I just hatched out some chicks, including shipped large fowl eggs that contain the "Dun" gene. It's a modifier that could add a new color to the Aloha project. It turns black into a chocolate brown, or in two doses, turns the chocolate into a shade of khaki-tan. It has no effect on red.
I hatched out a few random Aloha eggs, but since everyone was wandering everywhere and the breeder pens weren't properly set up, who knows what these chicks will grow up to look like? I don't have high hopes for them, but I hated to raise only a handful of chicks because it's pretty much the same amount of work to raise 5 or 25 chicks.
I ended up with six Dun chicks, and about 10 baby Alohas.
Next, I set up a new breeder pen. In this pen, I placed two sons of Cheeto in there. One was a "fading spot" chick you may remember from an earlier post. He was "Chick #3" in this post:
Today he looks drastically different!
|Cheeto's Son, #3|
I also had another chick born about one month later, that was also clearly Cheeto's son. He never had the amount of white shown on this chick. However, he is a Mottled carrier, and does have a couple of stray white feather-tips here and there to prove it. He had such amazing presence, I had to give him a shot. I've named this guy "Dragon" and he's stunning:
|Cheeto's Son, "Dragon"|
I have a friend who may be able to toss a kennel my way, and if that works out, I'll put Dragon in with the hens with the most white, and put #3 in with the Sussex-type hens and hens with nice big spots. (Since #3 DOES have spots all over. They are just teeny tiny almost invisible spots, ha ha ha!)
There are 14 eggs collected so far from this group. I can't wait to see what hatches out next month!
Here are more photos of the breeder pen, showing various hens and the two boys:
|Dragon and three "Ginger" hens.|
|Part Sussex hen with gorgeous mottling.|
|Dragon, two small hens, and Nui - a huge half Aloha, half Sussex|
|Beautiful Ginger hen with OK size. (Not the smallest.)|
|#3 with a smaller hen for size comparison.|
|Clearly the boys get along fine!|
|A group of colorful girls.|