After thinking about this long and hard, I've decided that, though this is technically a breeding thread, bringing to fruition a plan laid out for me by the late, greatly respected breeder and authority Robert Blosl, who we lost all too soon, I will not put this thread in the Exhibition and Breeding to Standard section. Though I know the standard for the Plymouth Rock and I know the standard for my favorite of that variety, the barred, and that is pretty much what I am attempting to do, I admit that I do get a bit "itchy" when folks try to tell me what I must do with my birds. I have traits that I feel are higher in importance for my own flock and some that others feel are important that I don't put as much emphasis on so I have my own standard to satisfy. That being said, here is the story, if you want to read it. If not, just look at the photos, no problem. I had a nice breeding group of Marvin Stukel line Barred Rocks, still have the hens. I made a decision to give my breeding rooster to a friend for his own, who was subsequently killed by a poisonous snake so that I didn't even have access to his progeny in the future. I was left with three hens and one of his daughters out of one of those hens. As males, I had several sons out of the Stukel hens with my heritage line Delaware rooster, Isaac. I rehomed one as his size was not what I wanted and his personality was not as calm as the others. One in particular was very impressive, not appearing to be a cross at all and absolutely huge. This one my DH named Indy, and he and his single factor barred slightly younger brother, Rex #2, were my chosen keepers, though I had put all my figurative eggs in the "Indy" basket. Wouldn't you know it, though? Indy was killed at about 24 weeks old by his sire, a lucky hit on the back. So, I was left with Rex, named for the original Stukel male, his uncle. Before Bob Blosl died, he told me the best way to get back to the form, color and the fabulous tail of the original Rex was to cross Indy over his mother and Rex's daughter, Druscilla, who would carry the most of his genes. Since the death of Indy nipped that plan in the bud instantly, I would have to use Rex #2 or hatch more from this line from purchased eggs. Since Dottie suddenly went broody and I couldn't locate the eggs I wanted, I decided to give it a go using Rex. These chicks are the result of the first hatch from them, my F1 group. No, I didn't toe punch or wing band or in any way ID which chick came from which hen, other than to know that one of the black pullets is from Ida's egg, the last to hatch. These are being broody raised, by Dottie, so obviously hatched under her, making it a tad difficult to know which was which. Two eggs were Dottie's, one was Wynette's, one was Ida's ( I know this was a black pullet, last to hatch) and one was a BR egg but I wasn't sure which hen laid it so could be Druscilla's, the original Rex's daughter with Dottie. Two pullets are solid black due to Rex not carrying the usual two barring genes of a regular BR male. There are two barred pullets and then there is a very promising cockerel I have named Atlas. To start, they all seemed like pullets. Atlas had, at first glance, the smallest, most defined head spot of all, was very dark, and in my years of experience with BRs, seemed to be the most definite pullet. However, I didn't notice the tiny shadings of frosting on each side of the back of the head that usually indicate male so surprise! I got my possible Indy replacement. As his barring came in, I held my breath as I watched the lines form in sharp precision on the little wings. Now, Atlas and his sisters are 4 weeks old and I decided to follow his progress in this thread. I'll start with photos of them at about a week old. Atlas, far left, looking very pullet-like. The chick at the bottom right corner is Atlas As they grew-first pic below, Atlas at far right, standing like a cockerel. His barring was coming in nicely: And today with his sisters, both barred and black-no question who the male is here now: one of the barred pullets in front here: The little guy is much slower to feather than his siblings. His wing tops are still bare. Here are the black pullets and one of the barred pullets. I will be selling both black pullets as well as one of the barred pullets when Dottie is less enthusiastic about mothering them. If there is a late blooming single barred cockerel in there rather than a pullet, I'll know by the time Dottie lets them go, but by 4 weeks of age, you usually know with these. If you can get this thing on photobucket to buffer well enough, here is a short clip of Dottie with the chicks today. Crow activity made her alert in the middle of it. http://s673.photobucket.com/user/Mtnviewpoultry/media/Video Clips/DSCN3242_zps83572e27.mp4.html The proud papa, Rex. And some of the mothers of the chicks with my friend who was visiting this weekend (BR hens only). Click to see them better. This was Indy, if you haven't seen photos of him. I really felt his loss when he was killed, but he had some faults that my current Rex does not have, i.e., the high tail angle, too narrow leg breadth, etc. When Indy was killed at around 24 weeks of age, he was already surpassing his Delaware sire, Isaac, in size. So, I will be posting progress photos of Atlas as I see if he will bloom into what I hope. Check back if you're interested in watching Atlas grow. There is a story behind the name that my friend Ladyhawk, spoiling my chickens in the photos above, can tell you if she pops in. The name originally belonged to a very brave son of my late Blue Orpington rooster, Suede.