The Aloha Chicken Project

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

  1. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now this cross between Mr. Yellow and Snickerdoodle has SERIOUS potential for total awesomeness!!!

    I like that top photo of Mr. Yellow best . . . maybe he will fill out? His keel (depth) looks pretty decent there.

    Oh - and your "lock down" - awesome! I have to tell you, a few weeks ago, I hatched out some random Aloha eggs, and even though I didn't have any breeder pens set up, I have to say there are a few of these chicks that are starting to feather out and about four of them actually look promising. So we'll see . . . but so far, so good. I'm happy to see any glimmers of hope with such a random mix of hens and roosters all running together like they were last month, LOL!
     
  2. notinoz2007

    notinoz2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my only problem is that i am not quite sure which egg belongs to which hen, unless i am out there when they leave the box, lol
     
  3. Deerfield Acres

    Deerfield Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Believe it or not, these are the best pics of tons we took. Still not great. This is Nicoletta, my best Aloha hen. We weighed her before starting and she was right at 4lbs. according to my husband's shop scale.


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  4. AllisonD

    AllisonD Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, wow, wow. I am so excited to see this project. I was just burning up the internet a couple of days ago, trying to find a big, hardy, practical, productive AND pretty chicken, and here it looks like y'all have been building one from the ground up all this time! I love my Plymouth Rocks, but... they all look pretty much the same and neither the girls nor the boys are particularly... showy. It looks like you have been outcrossing with big robust brown-layers; are the aloha's eggs brown? With so many remote collaborators, it sounds like you guys will probably end up with several different strains of Alohas, which is great for keeping the gene pool diverse. How long do you think it is until you have a consistent type that breeds true?
     
  5. Deerfield Acres

    Deerfield Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's exactly how I found this project! At this point, the Aloha eggs are tinted so they are a very light colored egg. I'm going to be working some Wellsummers into the mix so that will darken the eggs of my strain. I personally like a little more color to my eggs than the tinted shade. What I like most about these birds aren't just how pretty and varied the colors, it's their personalities. They people friendly and curious birds. I can't answer your question as to how long till we breed true so I'll leave that to our fearless leader.
     
  6. AllisonD

    AllisonD Out Of The Brooder

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    That's great about the personalities... Flighty birds are pretty boring. Are they going to be kinda like Easter Eggers, where you can hatch out a mess of eggs and get a different color or pattern on each one? Because I love that about the EEs...
     
  7. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Karen,
    Won't introducing Wellsummer set back the goal of a speckled colored flock?
    Joe
     
  8. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Joe - the Wellies are a bit dark in shade, true. But they are still a "basic brown chicken" so it shouldn't interfere with the spots.

    The spots can kind of be laid on top of any basic color. Like, I took some spotted hens, crossed them to a big NHR rooster, and now I have some hens that are red and white spotted. (But if you take away the spots, they are just red chickens underneath.)

    The Welsummers with Mottling would just end up being spotted Welsummers. LOL!

    The only thing to keep in mind, is the darker colors are dominant over the light colors, so it will be hard to ever get the pretty light orange or buffy spotted colors out the Welsummers. Not for a few generations, at least. Breed to a dark brown or black chicken, and all your chicks will tend to be dark brown, or black. Then the spotted gene will lay spots over them. But you won't get the red and white or gold and white spotted chickens if you cross with a Welsummer. The reds and golds will go "into hiding" and be overwhelmed by the Wellie's dark brown. For that reason, try to keep it to "just a dash" or the dark/black colors will totally take over.

    A "dash" of Welsummer shouldn't hurt anything but I wouldn't make it my main base stock unless you REALLY like dark brown and white spotted chickens, 'cause that is all you will get! Ha ha!
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  9. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So pretty! Thanks for actually weighing her. Four pounds . . . that's still far from perfect. The large standard breed hens should weigh six to eight pounds.

    The good news, however, is the Leghorn is considered a "standard" breed, and Leghorn hens weigh 3-5 pounds. 4-6 pounds is considered an "average" hen weight.

    At least we are finally in the Standard size on some of these! But . . . on the very low end.

    Still . . . it's progress! Nicoletta is just lovely. Wonder what to cross her with? Obviously, you have Big Spotty the Sussex, for now. But I wonder, when you get those German New Hampshires, what would happen if you crossed her with those, and then crossed those back with some half-Sussex? Even half brother/sister combos, they would end up 1/2 Nicoletta, 1/4 Sussex, 1/4 NHR, and (in theory) half would be mottled, and probably all would be at least 5 pounds!

    But that's the definition of counting your chickens before you hatch! LOL! Sure is fun to think about, though.
     
  10. alohachickens

    alohachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are very curious and come right up to you, BUT they don't like to be held or cuddled. They are much more savvy about predators than my "standard" breeds. My Buff Rocks, I can just reach down and grab them, they are blissfully unaware. And my Swedish roo is a big dork who literally runs into walls. He would be hawkbait in a second. The Alohas, by contrast, are always aware of their surroundings, are very good fliers, and are suspicious around strangers. They tend to hide when I "stalk" them with a camera, yet come right up to me when I'm ignoring them. They know the "predator gaze" well and do not like being the focus of attention! But if I'm busy gardening or doing lawn care, they are totally in my way.

    Yes, the exact goal is for them to be just like Easter Eggers, where you would get a batch of chicks and in that group, you could get all kinds of colors!

    Sussex are bred to be all uniform - each Speckled Sussex needs to be mahogany brown with a very deliberate pattern of small spots. The difference is while these are supposed to be pretty much like Sussex in body type and size, we're going for more variety in body color. Yellow legs, any solid base color, and the amount of speckling would preferably be much more white than what you see on a Sussex. The brighter and more flashy the better!

    But base color - anything goes. Really trying to work on "new" colors though, like Confetti and Ginger-mottled, or Red/White mottled, or Buff/White mottled, because those are not seen on any other standard breed right now. For example the imported Swedish Flowers DO NOT come in a red and white mottled version. But I have a hen and rooster here that are half Swedish, and are in red/white mottled. We don't really want black and white right now, because Exchequer Leghorns and Mottled Javas already come in that color! So it's not anything "new" if we go that direction. What would be the point?

    Picture a huge New Hampshire Red, but colored like the hen "Nicoletta" above. And in the same batch of chicks, you'd maybe get a Mille hen with a gold body, white spots, and a touch of black speckling here and there. Or a dark brown hen with bright white spots, who may lay dark eggs due to Welsummer influence. My hope is that breeders would find something they like and work on it. Like if you want super dark eggs, add some Wheaten Marans or Welsummers to cross with your Alohas.

    The important thing though, is that they be practical AND beautiful. Strong, healthy, and good layers . . . PLUS pretty spots. Much like the EE'ers are very strong and healthy due to all the diversity in their bloodlines! I had this hatchery EE'er hen, and OMG, she was such a productive layer of big, blue eggs. She laid for years even in summer heat or short winter days. She was kind of boring to look at though . . . so adding the "pretty" to that would be the idea.
     

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