Sunday, October 13, 2013

Useful Breeds Website

I found this website with short video clips of different breeds of chickens (and ducks, guineas, etc...).  The videos I was looking at appeared to have been taken at a poultry show in Europe so the animals are very nice representatives of the breed.  It was helpful for me because I could see how the animal actually moves - much different than looking at a two dimensional representation.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gallinas Urbanas

I found these very cool folks who helping people get started keeping backyard flocks in PUERTO RICO! I'm really enjoying the fact that people are doing the same thing there as we're doing here....simply trying to stay connected with our food supply.  

 Love the logo, love their site :) 

(when you get to their website, right click & you'll have the option to translate the page - it's worth it) 

Gallinas Urbanas



Friday, July 12, 2013

Oona and Starry Night - My Rumpless Pullets

Oona and Starry Night are half-sisters.  Their momma, Rupa, is nearly rumpless. Their fathers are from a unique flock of birds thought to be composites of birds indigenous to South and Central America and the Pacific Isles. These girls are very small, slow to mature, and a bit more wild than a typical bantam. 
Oona spent last winter as a house pet in our sun room so she got to "help" unwrap presents Christmas morning.  She has dark skin and wild pattern plumage.  Her stint as a house pet has given her a prima donna complex but typically she is exceptionally silent.

Star is a few months older than Oona and she stayed in the Aikiko Project House over the winter. She carries the mottling gene and has the tell tale white dots and white skin.  Her brother, Xeryus, also carries the mottling gene but he has dark skin.  He is equally rumpless.  

It took Oona and Star both almost a full year to start laying.  This is consistent with my experience with the mother, "Rupa" and sister "Cerci".  It is interesting to note that Rupa's eggs are a rather pale, matte blue with a slight green tinge. All of her daughters lay shiny blue eggs without a hint of green.  

These girls are part of the Aikiko Project but the project is paused until fall.  The Aikiko Project is a hatching eggs / genetics learning collaboration. Participants contribute information about their hatches, help puzzle out the genotypes of project birds, and guide project development.  The project group currently functions using facebook,, and photobucket.  A dedicated website is being developed for the fall.   

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mottle Java "Nannie"

Nannie is the last of my trio of mottled javas. She enjoys being a part of the flock but isn't especially chummy with any other hens.  I've never had her go broody but she's very good at helping new moms. 

Nannie and Brandi have an easy respect for each other.

Nannie likes to help take care of everyone's babies.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Checking out the new coop

Gold Sebright checking out the nest box in a new coop.

95% of my building materials are salvaged, 85% of my building technique is self-taught, 75% of my  coops have been taken apart and put back together multiple times, 65% of my birds are in dedicated flocks each with their own "house", 55% of my birds are free-ranging at any given time, 45% of my birds generate income by way of hatching eggs, 35% of my birds provide food for my family, 25% of their diet is food waste procured from local schools and restaurants, 15% of my birds were rescued or abandoned.  5% of my birds came from a hatchery - the rest are all products of self-sustaining flocks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Aikiko Project

These are BLUE eggs from a line I've been selling and hatching for several years. I'm trying to keep the dark skin and blue eggs while increasing the number of white offspring and (keep your fingers crossed) hopefully carry forward a unique vocalization.  The project is in it's 4th year.

A bit of genetic history...because I just can't help it... The first hen was named Aikiko.  She was just a sweet little wheaten hen from a hatchery mix but she laid these delicate, faintly blue eggs and a nice beard.  

Her daughter "Etsuko" is a product of Aikiko crossed with a black silkie roo (named "Katie").  Etsuko is a black smooth feathered,clean legged hen who lays turquoise eggs. Etsuko's babies tend to have feet like silkies and are occasionally are dark skinned and always bearded.  

Her son "Romeo" is a product of Aikiko crossed with a nearly rumpless wheaten araucana (?) named "Rupert". Romeo was light skinned with a feather pattern similar to silver duckwing.  

Etsuko and Romeo together produced both the roosters I've carried forward into the breeding project this year. There are details about these  Yukidama and Zulema in the description below.  

Currently the Aikiko house has three hens and two roosters: 

Etsuko, Etsuko's grand-daughter "Orchid" (blue salmon daughter of Ocoee x Tuco - a Silkied Ameraucana) and a small gray wheaten easter banty hen named "Opal" are in the breeding area with the Yukidama and Zulema.  

Yukidama is a homozygous recessive white, rumpless, dark skinned, snowball hatched in time for New Year 2012).  He descends from Aikiko x Rupert - a nearly rumpless "true" aruacana.  

Zulema is a black and gold rumpless with very dark skin.  In  addition to being a sweetheart, Zulema makes a very interesting sound when he's trying to impress the ladies.  He goes "wupp wupp wupp". It's different from any others I've ever heard and I'm curious as to how this vocalization carries into future generations.