My 2011 plan is based upon one well shaped hen, Kiko. Here she is @ 2 yrs old. Brushing up on genetics info... my belief is that I need to narrow the gene pool of my flock in order to accomplish several of my goals for mille fleur cochin breeding:
Prior breeding has involved birds from various sources. Purchases or chicks from shipped eggs gave me a base to start in this color variety. But also brought in greenish colored legs, missing toes, huge variety of chick down color and too much UNKNOWN. Chick color---those with yellow down turned out lemon rather than buff/mahogany; yellow downed chicks tend to grow too many solid white feathers; buff/gray chicks have too much partridgey look to them at maturity. So far, am finding chicks with black speckling on the head and a reddish buff brown body or with chipmunk striping to grow to the most appropriately colored adults. Chicks with strong chipmunk striping lacked grow to look "partirdge". I feel had too much variation in the adult mille stock. Part of my tendency to variety was lack of education but also I worried if I lost birds...or what if I lost all the roos....just worry, worry, worry stuff. It helps to get a couple years poultry experience, confidence and really ...never stop learning or being open to new ideas.faint
- better body type
- consistent leg color
- consistent chick down color (leading to consistent adult plumage)
So Kiko and several of her daughters will be matched to a mottled roo Boots has the mass & shape badly needed for MFC. Granted I'd lower his stance but in the pics Boots' rump is trimmed for breeding. The progeny will be bred to one another or back to Kiko & her daughters. We'll see....I am a hobby breeder...maybe reaching 100 chicks last year. All the chicks from Boots will look black mottled but in another generation the black mottling will start to disappear....I hope to "fix" a better body type on the MFC using the black mottled. I've found the value of specific matings rather than a couple roos running with 7-8 hens and just hatching eggs out from that group. There's just little way to track anything by the group. The specific matings was one reason I picked Kiko & her daughter---
- she lays well shaped, nicely shelled eggs
- her chicks have yellow feet
- her chicks are reddish buff with head speckles
- she passes on fairly decent body type for a mille fleur
Ember is 2010 pure mille fleur cochin from Kiko/Tanker. Alot of white but some improvement on type, she's only 4 mos old in photo
4/5/11 Some February chicks (2 mos old) I plan to hold back--The pullets already show a shape I'd like to see at this age, the one on front left. Though the 2 cockerels are ganglier, but are out of Kiko & Rusti. The cockerels seem to develop later though some are pretty narrow at the start so they go. Others get a blocky, squat look I like to hold onto.
Ember's growing up so nicely
A split pullet from Spring 2011 hatch--
6/4/2011 Some pure MFC cockerels thanks to Twinlights!
Diamond (split to mille) 6 months in pic, from Boots & Harlee an MFC hen. She's showing body type I'd like to see in a split!
Some pure mottled prospects growing nicely...
Blue mottled pullet
9/27/11 The pure mottled pullets
Recent hatch of milles, splits and pure mottleds
Very reddish MFC chick Pure blue mottled at bottom and blue split at top
11/6/11 2 roosters we're using this fall
I happy with the progress seen in this hen. Glad to see better type showing up in the MFCs. She's a full year old in this pic.
Reddish chicks now at 3 months 1/6/12. I hope these bring black throughout my hens. As my females tend to lack chevrons in the breast. Buff columbian
influences strongly in my older birds restricting black to hackle, wings & tail tips. These 2 pullets show more partridge breeding..
One cockerel from Oct 2011 hatch, 3 months old.