This is the rooster I'll be using. He's Aloha, very small for a rooster, but he does have a great stout, stocky, round body type. And he has fabulous yellow legs! I wish he was larger, for sure, but he's what I have to work with at the moment:
|Sure, I'm small. But aren't I a cute guy???|
His ladies are a mix of "everything and the kitchen sink".
In this pen, I have two half-Sussex hens, including my BIG girl, "Nui". If this boy adds yellow legs to her big size, we'll be doing great. The smaller half-Sussex hen has spots galore. In a perfect world, we'd get babies from her that had tons of spots, and yellow legs to boot.
|Nui, the largest Aloha cross I've ever raised.|
|This teeny white Confetti hen next to huge Nui shows size difference.|
I have no idea what is going to sync up well with this little rooster, so we're doing a bit everything. Three dozen eggs collected so far, and still have a few days left. Hoping for a nice big batch of chicks to raise, 30-35 chicks would be great, but honestly I kind of "overloaded" the roo with 9 hens so fertility might be a bit low. (I just couldn't stop adding hens, so many to choose from!)
No roos will be kept from this cross, most likely - they will be too small. But, my original Aloha ladies are a couple of years old now, so it's time to think about breeding replacements for those hens, as their laying ability will surely drop next year.
If I did nothing more than replace a couple of my older gals with yellow-legged, nicely shaped daughters, it's still a step in the right direction improving body type and leg color. (Size will continue to be an issue for a while, I fear!) If this goes according to plan, we'll have newly hatched chicks in February.
Next, this roo will head up to Stephen's to run with some pure Speckled Sussex hens! Hoping to hatch out some chicks from that pen later this Spring, and pick out only ones with yellow feet. The Sussex will help improve size, as Stephen's pure Speckled Sussex ladies are nice and big.