Mystery Chicks????


12 Years
May 18, 2009
I have a R.I.Red roo in a coop with 4 R.I.Red hens and 2 Delaware hens. This past weekend I hatched some eggs from this same group of chickens and got red chicks (which I know are R.I.Reds) but I also got 2 pure black chicks. Can someone please explain how this happened? How did I get black chicks from R.I.Reds and Delawares?
Yes they are pure. I have hatched a lot of R.I.Reds from these and the Dels are some that I hatched from my own Delaware coop.
Huh! Maybe they're a throwback to the barred rock ancestry of the Delaware breed? I looked up their history and found this on Feathersite:

"In those days the popular broiler cross was Barred Plymouth Rock x New Hampshire. If the barred broiler males were inadvertently mated with New Hampshires the progeny would be heterozygous for dominant black extension. A heterozygous male mated to a New Hampshire might be the progenitor of the silver (but barred) sports we occasionally saw. George (Ellis) found one outstanding male that he called Superman and we mated him to a lot of New Hampshires to found what eventually became the Delaware breed. All the other sports were inferior. Of course the sports had to be silver or we would have had a barred red. In those days no one knew anything about the inheritance of Colombian but in hindsight 2 crosses to New Hampshire might give a few homozygous Colombian (CoCo) individuals. "

It'll be interesting to see what they turn into. Post updates on this thread, please!
Just a quick update: they have started to feather out and have black feathers with golden/brown tips. Sorta looks like how my black sex-links chest feathers did when they started to get feathers except instead of just being on their chest all of their feathers are black with the golden tip.

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