The Aloha Chicken Project

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by alohachickens, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. nicolets

    nicolets Songster

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    Just a follower putting in two cents... I haven't said anything for several weeks because I wasn't sure if you had already thought of it, but since you're asking, here you go:
    You did pick Cheeto out of solids by his one white feather (which you never found again - so it probably faded out). You put him in a pen with a lot of permanent spotties (I think), and so most/all of the chicks ended up with fading spots of varying amounts ... Basically, I'm saying, fading spots could be another gene in addition to spots and no spots. And it seems to me that fading spots may be dominant over permanent spots, though the amounts of spots may switch around.
    Just a suggestion. [​IMG] I'm absolutely not an expert on this whatsoever, but hopefully I've helped you a bit.
     

  2. None of my Alohas were serious about brooding till this year. Last year they dabbled, but this year Digit was determined.
    As far as trading goes... MaBo and I have been trying to coordinate our schedules to eliminate our older (and meaner!) roosters and look at each others newer birds to trade and keep planning. We will probably try to freezer camp the aggressive jerks soon, since we have their offspring now. But sometime soon we should certainly all try to get together and swap. Before I do I want to be sure I have my infestation kicked... The flock started molting recently so I can't tell if that's the reason so many look ragged, or if the lice came back. I have investigated several of my friendlier hens (much to their annoyance) and found no parasites, but I want to be SURE.

    Alohachickens-
    Yeah, Sokka is a mind-bogglingly perfect accident. He is much larger and darker than my Alohas, so I am sure he's half Sussex, but he is so spotted I could mistake him for one of the full Aloha hens if he runs by me quickly. I am hoping he fills out as he matures because he's a pretty lean, gamey boy right now. So far I haven't gotten ANY crosses that look like Sussexes. Although Digit's peeps might. I am just hoping for pullets. They all seem the same gender thus far, but its hard to say. Four of the nine look like they are Sussex chicks, and the rest all look like my starting batch of Alohas.

    I definitely see the resemblance between Digit (and for that matter Blackbeak, Goldy, and Lexy!) and the wild Hawaiian chickens. They could be siblings... its eerie. But my Digit certainly has the wild survival instincts. She's clever and well camoflaged, feisty and fast. And let me tell you, she is Protective. She lets me pet her, but if I pick up a chick and it peeps she will make a flying leap and try to kill me! Fortunately she's pretty ineffective with one clipped wing and my reflexes. But I can tell she means business... I'm glad she likes me...and I am much bigger than her. I pity the predator who touches her little ones. It's odd seeing how she talks to them... She tells them to wait for her when she wants to dive into the flock to fight over whatever treats I brought them, and they quietly cluster in the tall weeds and just...watch her. They know where she is, but they wait calmly for her to come back or call them. Sometimes they will dive into the fray themselves, using their size and speed to snatch scraps out from under the larger, clumsier chickens. They are super crafty and they get away with it. Of course no one messes with them because Digit (who I must remind you is the smallest adult in the flock) will kick anyone's butt who messes with her peeps.

    My friends all joke about how I am breeding a Master Race of chickens to take over the world... but I can tell even the non-chicken-lovers are impressed with my band of crafty mutts.
     
  3. alohachickens

    alohachickens Songster

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    Yeah, it's interesting. It seems there is little info about the Mottling gene, in general. Like, I've tried to find out if Exchequer Leghorns have a different color than Sussex, and from what I heard, people thought they were two different patterns (or genes) but now they believe both are technically just "mottled". So what is to explain the totally different amounts of white?

    And according to all the genetic calculators (like the "chicken color" calculator) this gene is a simple recessive . . . . but it doesn't take into account all of the degrees in-between. Some mottled birds here have just a few flecks and others have giant blobs of white. I think there is still a lot going on "behind the scenes" on how certain genes are interacting with each other.

    I had no issues with adding spots to New Hampshire Reds, so that breed gets the "all clear". But the Buff Rocks + Mottling have had issues. Meanwhile, over on the "Sussex" thread, someone there managed to make Mille Sussex by using Buff Sussex, so apparently that breed/color combo does allow the spots to show up. (And stay there.)

    Another weird thing - Sussex chicks grow in their spots. They are born dark, then get white as they age.

    Swedish and Alohas get their spots early. The fading spot chicks also got their color early, but then it faded. What is up with all of that? Is this the same gene, or two or more genes at work? According to what is known so far, they say Mottling is Mottling but it seems there is much more going on . . . .
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  4. alohachickens

    alohachickens Songster

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    Tam'ra - fascinating account of your chicken's behaviors. It is interesting how much more "primitive" the behavior is of the Alohas. Their colors are nice but their intelligence even more fascinating. And their will to survive is amazing. My Swedish roo is so sweet but so clueless! If there were predators about, he'd have been dead long ago.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  5. I got better pictures! Look at this handsome boy all covered in spots.
    [​IMG]
    I had to corner him in the run to get these, but its worth it because you can really see his feathers. He looks a bit brighter in person, but you get the idea.
    [​IMG]


    Here's another Digit and Peeps pic. Look how fast they are growing! Try as I might, I could only get 8 of the 9 in each pic.
    [​IMG]


    And here's Sokka again, this time next to a pure Sussex hen for size comparison. He just stopped peeping 2 weeks ago-no crowing yet at all. He has growing to do yet :)
    [​IMG]


    And a better pic of Twisty (note the crazy tail feathers!) He actually posed for this one, despite his normal camera shy behavior.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. alohachickens

    alohachickens Songster

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    Sokka has TONS of color, that's for sure! And the neighbor's roos, they didn't fill out until the last minute . . .. looked very lanky but at the end they turned out wonderful!
     
  7. notinoz2007

    notinoz2007 Songster

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    so, i'm not sure what to think about the test group pen 4 chicks.
    here are my two (last months pictures) 4 month old pen 4 pullets. the other 2 (male) were culled. i kept petey because she always fascinated me with her black spotted beak and strange aloha color - darkest i've ever seen.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    i did however keep this guy, just a random aloha hatch, because i like his feet. i wish he had more spotting, looking back at older pictures of him i think he is losing the orange spots he already has. but i am going to keep him with the pen 4 girls and plain aloha girls to see what happens.
    [​IMG]

    and just for fun here are some of my non aloha flock
    [​IMG]

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    i'm going to see how much work i can get done in the yard today - its cooler than it has been, but so gross and muggy out.
     

  8. alohachickens

    alohachickens Songster

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    Notinoz -

    Fascinating stuff. I don't know what to think, either. For those of you who don't remember, this breeding pen was a set of pure Sussex hens with nice size and spotting, in with a light mottled + barred rooster. The rooster was pretty in color but horrid in type, kind of gamey, small and not very robust either, with a small comb.

    There were two questions we wanted to find out from this experiment:

    1. Using a very light rooster like that, could you overcome the super-dark Sussex color?

    2. We have been using small colorful Aloha hens with bigger roos to improve size. If you used large hens with small roosters, would the large hens make bigger babies going that way?

    Here are photos of the breeding pen:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, the girls did not cooperate, and they slowed their laying just as we set this pen up. Stephen collected eggs but we didn't get many that week, so our test group was woefully inadequate and Notinoz only ended up with four chicks, which is really not enough of a test group to get any real answers.

    From what I can see, the size did not seem to show a huge improvement using the big hens with a small rooster vs. small hens with a big rooster. But these are not full-grown, right?

    And as for color - in the case of one chick, YES, she is MUCH MUCH MUCH lighter than her Sussex mom! The other is even darker than a Sussex, perhaps. Do keep her though, Notinoz, because both of these hens represent a slightly different bloodline, so they will be a nice cross with future stock. That rooster was only used for this small test group and then re-homed.

    The funny thing is how many traits show up in the grand-chicks, so we could see some surprises down the road. Like, that really dark hen may end up having much lighter chicks, for example. She does have tons of white spotting which is very nice, so see what her chicks look like?

    And yes, that rooster has FABULOUS yellow legs. He could even be crossed with these two hens. All offspring in theory would be spotted, and about half could have yellow legs. Any spotted hens with yellow legs that bright would be really nice. I don't think I've given you any Swedish Flower bloodline chicks, so those could be nice crosses for half Swedish, or even a big pure Sussex rooster.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  9. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

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    Just jumping in on the tail end of this.
    Very interesting stuff. If I may ask, what - exactly - are you trying to end up with?
     
  10. @canesisters, we are trying to create a new breed. The American version of the Swedish flower. What we want are large duel purpose chickens with a large plump bodies, a single comb that has exuberant spotted coloring! Oh yeah, it should have yellow legs and lay large brown eggs. it is definitely a work in progress and fun to boot.

    Anyway, I checked in to let you all know that I have fired up the 'bator and will be setting up a test hatch of 6 eggs per week for 3 weeks starting today. I am curious to see what my ladies will produce. Right know they are with an enormous Rooster (I'd say 6 lbs!) with some spotting. The girls are varying sizes, some are perhaps generous banties and others are definitely large (say 4 lbs or so) fowl. The ladies are all wildly spotted, so I am very interested.

    I have a proven broody that will mother anything put under her, and should she fail me for the first ever, I can keep them warm until they are old enough to be cooped. We shall see.

    Cross your fingers for me...
     

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