28 January 2015

More new chicks again

Yes, I bought some more new chicks yesterday ... well, in addition to placing my order with Cackle Hatchery out of Missouri for mid-April.  Yesterday I drove out to Alachua County to purchase three-week-old Wyandotte chicks from Eight Acres Farm.  I met Luanne, who is a nice and personable lady who is truly enthusiastic about her chickens.  She breeds for the blue-laced red variety, and since the blue gene is an incomplete dominant, that means she ends up with black-laced or splash(white)-laced along with the desired blue.  I bought her black-laced from a recent hatch, nine in total although two have single combs instead of rose combs.  More on that after pics.
9 black-laced red Wyandotte chicks

another shot of my new Wyandotte chicks
OK, about the single comb culls here ... Luanne told me that when folks were developing the blue-laced red variety, they outcrossed to single-comb Rhode Island Reds to get a darker red.  It occurred to me on the drive home: Why not use the rose-comb Rhode Island Reds?  Well, reading around last night I found my answer.  Apparently, for every rose comb RIR there are a good ten single comb RIRs, so it is a simple matter of availability.  The two single comb chicks will either be layers or dinner, depending on gender.

For the other seven ... I have some high hopes.  Pullets will eventually be crossed with Feyd, to give the chicks better body with his coloring, while the best cockerel of the group will end up with the best of the hatchery pullets.  It is a bit of a "shortcut" of sorts, bringing in some nice-bodied stock to get a more Wyandotte looking build.  Call it vanity if you will, but I want my Gold-Laced Wyandottes to be easily recognizable as Wyandottes.

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