Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Aloha "Type"

I keep trying to introduce bigger chickens to my breeding project, but no matter what I do, they tend to (eventually) revert back to the original Aloha type!  I've referred back to the "foundation Aloha" or "old-blood Aloha" in Blog posts, and suddenly, I realize that nobody knows what I'm talking about.  To talk about any kind of "foundation" to a breed is hysterical, considering this project is only a few years old!  How much "foundation" can a breed have in only five years?

Keep in mind I use that term very tongue-in-cheek, almost sarcastically.  But, there is a kind of special look to this very, very young project I've been working on.

What is the "Aloha" type, anyway?

Okay, here's my first Aloha rooster, Vanilla, whose blood runs through every last chicken that carries even a trace of "Aloha".  He is, basically, *the* original Aloha chicken.  Vanilla's lineage:  Half known stuff, half mystery hen.

His mom was this mystery hen found in a neighbor's yard.  A tiny hen with crazy colors.  She is the unique part of this entire project, and was something totally different, colored in a way I'd never seen on any other chicken.  His dad, half Exchequer Leghorn and half Sussex, gave him better size and type.  But as you can see, he looked NOTHING like either an Exchequer or a Sussex!

This was Vanilla:

Vanilla, the foundation Aloha.
Vanilla had many sons, and grandsons.  One of them was "Jorge's Roo" who was small but really colorful.

Jorge's Roo
Two of Vanilla's sons.
Vanilla also had a full brother, Patch, who was used for breeding, for several years at a friend's house across town.  Later, I brought one of Patch's daughters back into the flock.  There should be other of his descendants at my friend's house.

Vanilla's full brother, Patchwork.
The upright body, long flowing tail, proud chest, bright colors, all of these traits continue to carry on years later.  Here are photos of many other Aloha roosters, here and in other homes:

Many different roosters are shown above, and those are just the ones I remembered to get photos of.  Do you see a pattern?  A common body style?  Change the colors, but the overall "look" appears again and again each generation. It's this look or style that I'm trying to enlarge, and get to full size.

One of the questions as to what makes a breed a breed, is can it replicate itself even through multiple generations?  Here are the great-great-great (whatever number of generations later) distant relatives of Vanilla.  These boys are in my backyard right now.  The first, a ridiculously tiny Aloha rooster, covered in white feathering:

And his slightly larger, and slightly less colorful hatch-mate.

I believe that Alohas have actual potential as a new breed.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but they do form a general body type that goes beyond just color.  Unfortunately, small size also seems to be an Aloha trait.  I wish I could get this type, and gorgeous colors, on a larger package!

This pen of culled roosters from Stephen's shows similar body type.
Even without spots.
The latest Aloha "old school" or what I've been calling "foundation Aloha" are these two super-small but adorable little roosters that are currently in my breeder pen.  I was going to cull them, but for now, I'm refraining.  They are mostly kept off the ladies, by the larger more dominant Swedish-bred rooster.  Maybe they could be of use with the right ladies?  I may pen them with select hens next Spring.  In particular, they would go well with the half-Swedish and pure NHR hens, to start a fresher Aloha bloodline. 

Yes, they are ridiculously small, but very cute.

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