|Note the extreme white on head and chest.|
This season, I have hatched out two more along the same type, though the colors vary somewhat. (Which is good, I want color variety within the breed, so they do not all look like "clones".) Here are boys who also have great color, but are lacking in build. Keep in mind, both these boys are still young, and will continue to fill out for many months. Neither are at their prime yet:
|Brilliant orange and white Aloha.|
|Almost 6 months old, still filling out.|
|Only four months. Still growing!|
However, I am really excited about the body types on the next two roosters. These roosters are basically Sussex, not Aloha. Sussex is a breed of chicken that comes in many colors. The size of Sussex varies on the color. Often, Speckled Sussex from a hatchery are the smallest. Privately bred "show" type Speckled Sussex are larger. Buff Sussex tend to be even larger than Speckled. Largest of all are Light Sussex. Light Sussex are HUGE chickens.
|Mostly Sussex Rooster for size improvement.|
|Tail and neck feathers are "Dun" color.|
As a chick, he grew much faster than his siblings, towering over them from the very start.
|Shown next to an Aloha rooster - same age!|
|His yellow legs were visible as a chick.|
|He only became more massive as he grew.|
|Still showing yellow legs.|
Here is the breeding pen showing him with some of my best LARGE girls:
|Six of my largest and best spotted hens are with him now.|
|These hens are all of good size.|
So, what is up with the "Dun" gene and why does that matter? Well, if you look at the hens with black on them, imagine them with the black replaced with grayish brown. You would have a tri color effect, with either red or gold, plus this brownish gray. In fact, one chick was already born in this color! She lives down the street with a batch of chicks that I gave a neighbor:
|Neck feathers show Dun coloration.|
Another boy I'm really excited about is this guy:
|Buff x Speckled Sussex Cross.|
|Probably 100% Sussex? (No Aloha.)|
I love his depth of body, weight, and overall quality. He needs more spots, a bigger comb, and a longer tail. I plan on penning him with some of my smaller super-spotty Aloha hens.
|Aloha hen in front, Speckled Sussex in back.|
|This is one of the hens I'd like to breed him to.|
I've already had a small number of hens that finally are what I've been breeding for. Now it's time to make more, and start working on fine-tuning and "locking in" the right traits.
Eggs from the first pen - the big beefy white rooster of some of the best Aloha hens - are going in the incubator right now. I can't wait to see how they develop. Going to be a real mystery on what his "kids" look like?
The second pen that will include the large "Mille Sussex" rooster over smaller Aloha hens will come next, with chicks from that hopefully by late November or possibly December.
Stay tuned for updates!