happy this thread is still active! how is everyone's black javas doing? my roo is still fabulous, going strong, and all eggs are still coming out fertile (he's with 10 girls). but two of my ladies look awful--molting in a big way. here's a couple pics of my roo, but he's about 6 months older now and even prettier his comb looks dubbed--he got frostbite his first winter and the tips froze off (before i got him). this guy has marigold colored feet on the bottom, and the dark slate shanks that are preferred. you can see the yellow feet in one of the pics in the slideshow. he has all his long tailfeathers now, and is just the cock of the walk. he also sits on eggs if no "wimmen" are around, all the while hollering at them to come do it. here's a bunch of pics of my birds, click to see a slideshow: http://picasaweb.google.com/uuffdre/Javas?authkey=Gv1sRgCI-v6KW8_ZXRTg#slideshow/5455960569140079202 (please note: one of these pics includes a black australorp cross hen with white in hackles...this is not a java. also, i had just dusted with DE and it was sprinkling, so there are a few white bits on some of the feathers--my birds are pure black, not mottled). i have to say i have seen a LOT of pumpkin/bay colored eyes in all the pics of BJs that have been posted. someone may have noted this, but the eye should be a deep, dark, brown, almost black. very striking and beautiful color. i am having a bit of a breeding dilemma...i have one hen who has always been smaller, laid a lighter color, smaller egg than her sisters. she has laid right through the molt! i tallied up my excel data from the year (they started laying around feb 1) and she has outperformed my brown leghorns, my EE, and my RSL--5.75 eggs/week on average for the last 9 months! i am a little challenged by how to handle her in my breeding program. she's great, but not up to my personal standards of trying to keep a good size to my BJs--and the smaller. lighter toned eggs bother me. then again, the rate of lay has been so phenomenal! and i did hear back from test hatchers here that her chicks were robust and in one case, actually the biggest of all three hen's hatchlings, even from the smaller eggs, which surprised me. i guess the best thing is to disclose, disclose, disclose, and make sure anyone who gets eggs from me knows about her good and "bad" traits and also make sure they get a variety of my hen's eggs, not too heavy on hers. that way, they can do their own work in deciding what is a good or bad trait for their own flock! hard to argue with about 6 eggs/week though, from what i know is a good purebred bird, despite her size and smaller eggs. how is everyone else doing? can't wait to go back and read what is up with everyone--been a while since i visited the thread.