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Breeding Sex Links - third generation

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Fred's Hens, May 4, 2012.

  1. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
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    Fred,

    This has been an interesting thread. I've toyed with the idea of hatching second generation ISAs but haven't gone so far with that yet. I would not have expected them to come out as white as they are.

    This may explain some of what I'm seeing in my Production Easter Egger work in which a third of the original hens were ISA Brown, another third White Leghorns, and the final third mixed Easter Eggers. The roosters were two white EEs of unknown provenance and one McMurray White Leghorn.

    I was expecting a very mixed bag of feather color and patterning but have been surprised by how white nearly the entire flock is thus far. Except for two that presently have a vaguely bald eagle look to them the rest are overwhelmingly white. Lots of minor leakage (mostly black) coming through but overwhelmingly white. I was expecting more red/brown from the ISAs but this may explain why I'm not seeing it.

    Still too early to really tell much about comb types (they hatched in mid-April) but I can already see I've got a least a couple of straight combs in there. It'll be interesting to see if those chicks show any of the common EE characteristics. I'd love to get a straight combed bird with the blue egg gene and ecstatic if it had yellow skin too. Pretty unlikely, but genetics will sometimes throw surprises.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    A.T. I'm sure, you aren't too awful surprised that dominant white covered up almost everything. But, we, like you, thought SOME other interesting patterns, colors, etc, might show up and have some eye candy appeal. Nope. Not so much. White indeed covers up stuff. [​IMG] What we were after was a good hen. Good layer, and good flock member. THAT is what we got. That is looks good in pure white? Just kind of bonus, I guess.

    I ordered a case of ISA chicks, as you did, again this spring. Of course, there's always the cockerel or two mixed in. I don't like paying for pullets and getting cockerels, but on the other hand. Having the odd cockerel to eat? That's a good thing. Having a sharp cockerel to keep for breeding? This can also be a good thing, as our little 3 year experiment shows.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    You're right. The primary goal is a practical one. They have to be productive layers of large (at least) eggs with a good shell quality. Feather color and pattern are not of importance for what I'm working on, but it was sort of a surprise. I kind of like the white with black splotches birds. Reminds me of the paint pattern. It'll eventually shake itself out.

    If I had the best of all possible worlds I'd end up with a clean legged, single combed, yellow skinned birds that laid plentiful, large, pretty blue eggs. Since I'm dreaming here I'll make them Orpington sized as well. Rather doubt the genetics can be made to work that way though.

    When I hatch next year's batch I'll begin to get an idea of what I'll actually get. Are you going to take the ISA descendants into a fourth generation?
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    [​IMG]

    A.T. Oh, certainly, we're going to go forward with the project. We know the hens to use, but still scratching our chins as to which Rooster to put them under. Since I just got an F1 wrongly mixed into my pullet order, we'll grow him out and take a look at him. We've got F2 and F3 males from which to also choose.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  5. Nsampsel

    Nsampsel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred, do you sell any hatching eggs from your F3 ISA's? I'd love to get my hands on a couple of these gorgeous birds [​IMG]
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Seeing as how you've already got good size I'd breed them back to the F1 boy you got in your last order to reinforce good productivity. A large bodied bird with good carcass qualities that also lays well is the homesteader's dream.

    I took a few photos of my Production Easter Egger birds a few days ago that I thought you might like to see:

    The original crosses were these:

    13 ISA Brown pullets with a white EE rooster of unknown provenance.
    13 McMurray Pearl White Leghorn pullets with another white EE rooster of unknown provenance.
    10 mixed but mostly dark pattered EE pullets with a McMurray Pearl White Leghorn rooster.

    We successfully hatched fifty two chicks from one big setting of eggs (the county fair hatching display) more or less even divided between the three groups.

    This is what they look like at about four weeks:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are two that look like the bird in the first photo with pattered brown over white and two that look like the bird in the foreground of the second photo of pale gold over white. Too early to say for sure but the two patterned browns I believe to be cockerels. The two pale golds likely pullets.

    All the rest of them - forty eight of the fifty two - look like the birds in the third photo. Overwhelmingly white with some minor leakage - mostly black - giving some of them a bit of a paint pattern. I've spotted a couple of prominent single combs in there already so those are almost certainly boys taking after their Leghorn daddy. Leg colors are beginning to come through, but it's early days yet. Too soon to say on tufts.

    When they are ready for the grow-out pen in another couple of weeks I'll do some early culling of the obvious boys. The rest will take a bit longer to discern.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Nsampsel,
    Sorry for not responding earlier. We are now hatching chicks from this year's extension of the project. I would prefer to grow out this year's chicks to see what we've got. We ended up using an F3 cock over F2 and F3 hens. Let's see what we've learned, if anything. If we like where this is going, we'll certainly be glad to share hatching eggs. I also want to grow out select pullets this summer and judge their egg size, quality and over all health. I'll simply have better information this fall. Keep in touch.

    What we are going for is the hen on the right, photo shown here, so often. I will allow this pullet to moult this fall, to judge her adult feathering. She'll be an anchor of next year's breeding program. And, yes, she is my personal favorite. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hagin, thanks for sharing those photos. Interesting project you have going there yourself. I know your stated goal is a white bird that lays a blue/green egg, right?
     
  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,390
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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    To me the feather color/patter is unimportant since I am working towards the purely practical goal of developing an EE bird that is more productive than average that lays at least a large sized egg with good shell qualities. But at this stage of the project it looks like they're going to be white birds.

    Of the fifty two that were hatched only four had any significant color beyond minor leakage. The two dark ones I am certain are males. The two gold birds I was not sure of until this last weekend. They were ready to be moved into their grow-out tractor but I did not have it quite ready yet so they were getting restless. Had to be vigilant against escape attempts. I opened their brooder to service the feed and water and one of them decided to make their break for freedom. Flew off the top of the hover like it was rocket propelled, but I was expecting something like that so I caught her in midair as she was going past my shoulder. Naturally she started squawking and one of the gold colored birds that I hadn't yet determined the gender on flew down off the waterer platform like Superman coming to save the day to bite me on the finger! "Well, I guess that settles what YOU are, young cockerel!" {laughing}.

    I took photos after moving them into their tractor (I had it ready the next day) and will try to get them up soon. I've read that peacombs are only incompletely dominant over single combs and this is readily apparent in this collection of birds where I am seeing a lot of singles. Some pronounced enough to be obvious cockerels, others still small enough to possibly be pullets. Legs are still coloring up but it looks like I'm going to have both yellow and green.

    I'll be doing the initial culling to eliminate the obvious males soon. Ideally I'll end up with a single combed, yellow skinned bird with the blue egg gene but I'll settle for the usually pea combed, green legged types if they lay productively of good sized good shell quality blue/green eggs.
     
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Our goal in this project was to cherry pick the best ISA Browns and breed them, using only ISA cock birds. Whatever "nick" or hybrid vigor achieved in the original cannot be passed on, that's fine. All we wanted to see is if we could achieve a healthy, reasonably long lived, thrifty, calm, 280 egg a year dual purpose bird out of the ISA stock, using selective breeding.

    As I said earlier, I'm not sure we're ready to make ANY grandiose statements about meeting those goals. There is interest in "forking" this experiment a couple different directions. One would be to re-introduce a red rooster over these white hens to see about sexlinking at hatch. I'd prefer to "fork" this by continuing with the pure white color, but crossing in a different white bird for an express purpose. Such as a white rock to increase carcass size while maintaining good egg laying. I'd also like to yellow up the leg coloration. That is where my interest lies. One time sex link things do not interest me much. Having a healthy line of DP birds that lay very well interests me much more.
     

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