Originally Posted by caychris
Ill get some pic the next time Im at Neal's but we are having a lot of barring in this latest batch of Chicks. Its making me think that the other cockerel we had (not Kathys line) is responsible for the color pattern on the two oldest females hatches we have.
We are seeing some red bleed through after the latest molt on some of the birds we got from Kim and it seems to be carrying over to some of the offspring. Just small patches of red feathers.
I also have a lot of red or buff barred feathers popping up in the 1.5 year olds who are going through molt right now. It seems to be present on every single "culled to the laying flock" bird, those are all the females with laced neck feathers (instead of barred) and a couple heavily barred/lots of extra black bleeding through "overcolored" females. Because last year I pretty much culled the females for color as my spidey-sense told me the overcolored birds would be bad news and we were doing "okay" for type.
I'm holding my breath to see if it shows up on all the females I used for breeders last year, too. For sure I see it on some of those, too. I hope I have a few I can reuse.
Mr Fatty is looking mighty golden at the moment, but I'm not sure what stage he is in with his molting, so I'm not panicking just yet. Happily, PapaDel (my foundation trio male, one of Kathy's F4s) is still not looking at all brassy and has zero red or buff barring on his body feathers, though I think I spot a smidge of brown in one of his streamer-like sickle feathers of his tail. I say if that's all the red/brown he is showing by now then he is probably not the source of the problem in my flock.
I think my path through this COLOR problem is to breed the by-then-2-year-old females back to PapaDel next spring, presuming I end up with any that are still just black and white, and hold this year's pullets for a full year before making breeding choices.
I'm undecided what to do with the cockerels at this stage. For sure I'll keep at least one, and I've already sent one off to the youth partner in our team. I think the path through the wing (joint) issues requires using someone besides PapaDel as for sure his wings could fold up better. And now I know how to check for that.
I'm not doing a great job of moving away from PapaDel just yet ... I think he is a really nice bird, but his chicks aren't as consistent (color-wise) as the ones I hatched this year from his son and I used the same group of females, so that was a decent test.
I have to say, for building a solid breeding team and establishing the best possible breeding families for the future, we picked out the one of the two best Mr. Fatty cockerels (so far), and the best pullet from the PapaDel team to send home with our youth team member. And Zanna & I are already committed to sharing the best between us.
I just don't think we'll make decent progress with culls. These birds are already a lot of work. We don't need the extra headaches of breeding DQs to each other and hoping for the best. Not if we can help it anyway.