New Brahma Group: Blue Partridge x Partridge, Plus Dark

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by speckledhen, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Thanks to brahmapapa (Tom), I now have 9 beautiful Brahma chicks. He has a Blue Partridge rooster over Patridge hens, giving either variety, and a pen of Darks.

    I've wanted more Brahmas for quite awhile now. I have had Lights and a Buff from a hatchery and I still have my Buff Brahma, Caroline, who is going on 10 years old now. Because of their personality (friendly, but not needy) and their tolerance for both heat and cold, as well as their beauty, we now have a new group growing out, just 2 weeks old yesterday. I have not much idea how many are actually blue partridge as opposed to straight partridge (there are only two Darks) or exactly how many cockerels and pullets are in the group. Any input here is greatly appreciated as I am learning about these color varieties, never having had either. Closest to this pattern we ever had was a Silver Phoenix hen a few years ago. And if there are feathering differences the first two weeks that will give a sneak peek into the sexes, i.e., longer early flight feathers on my Orps were almost always males, let me know! @Sjisty , @anac1979 and other Brahma aficiandos!

    I have a thread devoted to my Barred Plymouth Rock breeding groups, but decided Brahmas were so completely different, they deserved their own thread. Hope you enjoy the photos. All Brahma experts are welcome to give input on these birds. I hope to keep one cockerel and maybe three pullets in the partridge variety and unless both Darks are male, will keep both of those. Tom says to look for very wide heads to pick keepers but I probably won't cull heavily right now due to the small number I have to pick from. I do have limited room, though, so hope to get a Blue Partridge male to put over the pullets. And I will have to keep the Darks in with the others until and unless I need them separated. I realize you can breed the two varieties together, though one is silver and one is gold, which gives something visually one thing but carrying the other.

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    They will be 3 weeks old Wednesday. Late this afternoon, as I was going to check on them, one started cheeping loudly. I found one of the larger ones had somehow managed to get herself stuck behind the gallon waterer with a leg stuck out behind her. Thankfully, it had just happened and it's hot today so her little mini-bath shouldn't have hurt her any. I extracted the poor baby and snapped a couple pictures. Some are getting shoulder and chest feathers now.

    I know that with the partridge, males have reddish chest feathers while with the Darks, the males have black feathers rather than the patterned of the pullets. So, soon, I ought to be able to tell how many of each, right?
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  3. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    They're getting big! I'm not sure if this holds true for all brahma varieties, but a breeder of light brahmas said she was able to sex them by how fast they got their feathers - males feathered slowly and females feathered quickly. This held true for mine and I was able to sex them that way. It might work for yours too.
     
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  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Could be. Going by that, I think the ones that are getting chest feathers and shoulder feathers first would be pullets. That generally holds true for Barred Rocks as well, though those are sexed by color cues as much as anything else. I've only noticed maybe 3 of the 9 Brahmas with what I've always thought of as cockerel wing feathering. Would be great if I have only three males in this bunch, but dare I hope I'm that lucky? Out of the Barred Rock group who are two weeks older than these, I have 7 pullets and 5 cockerels. Would be nice to have another pullet-heavy hatch since this may be the last for a very long time, other than a few eggs here and there under a broody.
     
  5. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Wouldn't that be nice if you end up with mostly pullets!

    I'm actually incubating some more ACs right now and unlike most people I'm hoping for cockerels. I want a bunch so I can grow them out and pick the best one to put over my girls.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Seems like if you want males, you get a pullet-heavy hatch and vice-versa. I just have trouble rehoming males around here, though, considering the rarity of this variety of Brahma, maybe I wouldn't. You can't get the Partridge variety at all from hatcheries, as you are aware. Darks are available from some hatcheries, sure (albeit, not this quality). I have high quality BRs, too, but the locals don't see the difference, apparently. They just want layers for their eggs. You can do that with any hatchery bird, though you generally will have to watch hens die off from reproductive issues way too early in their lives. If they think of hens as "throwaways", that doesn't bother them, I suppose. But, BRs to most folks are just barnyard birds, no matter what line they come from.

    There is a local man who did us a big favor recently and I'd like to give him a Brahma pullet or two as a thank-you, if there are truly a good number. I can only keep 3-4 here with a cockerel anyway. I think at least one of the Darks is a pullet, maybe both, but I can't call it right now.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Chalk up one straight partridge cockerel! Comb already pinkening at 3 weeks old tomorrow, chest feathers are showing very dark. So the fastest feathering are not going to necessarily be the pullets in this batch.

    There is one very large, very long-legged, lanky blue Partridge chick that I wonder if it's a cockerel as well. It has very profuse leg feathering, too. You'll see it in these photos. The Dark Brahma that was last to hatch of both batches of chicks, that I dubbed B.J. for Blackjack (#21) I do believe is a pullet. Chest feathers are starting and they appear patterned. And B.J. is just very rounded, very pullet-like.

    My Partridge cockerel is looking at the camera in the first picture.
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    Same chick, next two photos, the huge, lanky Blue PT. Male or female? What do you think? Chest feathers are hard to see yet, but appear to be more reddish than patterned at this point; if so, that would indicate a cockerel, I believe, right?
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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
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  8. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Ha Ha - "Friendly but not needy" - unlike the hoard of heathen BR chicks [​IMG]
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    ... as well as the Delawares! Oh, my, a flock full of Georgies would be very painful. A Delaware says "Oh, you won't pet me? Oh, yes, you will! You will also let me sit on your shoulder like an 8 lb parrot! If you don't, I'll bite the fire out of your shin!" Those BRs are most definitely little heathens but they're super adorable ones. I love BRs and always will.

    Yes, the friendly-but-not-pesky trait, that's what I loved about both Caroline and Miranda, my Brahmas; they weren't always tripping me up or shaking my pants leg and getting a chunk of skin with it.
     
  10. chickenneighbor

    chickenneighbor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Love this photo. "Just chillin' while you swoon at how freakin' cute I am." Your flock is just awesome, from old ladies to babies!
     
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