Aloha Chicken Project, Update Sep. 2010

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by alohachickens, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Just updated my web site! Great news, everybody - the project is WORKING! I can't believe it!!!





    For those of you who haven't read about it already on past posts, I've been trying to make an "American" version of Swedish Flower Hens. Goal: Colorful mottled chickens, many colors within the same flock, including a more heavily-mottled (mostly white) color. Similar to Speckled Sussex but in more colors, but same basic body type and productivity. Know what's really interesting? There is almost ZERO Speckled Sussex in this flock, most work has been with this one crazy-colored Banty hen. Now I'll be working on getting the body type bigger, (they aren't truly banty sized anymore, but still smallish) and getting even less black and even brighter colors!

    One step at a time, but heck, finally seeing some real progress! The newest batch is showing very consistent body type - this is starting to actually look like a BREED. I'm amazed!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    They are beautiful! good work!
  3. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    very pretty. what color eggs are they laying, I saw some muffs and was wondering if they had some EE in them.
  4. silkieroo

    silkieroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Durham NH
    Those are cool!! Nice work! [​IMG]
  5. Coopa Cabana

    Coopa Cabana My Coop Runneth Over . . .

    Aug 30, 2009
    My Coop
    Congrats on all the hard work that is finally paying off! They're beautiful!

    I have a question regarding the "Confetti's" - those with more intense white mottling. We have seen this arise in the Mille Fleur Cochin projects, and we have named them "Calicos". Genetics author Sigrid van Dort (Genetics of Chicken Colours) believes the excess mottling is probably due to an "hysterical mottling gene", which is also seen frequently in Seramas. It causes the mottling to extend further up the feather shaft, rather than just at the tip of the feather. Do you think possibly that's what you have with the Confetti's?
  6. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Neat! Thanks for sharing! They are adorable!
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    [​IMG] Ohhh, pretty! I did catch part of the thread about the orange chickens and I keep thinking about this project from time to time. If I had found out about it before we ordered chicks this summer I might even have waited until next spring to see if I could get some because I think they are just beautiful. If we ever win the lotto and get our dream farm, aloha chickens is one of the breeds I would like to actually breed (along with maybe some dorkings and wheaten marans).
  8. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Quote:I am honestly not sure what causes it. I noticed that some of the "Swedish Flower Hens" had extensive white mottling, see the LAST TWO PHOTOS on this page here:

    Notice the last two photos? Ones captioned "A couple more flower hens" and "Another Flower Hen"

    Anyway, I was just cleaning my backyard out one day, a couple of years ago, and noticed the neighbor had this strange little banty hen - she totally reminded me of Flower Hens! I do know a lot about horse/cat/rabbit genetics, but hardly anything about birds. (That plus five years of 4-H experience is about all I've got - certainly no expert here!) So I tried outcrossing her, and even though I don't know exactly what is going on, I have figured out that the genes are recessive - because the oddball Banty's "kids" didn't look just like her, but when I backcrossed the lines, all of these CLONES of her calico/confetti/whateveryoucallit color started popping up!

    Now I see that the Swedish Flower Hen has actually been imported to the U.S., which is fantastic, but I'm going to carry on with Alohas. I am going a little bit of a different direction with the Alohas. I would (ideally) like a body heft and depth very similar to NHR and Buff Rocks, and also I like the very, very vibrant colors - I see myself moving away from the browns and heading into as much red/orange/gold tones. I'd like Alohas to be super-plump and really vibrant. Like, leave it to Americans to make everything they touch and make it bigger and as gaudy as possible, LOL. If Swedish Flower Hens were like a field of colorful flowers, ideally Alohas would be like the Las Vegas Strip. LOL!!!

    However, in terms of size I have a looong ways to go. These guys are not true "banty" size anymore, they are currently pretty similar in body size to the (unrelated) Exchequer Leghorns that I used to have a few of. Maybe four to six pounds? But if you look at my web site, there is a HUGE size difference between my Alohas and the purebred Buff Rocks. I see it taking fully another two years (minimum) and possibly three or four years to truly increase size. That's because with the colors being recessive, you have to outcross to bigger birds, and then cross back to bring in the color again. That means when you do that way, by the time you backcross and bring the color BACK in, the chicks would only be 1/4 "big chicken" like NHR, Buff Rock, etc, etc.

    What is absolutely SHOCKING to me, however, is the similarity between what I'm doing and the Swedish Flower Hens shown on the Greenfire Farms site, in terms of colors. I've already had red/white/blue mottled; and there is one brownish hen, with her head turned away, that I swear the plumage looks EXACTLY like Kona, the daughter of the little odd banty. So here I am, kind of floundering around, somewhat clueless but kinda educated, and BOOM - I'm actually getting somewhere!

    Thanks to that odd little banty, I might add - there is simply no way I'd have made this kind of progress without her. Although I might add I've been working my tail off over here, breeding (literally) hundreds of chicks, and following that big advice - breed extensively, and cull ruthlessly. (Don't get me wrong, all my extra Aloha stock has found good homes elsewhere, but it is maybe one out of 30 chicks hatched so far on average that has made it past the culling process.)

    I see about three Confetti hens out there already that have a bit too much black for my tastes, so will probably find a good pet home for those girls. Really excited about Caramel, she's a light tan with white mottling and hardly any black! Plus some of the best Confetti hens are really striking. Just will be a bummer to have to wait for my new NHR cross roos to mature, they are my first attempt to bring in some really BIG size in . . . took a NHR roo and crossed with small mottled hens, and kept the babies. All of them are solid brown, because mottling color is recessive, but they should carry mottling, and at only 3 months old, they are already as big as the adult Confetti hens? I can't wait to see how it turns out!
  9. stoneunhenged

    stoneunhenged Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    I think your project is really cool and wish you the best of luck! You've made some real progress is realizing your vision. Your birds look great.

    We at Greenfire Farms imported Swedish flower hens in June and have had the ability to view them firsthand. The orange speckled hen you created and show above looks very similar to a Swedish flower hen. I'm not sure about her body size, but the body shape is correct. The feather color pattern is very close. The most obvious difference I see is in leg color. Here's a picture of young Swedish flower hens taken in Sweden that might be useful:


    Keep up the great work!
  10. pidgey104

    pidgey104 Cochins R Us

    Nov 10, 2007
    Panama City ,Florida
    I will like to join in with your project. I'm getting my first speckled sussex eggs next week. After I get rid of all my other birds I'm planing on keeping my sussex for laying. But you project are very pretty and I would love to help you in making this breed.

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