 roosters. 


Ultimately my plan is to separate into two flocks.  One rooster for the colored project with all the various pullets I have for him and the best rooster with my sultan hens to work on perfecting those to my satisfaction.

Edited by yellowherb - 3/20/16 at 5:25am

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock


Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

post #2205 of 2342

Curnow, I don't know if I mentioned it and I'm far too lazy this morning to scroll back and check..


Using a sultan hen with a non sultan rooster gives the best shaped and most sultan like chicks.


using a normal hen with sultan rooster gives a more normal looking chick.

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock


Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

post #2206 of 2342

A new sultan chick was just born.  My husband marked the eggs and I think he marked them wrong since I'm sure this little guy was early.


It's impressive and disappointing at the same time.  Loving the HUGE head bump but if you look closely you will see a missing toenail.  That head bump isn't fluff.  All of my own chicks so far have great head bumps, but they also have missing toenails urgh!!  This little guy's head bump is right up there with CB's (my avatar chick) in size.


* My two new boys had mites.  I treated them and also wormed them just in case.  They are very skittish and act as if they have never been out of a cage or coop/run.  They are as ugly as homemade sin being bright yellow as they are and dirty from the mites.  They make my old roo look like a beauty queen/king.  I did notice the best of the two has a crooked nail on his toe (same toe this chick above is missing the nail on).  This toenail thing is making me crazy.

Edited by yellowherb - 3/22/16 at 4:28am

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock


Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

post #2207 of 2342

I am interested in this thread so I thought I would jump in. I love learning more about these Sultans.

I have a beautiful Sultan hen that was susposed to be a silkie when I got her from the feed store. Surprise!


One of the silkies that was with her just hatched out some eggs and I think I have a Sultan cross. I didnt expect that because I wasnt even sure Powder was laying eggs. She has been so different than any of my other chickens. She would just sit on her roost for the longest time and I would hardly ever see her off of it. She is starting to socialize a bit more but she is defiantly in her own little world. The bigger and older hens never pick on her but she is the last one to find the treats and the last one to come out to eat. 


The roos we have are a black bantam cochin, a cochin mix and a pure Brabanter. Anyone have any idea what he/she may look like?


post #2208 of 2342

That will be a interesting chick :)


Sultans are recommended for people who must confine their chickens.  They do well with it, but someone forgot to tell mine that.  They are waiting each morning at the coop door to be let out.


They are pretty bad at foraging, they do try sometimes, but give up quickly and head back to the food pan since foraging is just too much work lol.  I have to keep food in their coop and under the deck where they hang out.  They started loosing weight and finally it occurred to me that it's because they are not eating during the day while out.


When I first got my adult flock of sultans they sat in the coop 3 days before they would come out.  And when they did finally come out they did not go far.  I only have 3/4 acre but the sultans have never seen the other side of the yard.  I actually like this since I had to give away some Wyandotte's who ventured into my neighbors yard and garden.  No worries on the sultans flying over the fence to get there.  They are happy at home. 


I have large fowl sultans, so I'm not sure how much difference there is in bantam to large fowl.  But my youngest pullet is still a small girl, no where near adult hen size and she's already started laying eggs and she's a daily layer!  I'm guessing she's about 5 months old but started laying around 4 months.  My pullets did not join the flock until they started getting ready to lay.  They would wander around on their own and run from the other chickens.  They had no interest in being with them.  Now the pullets stick like glue to the rooster.


A lot of people love silkies, but I can't figure out why more people do not get sultans.  They are such lovable chickens and so comical to watch, and friendly too!  Maybe if sultans were more common and people were exposed to them they would be more popular.

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock


Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

post #2209 of 2342


Yes, you are so right. I think if more people were exposed to these birds they would gain in popularity. I had no idea how quirky, friendly and beautiful they were until I acdentially got one. lol Maybe its the name...Sultan...maybe sounds too fancy or exotic.


Wow, three days before they came out? I think it took Powder several months to come out of the coop.

When I let the others free range in the yard Powder does come out now as well but like you noted, she does not go too far, I like that as well. We live on almost 4 acres. The backyard is about half an acre. We have a heavily wooded area behind us and we have had several bobcat attacks as well as hawks. I would not want to lose her and she is much more visible than any of the others. I had read a couple posts about them getting dirty. That is certainly not my Powder, I dont know how she stays so bright white! Maybe that is why she doesnt like to come out, she wants to stay clean.:gig 

On foraging...

The other day I cut up several strawberries for the flock. I wanted to make it more fair because I have a lot of hens that are really fast and very greedy. I wanted everyone to get a little taste of them. I was throwing them into the run and poor little Powder could not manage to get even one! I notice that sometimes she backs up when she tries to eat. I was wondering if she has vision problems.


I have a question...

Since she was in the bin with the silkies at the feed store how do I tell if she is a bantam or LF? I will go take a picture of her, maybe someone can tell me if she is any good for breeding. I would not mind getting a Sultan roo.

Edited by 16 paws - 3/24/16 at 2:51pm
post #2210 of 2342

If it was with the silkies, she's probably a bantam.  I would love to have both bantys and LF but my hubby would kill me.  It doesn't stop me from looking in the bins at TSC though.  Judging from chicks I got from ideal hatchery, sultans might be hard to spot.  My hatchery chicks had nearly no head bump at all, where the chicks I hatch from my birds have a massive head bump.  I thought they were deformed when I first hatched out crested lol, no one warned me.


I took one of my pullets to the high school when I gave the biology classes a lecture on genetics.  So many people stopped us in the hallway to ask what she was.  Several did not believe she was a chicken.  They said I know chickens and that's not a chicken!  The principal was taking pictures of her wandering around the classroom and sat in on one of the lectures.  A couple of the girls said they want Sultans now.


The bantams should weigh under 2lbs where the LF hens are about 4-5lbs.  Not a big chicken at all.  I would love to see a huge, Godzilla sized, Sultan.  So I got a LF brahma pullet for my project lol she's going to make my roosters look like little bantys.


Odds are my Sultans came out quicker because they were older adults and had a rooster.  My oldest pullet had a flock of polish, mille fleurs and her sultan brother so she was more outgoing.  The youngest sultan pullet had her brother with her when I bought her.  She is a crazy little bird.  I named her meilikki for the finnish goddess of small game.  She crouches down and chases birds, bugs and squirrels.  It's hilarious, she's like a stalking cat with her rear high up in the air and head nearly on the ground as she runs at them.


you are totally correct on how clean they are.  Mine stay mostly white and they hang out under the deck in dirt.  They have had a few grey days when we were digging out back and they found nice silty loose soil to dust bathe in.  It's storming and rainy outside right now.  They are going to look weird when it's over.  But they should be brilliant white when they dry haha.


Yesterday I fed them left over berries and fruit from my big hookbills.  They loved it.  Poor things do have a difficult time seeing under that crest overhang.  It' not uncommon to see them backing up or walking up to something and being stumped on how to move around it.  One of my girls will often get a feather wet when drinking and then she starts head bobbing trying to catch the feather.

I love these guys!

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock


Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

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