The pen will be set up for about one month before I will try hatching out eggs. This way, I can be sure that ONLY "Cheeto" will be the father of the chicks. Then, I'll see if any of these develop spotting. It would be the only way to see for sure if Cheeto carries the gene for Mottling.
But now I'm counting my chickens before they hatch! Here's photos of Cheeto and the hens I'll be putting into this special pen. I'll definately be keeping some of these chicks for next year's breeding program.
This is Cheeto:
This is a light brown mottled hen with lots and lots of white and great body shape plus yellow legs:
This hen is almost a Mille Fleur color:
This hen has even small white speckles on a light brown coat. Very little black:
This is her a couple of months ago, as a pullet, she's kind of camera-shy:
This hen is either full Sussex or half-Sussex, but I think she's half. HUGE white blobs on her feathers:
Above: Taken a few weeks ago.
Below: Dec. 2011
This pen should definately produce some top-notch chicks. Even if they don't show spots, with moms like these, I can be sure they will carry nice genes for wonderful mottling. Although I certainly will be thrilled if spots develop on any of the chicks! Stay tuned for the results!
Chicks will not actually hatch from this breeder pen until mid-February at the earliest. Then we'd have to wait a while after that to see if any actually develop color. I can't wait to see what happens.