How did I end up with seven roosters this fall? Well, I hatched out a LOT of chicks back in May and June last year. Many were roosters. Some of these turned out fabulous, and in the end, there were so many good ones I didn't have the heart to cull them all.
I've just highlighted the meek and beautiful "Butterscotch" in my last post, but I think several of the boys deserve their own posting, so here's a tribute to "Flame".
Flame is a new rooster hatched in May 2011. He does not have his own breeding pen yet, but he's second in command in the current pen, and I did catch him mounting one of the hens when "Cheeto" wasn't looking. Flame is seen as a real threat to Cheeto, with good reason. For an Aloha rooster, he's a big boy!
I suspect that Flame is probably about 1/4 Sussex, as I did have a half Sussex, half Aloha hen in the breeder pens last year. That would explain his size, his pink legs, (same color as a Sussex) and his very even dots of mottling - in pattern he resembles a Sussex rooster. However, where a Sussex rooster would be mahogany and black, Flame is a bright, vibrant RED.
Right now, I don't have room for a seperate breeding pen for him. However, a friend of the program stopped by the other day to pick up Aloha eggs to hatch out, and announced that he'll be working on building some breeder pens. He has bought some Buff Orpington hens - about six yellow hens in all. I think if the pen is built, and the hens are there, I'd better send Flame his way for a visit, as he'd make an excellent cross with Buff hens. (Though if I had to pick, I'd place "Flame" in with pure New Hampshire Red hens, too, and then cross those back to Cheeto's future offspring.)
I can't wait to get chicks out of Flame and some larger hens. Guess I'll have to be patient. Will keep you all posted on what happens!
Pedigree: I suspect "Flame" is 1/4 Sussex, 1/4 NHR, and 1/2 Aloha. If I'm right, these would be his parents, although this is just a guess, since we don't have chicken DNA testing, ha ha.
Above: Breeding pen last season. Note the bigger hen standing in the bowl, she's half Sussex.
A better shot of the hen I think could be his mom?
Another pic of the rooster who I think is his dad.