Hey all. I was hoping to get a little advice here. I live in Nevada, and we have a ton of predators. I have a flock of 'wild' birds I've been developing over the past couple of years, sort of as a hobby. Definitely nothing serious, I have no real records other than my memory. I'm still perfecting these birds, only letting the ones I like live, while the others fill the freezer. So far I'm pretty happy about what I have going on, but I would love to hear some advice/input from more experienced breeders. This breeds characteristics goes as follows: Physically: Hens-Most are all black, some have minimal coloring. Dark shanks and faces, some have half crest-type things (breeding this out of them). They have very long wings and can easily fly into a tree or across the property (live on an acre) Roosters-Black at first, then grow into awesome red/orange/cream plumage. Big tails and wings, Can also fly long distances either low across land. Small darker comb, good fighters. Characteristics: Hens-All the chicks have been raised by hens from previous years, leading to a strong broody instinct. Hens will disappear to have chicks, showing up three weeks later with broods from 5-13 chicks. (This years stats) The hens go broody 1-4 times a year, the older a hen, the more often it goes broody. There is some game blood in these birds, the mother hens are aggressive, but they do a great job rearing babies. Hens will attack anything that comes near the chicks, including much larger animals, ie coyotes or stray dogs. Rooster-Defends the flock and keeps an eye out above. Is good with chicks. The mother hens, roosters, chicks, and adolescents all run the yard together and there are never any problems with inner-flock aggression. As a whole-These chickens run the yard wild, and have no shelter whatsoever. It began as an experiment one year, and had grown into something awesome. They survive wild predators, blizzards, heat, and anything else that comes their way. They sleep in trees or under sheds, depending on their age. They can fly crazy distances to avoid danger. For example, I recently had a dog come and murder off 19 chickens and 1 duck. (Worst thing ever...I've never experienced something this horrible before.) None of the casualties were these wild chickens. That alone has made me reconsider this little hobby. I want all the chickens on my property to have this extreme resistance to death. The biggest problem there is with these wild chickens is 1. They aren't pets. They don't like being held or petted, and 2. It's nearly impossible to catch them. In order to kill off the ones I don't want in my flock, I have to shoot them in the eye with a BB gun equipped with a scope. I like the type of bird I have now, but there are some traits I want to work on: -I'd like the body to be bigger-I'm planning on doing this by adding a new cock to the flock of some game variety, but show quality since SQ is always larger. -Keep the independent gamey characteristics without losing the ability for the cocks to coexist. -Eventually have them breed true. What I need help with: I need a new cock, and I need breed suggestions. I'd like to get as close personality-wise to what I already have, and hopefully close in color as well. All the birds I have now are related, and I've been doing the 'breed the fathers back to the daughters and mothers to the sons' deal, but I'd still like to introduce new blood this coming year. Here are some pics of my rooster from this year: Any sort of advice or anything will be well appreciated!! Thank you all in advance. I will probably change the name of this thread once I settle on a new breed to add to the mixture, and update how the experiment is going if anyone is interested. :] ETA: So I can't change the name of this topic, but perhaps I'll make another one if there is an interest there.