the-aloha-chicken-project

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  1. alohachickens
    Meet my colorful flock of Aloha Chickens!

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    What are Aloha Chickens? A few years ago, I saw a photo of "Swedish Flower Hens" on Feathersite. I decided they were exactly what I was looking for. The only problem was, back in 2008, there were NO Swedish Flowers in the United States! HMMM. What to do?

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    Above: Confetti colored Aloha hen.

    So, I set about trying to make my own All-American version of Blommehons, or Swedish Flower Chickens!

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    I couldn't call them "Swedish Flowers" if they were bred in America and had no Swedish blood, so I had to come up with a new name for this breed. "American Flower" just didn't have the same ring to it.

    I thought about Hawaii, our 50th State and the super-colorful Aloha shirts from there, and decided to call them "Aloha Chickens". (Even though I'm actually in Arizona!) The goal became to create a useful farm chicken that was also super-colorful. Sort of like if you took your Rhode Island Reds and dressed them up in crazy Aloha shirts!

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    Above: Three orange-mottled Aloha Chicken pullets.

    I had a hard time creating anything that looked remotely like a Swedish Flower Hen at first. I tried Exchequer Leghorns crossed with Speckled Sussex, but the chicks just looked like one parent or the other. Nothing new or exciting was happening, until I found one weird hen in a neighbor's yard. I have absolutely no idea what was in her background, but her color was unlike anything I'd ever seen before She was white with little flecks of gold and black all over. I guess the color would technically be called something like Creole or Crele with Mottling or the Pied gene - but I find it a lot easier to just call this color "Confetti".

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    Her son "Vanilla" wasn't that colorful, but he was a gorgeous rooster overall, big and robust, and I knew he carried all kinds of fabulous colors because of his Mom. "Vanilla" was the foundation rooster for my Aloha flock:

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    Above: Foundation Aloha rooster, "Vanilla"

    When the offspring of Vanilla were crossed together, the Confetti color proved very easy to reproduce!


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    Shades of Confetti vary from mostly dark with a few white flecks to nearly white with bits of peachy feathers peeking through here or there.

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    (Early Alohas have showed double combs and muffs, but future generations are being bred for clean faces, yellow legs, and single combs.)

    The Confetti color also appears in roosters:

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    Above: Patch, a foundation Aloha rooster.

    My Aloha flock is now very unique. Even though it started with a goal to just copy what was found in Sweden, already some new and exciting colors have appeared that are not found in Swedish Flower Hens. I have worked really hard to expand this bloodline, hatching out hundreds of chicks just to find the few truly special ones.

    I've had true red/white mottled (with little or no black):

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    Above: Flame, a red mottled Aloha rooster.

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    Above and Below: Red Mottled Aloha Chickens

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    Some lovely orange mottled Alohas, with black and white accents:

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    Above and below: Orange mottled foundation Aloha hens.

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    Another color that resembles a lighter Jubilee Orpington:

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    And also a very unique "Pumpkin" color that is usually only found in some lines of Game birds, (Pumpkin Hulsey Games)

    Below: Pumpkin Mottled Aloha Roosters.

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    Recently, I've had my first Buff Barred Mottled Rooster:


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    And a Buff Mottled Hen:

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    This is very much a breed in progress. Now I'm getting all sorts of fun colors but my Alohas are small, and even though they are good layers, the eggs are only small to medium in size. The goal now is to outcross the small Aloha foundation stock with five main popular laying breeds. These outcross breeds include: Speckled Sussex, New Hampshire Red, Buff Rock, Rhode Island Red, and Buff Orpington. The end goal is to create a big, hearty, dual-purpose farm breed . . . but dressed up in a very colorful package. Already some BYC'ers have stepped up to help, but more are needed to make this project a success!

    Feel free to follow my Blog here for updates and info: http://alohachickens.blogspot.com/

    This website is no longer updated, but it does have the history of the project for the first two years:

    http://www.alohachickens.webs.com/

    And, there is also a BYC thread you can follow to see updates by fellow members:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/600281/the-aloha-chicken-project

    It has been a ton of work, but I'm so thrilled with the progress so far! Please note the PHOTOS show chickens that DO NOT CONTAIN ANY SWEDISH FLOWER BLOODLINES! While I may introduce Swedish Flower Hens to the mix now that they are available in the US, the chickens shown on this page were all created in the U.S. without any imported stock. Cool, huh?

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    Above: Two colorful Aloha roosters.

    Aloha Chickens are very tough, strong, disease resistant, active and good fliers. Excellent layers of small to medium tinted eggs. They are currently small in size and show much variation but goal to eventually create a heavier, single-combed, yellow-legged dual purpose farm and homestead breed, while keeping the wonderful colors you see here.

    Have a great day and thanks for reading!

    - Aloha!

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    **UPDATE** March 2017 - Alohas continue to get bigger thanks to infusion of Light Sussex and Buff Sussex bloodlines.
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    In 2015, a Turken hen was used because she had great size, buff color, and yellow legs. The resulting offspring (Aloha Naked Necks) have been very popular with Turken enthusiasts. The Naked Neck feature has made them very heat resistant in the Phoenix temps and they have thrived. An unexpected "happy accident" that worked out wonderfully.
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Comments

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  1. chisandchicks
    I love the puffy cheeked ones!! I am getting some Alohas from a wonderful gentleman near me here in Arizona and I am excited to see the chicks I get from my RRI roo and my Hamburg-[White] Leghorn-x roo. Also, I have Speckled Sussex and Red Sex Links and Aracauna hens, so if I get an Aloha Roo that would be okay to! lol.
    I am just so excited about this project; I would like a heat-tolerant, dual purpose chicken.
    ** I do want to stay up to the Aloha's standard though...
    Any thoughts or suggestion y'all?
  2. SmallFarmChick
    wow. I love these guys!
  3. alohachickens
    To anyone who wants some of these - if you want to get a jump start with Sussex crosses, that will really speed up your progress. We have had pretty rotten luck with shipped eggs, so far, but we have new breeders set up in the Pacific NW (Oregon and Washington) and now in Kansas, too! But, if you have a flock developed of say New Hampshire Red and Buff Rocks or Welsummer hens crossed with a Sussex rooster, and keep some of the hen-chicks, all you will need is a couple of Aloha roosters to mix with those to get your own flock started. That might be helpful if we are dealing with shipped eggs. Hopefully, with new breeders in the Midwest and NW, the shipped eggs might hatch better, if they don't have to travel as far? More Live shipped chicks should be available this October, too. (Which is the most sure-fire way to get started.)
  4. alohachickens
    @highpointfarm - (and anyone else who wants to get involved.) A good "base" stock is Speckled Sussex crossed with any big, good egg layer in one solid color, like Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red, Buff Orpington or Buff Rock. Do be careful to avoid "sex links" like Red Stars or Golden Comets, as these cross-breeds might bring in some unwanted genes. Also avoid barred chickens (like Barred Rock) and use solid-color alternatives (like Buff Rock or Partridge Rock) instead. The Barring gene can get really dominant in a hurry! It's used in a lot of sex links, too, so stick with plain old "solid" buff or brown chickens for out-crossing, just so you know exactly what you're getting in the offspring. Then, add in your Aloha bloodlines for color. But if you already have some nice Sussex crosses, you'll be ahead of the game!
  5. bruceh
    i would love to have some these
  6. BullardBarnyard
    Goodness, so pretty! And with that, Aloha.
  7. wowmanacat
    I love the colors of your chickens. I am not sure what I have but I have some with black, brown, red and white in them. Most of the chickens that I have are barnyard mutt. I love the color of them.
  8. Nielsen6
    I want a few of these, they are gorgeous! Please let us know when we can get them.
  9. orpfancier
    What beautiful birds! I can't wait to see how the next generation will turn out.
  10. LaynaDon95
    Gorgeous!! What an amazing job!
  11. chickenlover237
  12. Chickielady
    Oh they are lovely !
    But even better is kudos to you for sticking to the task !!!!!!!!!!
    It is hard work, and most folks do not have the time & energy to see an "idea" through !
    You have done an outstanding job !!!
  13. I Heart Chicks
    I have an AMAZING Mille Fleur that would make the best chickens ever with your rooster Patch!!! wow!
  14. I Heart Chicks
    Your chickens are BEAUTIFUL!!! What do you use as gravel under foot and how do you go about cleaning it? I currently use hay and pine shavings...gets pricey. Thank you!
  15. highpointfarm
    @Alohachickens I would think that if the white would breed out the molting than a buff brahma would do fabulous... Since they are such BIG birds they should add some weight to your birds rather quickly i would think....
  16. tracylo09
    Absolutely stunning birds, Congratulations on the results of your on going hard work so far, it's certainly paying off ;0)
  17. Rachel96
    These chooks are so beautiful! If I didn't live on the other side of the world, I'd seriously consider asking for a few of your caste-offs! Even at the smaller size - I tend to breed birds of a slightly smaller size because I sell mostly to people who live in the city and don't have enough space for larger birds but want the eggs. Your birds are just gorgeous!
  18. ADozenGirlz
    Nice work, Larissa! It was worth the effort! :)
  19. QueenBeeMom
    What fun and wonderful chickens. I am new to the chicken momma scene, and can only have hens here in my backyard. I just love being let into the world of breeding, and I love it that my favorite chicken people can realize their creative goals through the chickens themselves!
  20. bruceh
    let me know when you have some to sell. i love these birds
  21. Reaper
    I would love to purchase a few of these birds they are really cool looking!!! and who can complain with a bird made in the good ole' USA melting pot bird for a melting pot country!
  22. michigangirl
    Very beautiful birds. Thank you for sharing.
  23. alohachickens
    @highpointfarm - Sussex crossed with RIR would be a great base for Alohas of your own! Hopefully I'll be shipping live chicks out again starting this Fall. (Unfortunately, the heat in Phoenix makes shipping live chicks impossible in the summer months.) The Light Brahma color may "white out" the Mottling - would have to do some more research. To play it safe, I've been using just Exchequer Leghorn, New Hampshire Red, Buff Rock and Sussex. But I do think Mottled Leghorns, RIR, and Buff Orpington and Welsummer should all work just fine, too!
  24. PeeperKeeper
    Beautiful and very interesting. Good Luck with this project. I enjoyed all the pics. Thank you/
  25. NEVAEH4
    WOW IS RIGHT They are beautiful i am very new to having chickens we live in fl on about 300 acres give or take. Just got our first 10 RIR and i have found that i really enjoy watching them and learning all about the different types thank u for all the great pictures.....
  26. AmyLM
    I would love to buy some eggs when you have some avalible :D
  27. mrshawman
    BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have the best looking birds I have seen. Great Job! Would love to have some.
  28. americana-lover
    they look alot like my Americanas!
  29. NoZolbitty
    Beautiful. Even as they are now, they'd be beautiful additions to backyards and gardens. I am curious, how is their disposition? With the growth of the "pet chicken" I think that is one feature you would not want to neglect
  30. highpointfarm
    Also I was thinking and i was wondering what would a small amount of light brahma do? would they get the neck feathering as well???? That could be BEAUTIFULL!!
  31. highpointfarm
    WOW these are amazing =] I am hoping to start doing something of the same.... I am going to try and cross HUGE speckled sussex roo, with soem of my best RIR's... And see what happens from there! possibly throw a tiny bit of barred rock, and buff orpington into the mix, and lets see what we can get =] BTW I am now following you on blog =] PLEASE keep us updated!
  32. alohachickens
    @SmallFarmChick - I hope to be selling chicks this fall. I've already shipped a couple of "test boxes" out of state and it worked beautifully!
  33. alohachickens
    @Whittni - I'm trying to keep the goals as very much a "practical farm chicken" which is why I don't want to get distracted with fuzzy feet, topknots, and the like. The end goal of the Aloha program is to get a chicken as useful as a Rhode Island Red, but with lovely spotted feathers in a rainbow of mottled colors. I've owned all sorts of fancy breeds, but in the end I always came back to hearty, healthy egg layers!
  34. alohachickens
    @TamTam84 - My friends and neighbors are always standing in line to get my "culls" which are often very beautiful. Many are given as gifts. Ones not used in the program may be excluded for something as small as the wrong leg color, but otherwise are otherwise lovely!
  35. Whittni
    You could get some feather footed ones by out crossing w/ d uccles
  36. Melvyn
    they are beautiful. some of your hens look like they are wearing sequin dresses
  37. iluvsedward
    breed them with barred rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <:D
  38. Thechickster
    Beautiful, my kids just went crazy over them!
  39. Helga777
    Your birds are so beautiful!
  40. tamtam84
    Beautiful birds!
    You said, "I have been hatching out around 100-200 chicks per year, but only about one in ten chicks is a really nice quality hen that I keep for the program." Just out of curiosity, what do you do with all the chicks you don't keep for the program?
    Sounds like a lot of work!
  41. Fluffballs
    Wow! Those are amazing, gorgeous birds! I love your idea of beautiful and useful birds! Those chicks are adorable!!!
  42. Lothiriel
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your chicken pics for the Picture Of the Week. Thanks for posting your chickens to our "My Chickens" pages! You can find more info about our POW here: BYC POW process
  43. SmallFarmChick
    Would you ever start a "mini hatchery" where people could buy chicks?
  44. alohachickens
    Thanks for the kind words of encouragement! This year looks like the most exciting one yet! Will update with more photos when the latest round of chicks matures. They are showing tons of promise. :)
  45. JK
    You posted some pictures on a project-thread and I became curious, but I think you've got a great project going on with stunning results! I'm not colse to you and am doing totally different project, but you really inspire me to do something with this colours and my own breed (the Brabanter). Keep up the good work!
  46. alohachickens
    Hi Puffycheeks!
    Right now, unfortunately, a few folks in the state of AZ are the only source of these, but I am currently trying to set up new breeders. There are two new breeders in the Pacific NW who currently have LIVE Aloha flocks, and will soon be three! I am also trying to set up about five new breeders this year using shipped eggs.
    I do share eggs or chicks at little or no cost to new breeders, but because they are so rare, I have to ask that new breeders be very dedicated to the project and willing to work on it for a couple of years. There just aren't enough right now to go to pet homes where they will not be bred. Hopefully as new breeders sign up, they will be able to meet the demand.
    Because there is a lot of variation, you have to hatch out LOTS of chicks and keep only the best ones. I have been hatching out around 100-200 chicks per year, but only about one in ten chicks is a really nice quality hen that I keep for the program. It takes a lot of effort to hatch so many and keep so few. It is a lot of work but very rewarding.
    They are small, and work needs to be done to get them to full size. They are in between Banty and full size. I'd say they are probably close to a small Leghorn. Hens are likely about four pounds and roosters maybe five to six pounds? These need to be crossed to big chickens to improve size. Until then - they are very much a work in progress!
    There is a thread on BYC called "The Aloha Chicken Project" that lists new breeders and lots of info! Check it out here:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/600281/the-aloha-chicken-project
  47. Puffycheeks
    HI, I just checked out your aloha chickens and I am now in L-O-V-E with them!! So very cool. Many years ago, My first breeding pair of chickens were Millie Fleurs and I loved then so much. The color is so similar even tho the looks are not :( . I was wondering what size the hens get to? Also, I would be very interested in your project. I used to raise various types of parrots and still have an old incubator that I used for them. .How would one go about getting a few of this type of chicken? Thanks
  48. alohachickens
    Aww, thanks! I hope that there will be many more available in the future, now that others are stepping in to help. :)
  49. judyki2004
    oh my! these aloha chickens of you are just gorgeous!!! I would love to have some!!!! Blessings!

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