Originally Posted by cashdl
Don't mind the look of the araucana hens in the photo, they were going thru a heavy molt. They look like pecked dinosaures in that photo. I should have posted a better one on my website.
Production blue egg layers is interesting. I wonder why they are doing it other than novelty.
My understanding is a "friend" of Dr. Bramwell had started this and he had some room for hatching eggs. It is just a project, but seems they breed "true". The eggs are the exact same shade as the Black Breasted Red Araucanas that we got from him that day. I was told the look like a pea comb Blue Sumatra with a beard.
Originally Posted by tadkerson
Commercial blue egg layers will not happen. They do not candle very well. I worked for six years on a production blue egg layer. The Leghorns I used contained genes that lighten the blue egg color to the point they were almost white. I could not get a descent blue color on the eggs. The university may be producing them for the back yard.
As pointed out by Ridgerunner, the UA has lots of resources. It appears the Blue egg is fixed well in this line.
Dr. Bramwell has over 11 years of college. He clearly understands the genetics in poultry. His job is teaching and research in the industry. His passion is Exhibition Poultry. These may never arrive on the WalMart shelf, but should sell well at a Farmer's Market or Roadside Stand.
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner
From rankings I've seen, the University of Arkansas has one of the top three Poultry Science departments in the USA. Tyson headquarters are located in this area. The Poultry Science building on campus is named after a Tyson. A lot of the research done in poultry science is done by students at universities and funded by industry. That is standard at any university in any field. They are always after grants, donations, and scholarships. If an industry is willing to sink a lot of money into grants, donations, and scholarships at a specific university, they can strongly influence which departments at various universities become tops in their field.
Dr. Bramwell is one of the professors teaching poultry science at the U of A. Part of the research done at U of A involves genetics of commercial laying chickens, so Dr. Bramwell has access to the commercial chicken lines.
The way I read this, this is not a research project paid for by the commercial chicken industry. If it were, the hatching eggs would not be available to 4-H and FFA students or anyone else. There would be contracts in place to keep this research top secret, so these are also far enough removed genetically that this is contractually OK. If this were for the commercial chicken interests, I would expect there would be two lines developed to be crossed so you would have sex links, not just one line not sexable at hatch.
This very much sounds like a fun little project Dr. Bramwell is doing on the side. I only met Dr. Bramwell once at a "Keeping Backyard Chickens" seminar. I don't know his background. I do know another U of A poultry science professor that now breeds chickens for fun and has shown chickens in the past and won ribbons. It is not unusual for any college professor to have a passion for what he teaches and to have little projects on the side related to his field.
Dr. Bramwell and others in the Poultry Science department give speeches and participate in seminars for backyards chicken enthusiasts, as well as for breeders of show chickens. When I call my county extension agent with a chicken related question, the agent puts me in touch with a professor at the U of A. These are some of the people that participate in the task force that investigates any chicken disease outbreaks in this region.
I assure you Dr. Bramwell and the other professionals in the U of A Poultry Science department know the difference in Ameraucanas and Araucanas. I did not see where Dr. Bramwell provided any of those photos.
I'll subscribe to this thread and hope that Jim keeps up with photos as they hatch grow. Since these chickens are for eggs and I raise mine mostly for meat, I will not get any of these eggs, as much fun as it sounds. They just don't fit my goals and I don't have the money or space for side projects.
Jim, you know Dr. Bramwell and the others at the U of a better than I do. Please let me know if I got something wrong.
Very well said. In the 1940-50 every University had a poultry science program. Now there are only 5 and one looks like it will close soon we are told. UA is considered the top poultry science program in the country.
The photos were all posted by me and with a swift internet search. My bad. I have corrected them. No photos of these Blue Egg layers exist to my knowledge. Wew ill keep all we can taht hatch. we plan on keeping the best two males (whatever that means), and all pullets. Dr Bramwell DOES NOT ship eggs. However, we will ship, so this fall we can make these available to others outside Arkansas. My wife wanted a laying flock so she does not have to buy eating eggs. I find it a bit hard to eat Orpington hatching eggs. I love farm fresh eggs....but I also like cash! I sold 6 Lemon Cuckoo Orpington eggs this last week for $50. Thats 25 dozen eggs at WalMart! How do you eat valuable hatching eggs.
Anyway, we are planning on keeping these Blue egg layers as a laying flock.
Dr. Bramwell's background is backyard poultry then exhibition poultry in Arizona. He then attended various colleges to study poultry science. His pasion is still backyard/exhibition poultry. But commercial poultry pays his bills. He stated that his mother asked what he actually did. He said, "I talk about chickens." "And they pay you to do that?" Actually, the Unversity of Arkansas pays him to talk about chickensw, teach about chickens and do research about chickens. Dr. Dustin Clark is the disease expert. He can talk for hours about yucky stuff that oozes out of sores. Dr. Bramwell sticks to genetics and the actual how to. We have some execcelnt staff at UA. The industry needs young people properly trained and the UA is the best.
Ridgerunner got his info about right. This is a fun project and may develope into something useful. If not, it will at least provide us all some breakfast and some lively discussion. I will try to get some actual photos of the breeders. Dr. Bramwelkl is a memebr of BYC, but we are told he does not sahre his identity. So one of these posters may be him. I know Ridgrunner is not, and I am not. I will try to email him today and ask for photos.