May 24, 2009

I love a Mystery!!!

I love a mystery!
Well, not mystery novels... but a 'ranch mystery'!
Everyone realizes that 'genetics' and proper selection of heifers and bulls in our commerical beef cattle herd is important, and there has been many years of 'cross-breeding', sire selection, and breed change in the beef cattle industry.
On a much 'less important' scale, breeding and genetics has been a big part of my Jersey cattle, and the goats. Also, the chickens!
I explained below about my attempts to keep my mother's and grandmother's chickens.
My mom knew her original breed was Austra White... but we had no idea what the greyish hens originally began as!
However, I now think they were Blue Andalusians. I did not realize that a fair percentage of B.A. chicks would be black and/or white/splashed.
NOTE: my chickens are far from 'pure'... as I have had a closed flock for nearly 12 years, and before that my mom and grandmother may have had misc other breeds in their coops.
Here is a typical grey hen (about 1/3 to 1/4 of my chicks hatch like this):
(Interesting observation: I have a very low percentage of grey roosters... I will get 1 grey or grey/splashed rooster out of approximately 8-10 young roosters, from straight-run hatch.)
Here are a few of my chicks:

I will try to add a few Blue Andalusian chicks to my experiments so that I will have young hens and roosters next year. DEFINITELY GLAD I HAVE THREE COOPS I can use next spring!!!

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