Developing My Own Breed Of Large Gamefowl For Free Range Survival (Junglefowl x Liege)

SunflowerKing

Chirping
Sep 8, 2021
97
90
68
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These are the two surviving aseel x Liege. All of their siblings have perished from the "rain sickness" (and a couple from hawks when chicks) but these two are resilient. To the extent that I was unable to quickly spam a flock of crosses due to their intolerance of whatever it is in my environment they can't handle, I consider the aseel x Liege to a failure. However, that doesn't mean that the brother x sister crossing won't lead to good results, or that crossing either of these two birds back into others won't work well. I do plan to cross these two both to each other and to every other kind of bird I have to see what the results are. The pullet is absolutely gorgeous for the body type I want a hen to have and the cockerel looks like a dinosaur.

I penned up Number 1 (my Cracker brood cock) and turned the Blueface stag out to free range. He's been in a coop his whole life so he has a lot of shaping up to do. I consider him overweight and dumpy looking at the moment. He's roughly 8 months old. However, the trend has been with the Americans I've raised that they generally do look their worst about this age and don't start looking better until after the 1 year mark and after a lot of free ranging. So I'm going to give this one at least until Spring until I decide whether he survives the next round of culling. My wife already likes him so I may be stuck with him either way.

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From this point, I think I am most interested to see where your number 1 cracker and the aseel x liege winds up. I had such high hopes for this bird but I am relieved in knowing you plan to continue. I am certain you are on the right track.
 

Florida Bullfrog

Songster
May 14, 2019
670
1,604
217
North Florida
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Major setbacks for the Cracker to American/Blueface cross project.

The cream egg on the left is a typical Cracker egg. The blue egg on the right is an egg from one of the “Blueface” pullets. The blue color suggests Aracauna or easter egger in the background. I’ve turned the pullets out to free range. They’ll be fine barnyard chickens but are stricken from my breeding program.

The stag was shaping up well physically. Just this week I noted how good his physique was looking, although I also noted that he wasn’t as alert as the other chickens and lacked the dominance drive I’d expect him to have at this stage. I was becoming skeptical as to using him but I was going to give him until Spring to start showing some cockiness. Up until now the half aseel, which is much younger, was totally dominating him.

Well that stag is no more. An eagle got him this morning.

Thus ends the Cracker to BF (or whatever they were/are) prong of the project. I’ll probably look for some different Americans in the future, but for now I’ve got N1 in with a pure Liege and the half aseel/Liege pullet to start making some Cracker x Liege and Liege/aseel birds.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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USA
The blue egg on the right is an egg from one of the “Blueface” pullets. The blue color suggests Aracauna or easter egger in the background. I’ve turned the pullets out to free range. They’ll be fine barnyard chickens but are stricken from my breeding program.
Are you trying to avoid blue eggs, or are you also trying to avoid the other genes they might bring to the project?

Because if you just want to avoid blue eggs, you could check the egg color of each pullet and use any of them that lay the correct color. The blue is caused by a dominant gene, which makes it easy to get rid of.
 

Florida Bullfrog

Songster
May 14, 2019
670
1,604
217
North Florida
Are you trying to avoid blue eggs, or are you also trying to avoid the other genes they might bring to the project?

Because if you just want to avoid blue eggs, you could check the egg color of each pullet and use any of them that lay the correct color. The blue is caused by a dominant gene, which makes it easy to get rid of.
I’m trying to avoid non-game genetics. Yes, I know gamefowl people will argue ad nauseam as to whether Liege are still “real” gamefowl or not, as even happened in this thread, but even the naysayers would have to admit that Liege definitely were gamefowl until relatively recently in history. For the purposes of setting a breed, I want the birds to be made of historic, definable, gamefowl only, with the only non-game influence being whatever junglefowl genes are present in my Crackers. Once the breed is set, people can mix them whatever they think would be a good cross for the farmyard. The blue eggs represent a major unknown contributor. I suppose they can be some of new mutation, but where these birds seem to lack fire anyhow, I think the higher likelihood is something else got mixed in with them.
 

SunflowerKing

Chirping
Sep 8, 2021
97
90
68
View attachment 2926856
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Major setbacks for the Cracker to American/Blueface cross project.

The cream egg on the left is a typical Cracker egg. The blue egg on the right is an egg from one of the “Blueface” pullets. The blue color suggests Aracauna or easter egger in the background. I’ve turned the pullets out to free range. They’ll be fine barnyard chickens but are stricken from my breeding program.

The stag was shaping up well physically. Just this week I noted how good his physique was looking, although I also noted that he wasn’t as alert as the other chickens and lacked the dominance drive I’d expect him to have at this stage. I was becoming skeptical as to using him but I was going to give him until Spring to start showing some cockiness. Up until now the half aseel, which is much younger, was totally dominating him.

Well that stag is no more. An eagle got him this morning.

Thus ends the Cracker to BF (or whatever they were/are) prong of the project. I’ll probably look for some different Americans in the future, but for now I’ve got N1 in with a pure Liege and the half aseel/Liege pullet to start making some Cracker x Liege and Liege/aseel birds.
Im hoping for your success because I am months out from selling my overpriced florida real estate and buying the homestead. I will be relying on your genetics to start my own survival chicken projects! God Bless! Keep it up!
 

Florida Bullfrog

Songster
May 14, 2019
670
1,604
217
North Florida
Im hoping for your success because I am months out from selling my overpriced florida real estate and buying the homestead. I will be relying on your genetics to start my own survival chicken projects! God Bless! Keep it up!
Thank you! I know the Crackers are proven survivors. They just need to be bigger bodied. If I could hit them with a growth ray and double to triple their size without losing physique, they’d be perfect.
 

SunflowerKing

Chirping
Sep 8, 2021
97
90
68
Thank you! I know the Crackers are proven survivors. They just need to be bigger bodied. If I could hit them with a growth ray and double to triple their size without losing physique, they’d be perfect.
I may just start with the crackers. Ill also be getting some black jersey giants. What do you think the likelihood of these two breeding with each other? My gut tells me that the crackers are too small for the jersey giants.
 

MysteryChicken

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
29,540
59,558
1,141
East, Tawas Michigan
View attachment 2926856
View attachment 2926855

Major setbacks for the Cracker to American/Blueface cross project.

The cream egg on the left is a typical Cracker egg. The blue egg on the right is an egg from one of the “Blueface” pullets. The blue color suggests Aracauna or easter egger in the background. I’ve turned the pullets out to free range. They’ll be fine barnyard chickens but are stricken from my breeding program.

The stag was shaping up well physically. Just this week I noted how good his physique was looking, although I also noted that he wasn’t as alert as the other chickens and lacked the dominance drive I’d expect him to have at this stage. I was becoming skeptical as to using him but I was going to give him until Spring to start showing some cockiness. Up until now the half aseel, which is much younger, was totally dominating him.

Well that stag is no more. An eagle got him this morning.

Thus ends the Cracker to BF (or whatever they were/are) prong of the project. I’ll probably look for some different Americans in the future, but for now I’ve got N1 in with a pure Liege and the half aseel/Liege pullet to start making some Cracker x Liege and Liege/aseel birds.
Do you have anymore CrackerFowl Roosters, or was he the only one?

I'll be beginning my Rainbow Runners project next spring. They're gonna be a Giant Survivalist breed.
 

Florida Bullfrog

Songster
May 14, 2019
670
1,604
217
North Florida
Do you have anymore CrackerFowl Roosters, or was he the only one?

I'll be beginning my Rainbow Runners project next spring. They're gonna be a Giant Survivalist breed.
The rooster that was just killed by the eagle wasn’t a Cracker, he was a Blueface American gamefowl. I still have my Cracker broodcock. I had turned out the Blueface to let him tone up and I penned the Cracker I call Number 1 so that N1 wouldn’t kill the Blueface.

N1 is my only mature Cracker brood cock at the moment. He killed all of this brothers and nephews that got to be a year or older. I have access to another mature Cracker broodcock off farm if something ever happens to N1.
 

MysteryChicken

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
29,540
59,558
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East, Tawas Michigan
The rooster that was just killed by the eagle wasn’t a Cracker, he was a Blueface American gamefowl. I still have my Cracker broodcock. I had turned out the Blueface to let him tone up and I penned the Cracker I call Number 1 so that N1 wouldn’t kill the Blueface.

N1 is my only mature Cracker brood cock at the moment. He killed all of this brothers and nephews that got to be a year or older. I have access to another mature Cracker broodcock off farm if something ever happens to N1.
Okay, I must've misread somewhere.
 

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