Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cheeto Chicks, All Grown Up.

The Cheeto Chicks:  Final Results!

A very puzzling thing happened with these three colorful Cheeto chicks.  As they matured, they all began to lose their spots almost entirely.  I have heard a few references to this phenomenon, but since so few folks have been trying to create new mottled birds until recently, there is still a lot to figure out.

At any rate, the three rooster chicks do have some small amounts of white here and there, so I'm giving at least one of them a shot to see if he will produce chicks that show more color  (and keep it to adulthood.)  This is also going to change the way that I evaluate chicks.  The babies that previously, I'd say carried "too much white" may need to be kept around for a while to see how they end up.  Also, I have heard from Mottled Cochin breeders, that the roosters tend to lose a lot of white as they mature, while the hens will often keep their white or gain even more white as they age.

The only colored chicks in this batch were all male, (the single colored hen chick had to be put down) so I'll be eager to try another test batch of Cheeto-chicks in the fall.  I can't wait to get some baby pullets with this much white that are sired by Cheeto.  Will I have better luck keeping the white color on Cheeto's daughters?  Time will tell!

Now - pictures!  Remember these are the same three chicks shown previously, and they are all the same age.

The first photo shows the rooster chick that showed the MOST white as a chick.  Kind of discouraging, isn't it?  Where did the spots go?  Ha ha!

Weedy, lanky, not of good body type.  Nice yellow legs, though.
The tallest rooster, but seems slow to mature and not as plump.
Third rooster.  Great stout body type, big comb. closest to Aloha body type. 
I'd like to see a long, flowing tail on rooster #3, but overall this is a nice Aloha body type that I'm working towards.  Practical, too, as this bird is the most meaty and "ready to butcher" of the three, I think?  The goal is to have Alohas be a practical, dual-purpose farm breed, good egg layers, but when you hatch chicks and end up with too many roosters, the extra roosters should be large enough to eat.

Not that I've ever been able to eat one of my chickens in all these years of raising them.  If anything, having my pet project flock makes me lean towards eating beef, ha ha.

I'm leaning towards rooster #3 for being the most practical.  Another note, the three roosters caught some kind of bug early on.  I medicated them once, and it went away, only to come back in roosters #1 and #2 while Chunk #3 seems to have overcome it all on his own.  Bonus points for strong immune system!

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