Does anyone keep Iowa Blues? Questions.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by wateboe, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    Lebanon, Ohio
    About six weeks ago, my husband offfered to pick up two marans chicks for me on his day off. By the end of the day, he had collected the two marans, a welsummer, a silkie, a black austrolorp, a buff orpington and two day-old Iowa Blues! Yes, he is a bit of an impulse buyer.

    The Iowa Blues have me puzzled as to their gender. They also stand out from the other breeds in the brooder because of their personalities. Is anyone else on the forum keeping this breed (well, I know that some do, because I have seen a few mentions of them) and are you willing to share some knowledge with me?

    My two chicks are now about six weeks old. Chick #1 is very black (some white feathers at the edge of the wings) and quite assertive. I would say that "his" comb has developed more rapidly than his sibling's and is uniformly pink-grey at this point. (I'm guessing rooster here.)

    Chick #2 developed more slowly, is less assertive (both are "flightier" than the marans & welsummer chicks) and began as a very dark chocolate brown. "She" (my guess) has become a dark grey to black, with speckle-patterned feathers coming in. "Her" comb has been slower to develop, but it is still more pronounced in comparison to the other breeds. It is grey-pink in color with blackish tips.

    I do not know the genetic background of these two, although I may be able to find out some history about them from the breeder. I understand that Sand Hill is one of the best sources, but are there other good Iowa Blue flocks out there? If we have a roo and a hen here we may want to add to their little flock and I would like to make wise choices when/if we do buy more.

    Yes, I know that photos would help! I will take some tomorrow and attempt to post them if I get any response here.

    Thanks in advance... Amy
     
  2. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    What are their personalities like? This is a breed I am interested in because I like the looks of them and I live in Iowa. I just haven't seen a lot about them.
     
  3. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Well, my IB (not ibuprofen, but Iowa Blue!) chicks seem to be a bit more skittish than the welsummer and marans with whom they share the brooder, but that is not really a fair assessment since there are only two of them to observe! They are also younger and smaller than the others, so maybe they just move faster. The one that might be a roo is quite assertive and spends a great deal of time trying to catch bugs that fly through. "He" also likes to leap up on top of things... the waterer, the feeders, the other (larger) birds. "He" is the only one of the group that comes after me when I reach in, generally to peck at my wedding ring!

    It is my understanding that advertised Iowa Blues are often of questionable heritage, that becasue the breed is "rare" it is often created anew from scratch by less-than-reputable "breeders" trying to make a buck. Information and photos are somewhat difficult to come by, in my experience.

    So, I am looking for information just like you, pbjmaker! My chicks may turn out to be just mutts (although we have been getting really wonderful pure-bred birds from this breeder) after all, but they have caused me to become interested in the breed.
     
  4. turtleblossom

    turtleblossom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2008
    Kentucky
    I bought some Iowa Blue hens from Ideal, and I was dissapointed. They were very flighty, and were obviously crossed with something, I'm guessing leghorn. The were shaped more like a laying breed (kinda skinny and lanky) insted of a dual purpose breed (which should be cobby, or more brick shaped).
     
  5. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Just in case someone checks in here during a Iowa Blue "search", I have a correction to make in regard to my first post...

    chick #1 (presumed roo) is really a girlie! As for chick #2 (presumed pullet), yep, it' a boy. Ha! The pullet is the assertive one. She did develop faster, including her comb, but her little brother caught up and surpassed her in comb development (bright red and big as can be.) Plus, he is developing typical rooster feathering.
     

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