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.  


White Plume Project

UPDATED March 2013

We're now hatching F3 chicks! The F2 birds selected to continue in the breeding program have given us a way to play around with Silver and Gold genes in a Paint project. I'm sad to report my gorgeous orange and white rooster became dinner for a raccoon a few months ago. It's been a bit of a wait for the F2 (TwoRoo) to get interested in the ladies but he's a rowdy boy these days.

Also in the White Plume House is a South American composite rooster (named "Castle" for his amazing comb). Castle has enough genetically in common with the White Plumes that I'm experimenting with a black tailed concept.

One branch of the project is leaning towards WHITE tailed, crested birds. The roosters would have gold or lemon barring; the hens continue to be white & black.

The other branch of the project is leaning towards BLACK tailed, crested birds. The roosters would be cream colored with black lacing; the hens continue to be white & black. 

~*~ This project is named these in honor of White Plume, a chief of the Kaw (Kanza) Indians. In 1825 White Plume's daughters and other members of the tribe were given land along the Kansas (Kaw) River not far from my home. A hundred year later, White Plume's great-great-grandson, Charles Curtis became Vice-President of the United States. White Plume is an ancestor of many present day members of the Kaw Nation in Oklahoma.


Chocolate & Mauve Rock Project

The chocolate gene is so fresh to the United States and that my top priority right now is to simply get the gene introduced into the rock project flocks.  Chocolate is a sex-linked, recessive trait.  (This is NOT the dun gene - that's a totally different beast all together :)

My chocolate gene was derived from an outcross to an English Bantam Chocolate Orpington from Marc Sacre.   At this point the eggs I'm selling are out of a split to chocolate rooster (Rolo) over blue rocks, blue barred rocks, and a black rock.  

Genetic considerations: 1) The chocolate gene is sex-linked and recessive. Only the female offspring have the potential to have a chocolate phenotype. 2) The barring gene is sex-linked and dominant. 3) The blue phenotype is a heterozygous genotype.  Homozygous black and homozygous splash are also possible combinations.

The birds currently in the Project House  include:
* Barred rooster split to Chocolate
* Black Rock pullet
* Blue Rock Project hens & pullets
* Blue Barred Project hens & pullets

Outcomes from Split to Chocolate Rooster x Black Rock pullet

The chocolate gene is a sex-linked recessive trait. Males must need two copies of sex-linked traits in order for the presence of the gene to show. Therefore, some of the males may be carrying a copy of the gene but it does not show. Barring is a sex-linked dominant trait.  Males only need one copy of the gene to appear barred but there will be errant solid feathers.  


Outcomes from Split to Chocolate Rooster x Blue Rock pullet
All of the above plus:


Outcomes from Split to Chocolate Rooster x Blue Barred Rock hens

Both of the above sets of outcomes but the barred roosters will have 2 copies of the barring gene so the barring will be more consistent.