I've kind of lost count of how many generations, but I've improved egg quality and hardiness by letting them grow up as free range as possible. I confine them for the necessary breeding pens, but I rotate them out back into the flock. I try as much as possible to follow the spiral breeding program of crossing cockerels back to older hens and using a cock of the previous generation over the pullets, but more often than not I am faced with using the male with the least faults over the best females. in 2013 I introduced some cockerels of the Sandhill line to improve size and type. So far, I am pleased with the progress the breed is making and am always thrilled to see new breeders fall in love with them.
Youngsters from 2014
Smokey parents. Note the CLEAN breast on this hen.
My sweety waiting for treats.
Young silver cockerel and old gold cock.
El Dorado - current Smokey sire
A little light to show, and plenty of faults, but he's pure for silver, no autosomal red, nice slate legs, small comb and wattles, shorter stockier build. I hope the hens fix the horrible tail angle, but keep the nice spread and feather width.
One interesting feather pattern.
December and January hatched pullets
Still seeing some red, but these girls are nice and big with slate legs, and starting to lay at 5 1/2 months.
Looks like some hens have bigger combs than others. My chicks are about 5 weeks old and I'm trying to figure out what I have of the three. Hoping for just one rooster and two hens.