Delaware x Ameraucana = EE; Anybody doing this?

austineight

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8 Years
Jan 8, 2012
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My plan is to start with two Egg laying flocks: EEs & Delawares. I want to be able to hatch more layers instead of buying each time. I thought that if I bought some purebred Ameraucana roosters I could let them & Delaware roosters breed with the delaware hens, then collect only brown (delaware) eggs for hatching. That way I would then have purebred Delawares and "homemade" EEs. Then I would process roosters for meat and keep pullets for the new layers.

I was wondering if anybody had done this cross and what the visual and hardiness results were. I plan on pasturing them. Green eggs I'm assuming, but what about leg color, comb, etc? Oh, and I was thinking of lavender/blue/wheaten Ams.

Also what do you think of this idea? That way I can keep both flocks together and still produce purebred Delawares....

Thanks! Would love to see pics!
 

Ridgerunner

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It’s an interesting concept. It could work for one generation but after that you can run into problems. There are a few “if’s”. I’m sure you are aware that the pure Delaware hens will lay brown eggs, no matter what rooster they are bred to. That wasn’t real clear to me in your write-up so I’ll just mention that. The difference in eggs shows up in the offspring.

You would have to use pure Ameraucana, not EE’s. Pure Ameraucana have both genes at the blue/white egg shell color gene pair blue. Blue is dominant so they will always give a blue gene to their offspring and the pullets will always lay blue or green eggs. EE’s do not always have both those genes at that gene pair blue so they might or might not give their offspring a blue. You could easily wind up with an EE rooster cross with the Delaware hen that lays brown eggs. EE’s typically have mixed color and pattern genetics too. They generally don’t breed true.

The offspring of the Ameraucana roo and Delaware hen will be split for that egg shell color blue/white gene, so you have lost that distinction in the second generation unless you always have pure Ameraucanas roosters. So you can’t breed you own roosters and keep that distinction.

The Delaware should be Wheaten, Columbia, Barred, and Silver. You would need an Ameraucana rooster with a genetic make-up that the offspring would easily be different on the first generation. I think your choices would work, but the Wheaten roo over a Delaware may give you some confusion on the males. Those females will be red. The Wheaten/Delaware cross actually gives you red sex links but the males will probably look a whole lot like a pure Delaware. Leg color may be your best means of telling them apart. I’m not very good on leg color genetics so I’m not sure. You might avoid the Wheaten Ameraucana roosters.

This breaks down in the second generation again. Not only do you lose the egg color distinction in the second generation, you are breeding EE pullets that lay green eggs but have half the genetics of their Delaware mother with a pure Delaware rooster. You can get different colors and patterns with those Ameraucana/Delaware offspring, including pullets that look a lot like Delaware and lay brown eggs.

It will work for one generation but even if you always use pure Delaware and Ameraucana roosters, it falls apart in the second generation.
 

austineight

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 8, 2012
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Charleston, MO
Thanks so much for your reply Ridgerunner. After I wrote the post I was wondering if I should have mentioned the EEs I was going to get because it made it more confusing. What I meant was that I'm going to get EE just to have for layers(to start), and not collect their eggs for hatching :)

I think what you're saying is if I have 5 purebred AM Roosters to pair with my Delawares then I have no way to keep replinishing AM cockerels down the line. In other words, yes I will have to use those two breeds over and over to get the F1. I'm not going to set green eggs. I guess it could get confusing in years to come.

So would it be better to get more real Ams including pullets, so that I will always have a supply of real Am cockerels? I love Ams but need to buy in greater quantities as we plan on selling eggs at market. The EEs would just do their laying for 2-3 years then be processed, and the goal would be to have my own hybrid EEs to replinish them. Or I could just slowly build up flock of Ams and stick with purebreds, but I sorta wanted to keep them all together, and thought that this idea would enable me to do that.

So no wheaten. Got it. I was leaning towards blue/lav anyway. Just to be clear you're saying that with the F1 cross should produce mostly green (blue from father, brown from mother) layers, who have greenish legs, maybe pea comb?, and beard? I guess I'm not sure of what traits carry through. Color seems to be a crapshoot.

Also I'm reconsidering Delawares after what I've read on here, seems like they are pretty easy to get wrong. I wanted them to be dual purpose, which is why I selected them, but now I'm not so sure. I've had RIR before and wasn't too fond. Wyandottes and Orpingtons both didn't lay as well as I'd like. Any other suggestions?

Thanks again, you've left me with something to think about.
 

austineight

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 8, 2012
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Charleston, MO
I was thinking of getting some Blue and Lav Ameraucanas from Paul Smith. Do you know what the sex linked colors would be? (I'm relatively new to this, don't know what the terminology is.) Although I do know what sex-linked means! :)
 

nicalandia

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Quote:if you get Blue Ameraucana rooster and mate him to your Dealware hens you will get 50% all black chicks and 50% blue chicks, the males will have a yellow dot on the head and females will be all black or all blue(with yellow underbelly) nice sexlinked Olive eggers if the Delaware produce dark brown eggs
 

Ridgerunner

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I’m not sure I totally understand all your goals, how many total chickens you are talking about of each breed, or your set-up limitations. I’m not sure how much you know about genetics either. I can talk kind of generally but maybe not get too specific.

You can only control the first generation. Once you start breeding crosses you can get a whole lot of different things. Exactly how much variety you get will depend on how much differences there are genetically in the parents. So no, you cannot breed your own Ameraucana cockerels unless you keep your own Ameraucana hens and only hatch those eggs.

I know some people are really strong about the qualities of different breeds, but I’m not one of those.

When the person selecting the breeders doesn’t pay attention and reinforce specific traits they want to reinforce the flock loses those traits in a few generations. I find the difference in strain more important than the differences in breed. For example, I read an article a few years back where someone that knew what they were doing split a flock into two flocks. They bred one of those flocks to be small while they bred the other to be large. I don’t know how many generations it took, but they had one flock with birds nine times the weight of the birds in the other flock. That’s the power of selective breeding and shows the influence of strain. These two flocks started off from the same gene pool and from inheritance were purebreds of that breed.

This assumes the person knows what they are doing, but if someone breeds for show-quality, and breeds only for what the judge sees, they can breed championship quality chickens but who knows what their productivity will be. If someone is breeding for productivity but not show quality they will produce well but will almost certainly be disqualified at a show. If someone is not breeding for a specific shade of brown, you can get a lot of variety in egg color. There are very few people out there that actually breed for SOP, production, and behavior. In my opinion, if you can find someone that knows what they are doing and are breeding for the traits you want, you will be much better off than just buying a breed.

Different hatcheries have different people selecting which birds get to breed. Some are better than others and they have different goals. Some may select closer to the SOP than others, but their basic goal is to mass-produce chicks that look somewhat like the breed. They do not match one rooster with one or two hens to maximize that but rather use a random pen breeding system. This keeps genetic diversity up but you are not going to get show-quality chickens from them. Their prices reflect that.

There is even more variety among breeders. Each has their own goals and level of competence. Some just take hatchery chicks and don’t even know what the SOP is. Some breed championship chickens. Some breed for different production goals. It can be really challenging to find someone breeding for what you want. I don’t have any suggestions as to that other than you need to know what is important to you. Without that base, you don’t have a chance.

My approach was to take different breeds of hatchery chicks and select as breeders which chickens produced the way I wanted them to. I’m slowly getting a flock that produces the way I want them to. They are not a breed, just barnyard mutts but I’m quite happy with them.

Enough of my rambling. Good luck.
 

nicalandia

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Quote:if you get Blue Ameraucana rooster and mate him to your Dealware hens you will get 50% all black chicks and 50% blue chicks, the males will have a yellow dot on the head and females will be all black or all blue(with yellow underbelly)

nice sexlinked Olive eggers if the Delaware produce dark brown eggs

Lavender Ameraucana Roo x Delaware Hens, would produce 100% all Black chicks, males with headspot and females wont, they will look like Black Sexlinks when they mature
 

donrae

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You might check with username speckledhen, she has birds she's called Delaweggers, that are ee/delaware cross. I can't recall right off if she used any pure Ameraucana stock.
 

nicalandia

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Quote:you could have Autosexing Delawares that Lay Blue/green eggs if you cross Cream legbars With Delaware, keep Back crossing to delaware to regain Body/type/size and select the chipmunk striped chicks to keep the e+ autosexing allele
 
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