The Aloha Chicken Project

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

  1. Deerfield Acres

    Deerfield Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are a couple of Big Spotty, taken this evening. The white spot on his comb is an area that is healing over from a vampire sussex hen. She pecks any available roo's comb till it bleeds and they let her! Sheesh. They just lower their head for her to peck them! Anyway, the black stuff is dirt from damp dust bathing. Silly bird. Yes, that's a silly tail. I thought some naughty bird had plucked his tail feathers out but I've finally decided it's just a silly tail. It's starting to get dark so excuse the lighting.




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    Out of 55 Speckled Sussex cockerels, this was my spottiest rooster that wasn't just tiny. I'm going to get some from Ideal as soon as they are available next year. I really need something with more white. Still, the other roo, Big Red, has a really nice rounded body but hardly any white at all. Not ideal but there you go. Both of the roos I kept were from Mt. Healthy. McMurray's roos were smaller and darker with a couple being mostly black.


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    While Big Spotty hasn't got lots of white, he is a very big bird. I had some KS BYC people over yesterday and they all said that Big Spotty is so large he looks to be the size of some import birds. I fed these birds game bird starter, game bird ration and then All Flock once they were grown. I also consistently supplemented them with 68 Soluble, which is a probiotic, electrolyte and vitamin powder that I put in their drinking water after I had mysteriously lost a couple, as they were growing and through the summer. It seemed to help their survivability since they tend to be somewhat fragile birds. They don't seem nearly as fragile now that they are grown, so hopefully the worst is over.


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  2. Deerfield Acres

    Deerfield Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Derby, KS area
    Here are some of the Aloha hens and I'll asterisk the two hens most likely responsible for the two chicks. Big Spotty was in with all the Aloha hens but only the first, second and fourth hens were laying at the time. I could tell they were Aloha eggs because the Speckled Sussex hens are older and have bigger eggs. I don't think it was the second hen because she was laying inconsistently at the time but she may have slipped one in there.


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    *This hen has white legs and a floppy comb but wild color. She's a good size too. That's a speckled sussex immediately behind her to the left. In the middle of the pic is an Aloha with SSX coloring but much larger and more spotting than any of my SSX, the bird on the right is a Red Star. That will give you some idea of the ginger hen's size.




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    This is my best Aloha hen, straight comb, yellow legs, great color and bigger than the Red Star. She's almost as big as my Speckled Sussex hens. Keep in mind I kept the largest most colorful hens out of 50 straight run SSX chicks, so they are larger than many hatchery birds. Anyway, this hen is my absolute favorite.






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    Even though this one has gray legs, she's really got great color. Love her tail, too. She's on the smaller size but still she's got great color!




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    *This is a big girl who doesn't have any spots but carries spotting. She's one of the Aloha/New Hamps. Isn't she pretty? Nice and round. I have another one like her with just a bit less black lacing on the back.


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    I wanted you to see this gray legged girl who had spots fade in, instead of out. See how faint they are? I like the bit of black on her also. She's a nice sized hen so I kept her even though she hasn't got wild coloring. That's a buff cornish on the left, I have 3 of those and a Buff Rock roo. They are a separate project although I'm going to use the Buff Rock on my hens.


    Those are the best Aloha hens. I have a couple hens who look just like the New Hamps in size and color except they have white legs. There is also another SSX colored hen but it has far fewer and smaller white spots than the one in the first picture. I kept several of them just for back up in case anything happened to the others.
     
  3. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I would be interested in doing some work on your breed project. What would I need to do to get some of your chicks to work with?
     
  4. notinoz2007

    notinoz2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you know, everyone who comes to my yard talks about how beautiful my birds are. remarking that they are so different from the straight white chicken that people think of. and you all put my chickens to shame! sommer, you have some of the coolest colors and that roo just looks awesome, i really hope i can make some space for him, it might be at the beginning of the new year tho, can it wait that long?
    off to dreamland, maybe i'll get some batteries tomorrow and take some mediocre pictures of my flock for you guys..
     
  5. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she is truly as big as a regular, "standard" chicken - I am thinking we are looking at our first TRUE Aloha hen!!!

    I'd try her with various roos and hatch every single egg she lays this year. [​IMG]

    If you aren't able to hatch them all try (traveling, etc) send her eggs to Taz! This hen could be a game-changer. You can't underestimate the impact even ONE good animal can have in a breed. If she was crossed with a Sussex roo, and then a New Hampshire roo, and then those offspring were crossed back together, I can see them looking just like this hen but even a tad bigger . . . as in, FULL BIG sized hens with yellow legs, spots, and lighter than Sussex coloring.

    She'd also be great crossed with Buff Sussex . . . pure Swedish Flower . . anything!

    Wow, looks fabulous! She looks not only big, but wide, too!

    I agree, though - we need to find you a Sussex rooster with good size and better spots than Big Spotty. But, at least he has size! So that's good!!!

    Whenever you have a few moments to "stalk" this hen, try to take tons of photos of her. When I post photos on here, they are the best of about 100 shots. Chickens are so hard to photograph! We should get some good photos documenting her to show people who ask "What are we breeding for?" because until now, we've only got bits and pieces! She appears to be the closest to our final goal, although I can't wait to get this with the full Confetti color too, so folks understand that it's not ONE color we're trying to get, but a rainbow of mottled shades like the Swedish Flowers.
     
  6. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It might work out if I can put him in with the other pure Swedish roo, it would be fine if there was a bit of "cross-pollination" in that scenario. I'd planned to put my Swedish boy in with some of my small but super-color-packed Alohas. Looks like the crosses will be much smaller than regular Swedes but packed with even more color genes, which would make them perfect to ship to new breeders, who can then mix the super-color-packed Swedish x Alohas with larger "common" breeds like Sussex and NHR.

    I'd love to see photos (again) of Mr. Yellow Legs and of the two hens from that unique pen with the Buff Barred Small Aloha Roo X Sussex Hen cross!
     
  7. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a few hens get the "fade in" spots! They ended up GORGEOUS when they were all done!

    One is at Larissa's, I wanted to cross her with a rooster she had there. Another one was a "plain" hen that I'd given her during an early culling, who later got spots. I wonder how many others like this I accidentally culled through the years!

    The spots did not start to appear until the hens were between 3-4 months old. They tend to look even better with age. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  8. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am hoping to be able to ship boxes of chicks to new breeders in the Spring. I've shipped successfully in the past, but was limited by only having a few small foam tabletop incubators.

    Now I have a friend who may be able to loan me a large 300-egg cabinet incubator!

    The next hurdle is setting up several nice breeder pens to collect the eggs from. We want the VERY BEST chicks to get to new breeders. Hopefully folks on this thread, like Notinoz, will be able to set up small "outside" breeder flocks. Also have a friend near me (Stephen) who hopefully will be able to set up a couple of breeder pens this spring. If I'm able to collect eggs from several breeder pens with various roosters, it would mean I could send new breeders boxes of chicks that have a wide variety of genes and crosses.

    If it all comes together OK, the window to ship chicks out of Phoenix is limited because of the heat we have here. Yet, it can't be too COLD for babies on the other end! Like it's 70 degrees in Phoenix in December, but probably not 70 degrees in December if you live in Minnesota. Ha ha! So we have that fine line, where it is not too hot here and not too cold there.

    I am guessing I could ship to mild climates like Texas, California, or the South in February. March and April would be for everywhere else. May's already getting hot here. So March and April will be the critical months to set up new breeders. Anyone reading this who wants to participate in 2013 should take note!

    In the meantime, there are lots of things you could do . . . these still need improvements in size and leg color. So if you can buy or order Speckled Sussex (for size and spots) or maybe get some eggs from those giant German New Hampshires (big size, yellow legs) or Buff Rocks (size and yellow legs) and start raising those, it will give you a head start on the project.

    This spring, some of us out here are going to try and order some pure Sussex from various hatcheries, so we can try and pick out the most-spotty hens from the group of chicks. Stephen's hens from Meyer's are very pretty. But I recently heard Murray McMurray can sometimes have very spotty Sussex, and I've also heard the same of Ideal. So we hope to buy a couple of batches of pure Sussex chicks to pick out the ones with the most white spots. That's another project that would help, in the meantime, until I'm able to ship Aloha chicks this spring.
     
  9. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sure hope the crosses with Big Spotty give us a nice big hen like this but with some spots on there! She has great body type.
     
  10. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hen on the top right . . . head behind the Sussex one . . . she is brown mottled. Looks very much like this one at Stephen's:


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    Looks very much like a Speckled Sussex at first glance, but if you look at the neck feathers, there is a distinctive "golden" tone.

    I can't wait to see what this kind of hen will do in the next generation. I tried to cull away from the darker hens, but early on I would get a lot of attractive Aloha hens with darker colors, and honestly, I wish I had more pens to work with some of them. It was a very attractive color, different from the Sussex. I do think this color (with yellow legs) would be very popular someday in Alohas. But I had to push it aside to work on the more distinctive Confetti and Ginger mottled colors. Bummer!

    Here is an earlier generation Aloha hen in a version of this pretty color. Sorry for the lousy pic:


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