Ameraucana Forum

The Official Ameraucana Forum => Breeding => Topic started by: Michael Muenks on January 01, 2021, 06:18:10 AM

Title: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Michael Muenks on January 01, 2021, 06:18:10 AM
Looks like someone is creating a new line of buff large fowl . . . Are you expecting a lot of ticking when you cross back to buff next year? I'm assuming that is your plan.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on January 03, 2021, 10:20:27 PM
Buff is still my favorite color, but the LF buffs aren't nearly as close to meeting the breed standard as blacks.  Buffs are too fluffy/soft feathered and their egg color is generally a bit too greenish.  I'd given up on them and last year decided to work on them some more.  My LF blacks have great size & type and lay large to extra-large very blue eggs, so as I've done in the past I decided to cross them into my buffs again.  It would have been nice for this project if my blacks carried gold (s) and there may be some in the flock that do, but the the cockerel I used was pure silver (S/S).  It is a sex-linked gene, so all his daughters are pure for silver (S/-).  He was crossbred with LF buff laced Polish pullets and outcrossed with bantam buff Ameraucana females.  The photos of the F1 females are posted, below.  This year I'm using a LF buff cock over both of these pens of pullets.  I'll only raise up the pullets and I should be able to sex them as day-old chicks, due to the sex-linked silver gene.  The pullets should be buff (gold) like their daddy.  The cock is also being used over 3 LF buff hens, so I plan to use the best pure buff cockerels from them over the best pullets from these two cross projects next year. 
I expect it could take years to get back to pure buffs, but such is life.   ;)
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Mike Gilbert on January 04, 2021, 02:49:31 PM
John, is that the LF Buff rooster Jeff had?   Or from Nate?
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on January 04, 2021, 05:47:43 PM
John, is that the LF Buff rooster Jeff had?   Or from Nate?

This is an old cock, by the length of his spurs, and came from Nate and I believe it is one he got from me.  He also had a hen, so I retrieved a pair from in at the Lebanon show in October.  Jeff got some from me also and from John Fagen that were also from me originally.  Jeff's cock died, so I was only able to borrow 3 hens from him.
The good news is I candled my first setting of eggs this evening and most are fertile, including dozens of eggs from pullets/hens this guy is breeding. 
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Mike Gilbert on January 04, 2021, 07:33:53 PM
That's good news, as a lot of times the old cocks are not fertile yet this time of year.    Good luck with this project - it looks to be long term.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Michael Muenks on January 07, 2021, 03:27:43 AM
Thank you for sharing the pictures John. It is fascinating to see the results of the outcross to the buff bantams. They remind me of the results of outcross I did last year between black large fowl cock (split gold/silver) and my granny silver bantam hens. I kept the pullet with the most silver leakage out of the hatch. She is now in with the silver bantam cockerel from Mike G. I'm getting a few eggs from her and I'm anxious to see how things turn out in a month or so.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Michael Muenks on January 12, 2021, 06:26:51 PM
I snapped a picture of the pullet that is an outcross of a black LF male x silver bantam female.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Mike Gilbert on January 12, 2021, 07:27:01 PM
Michael, the black must not have been pure black, as both E (extended black) and Er (birchen) are dominant over e+ (wild type) which is what the bird in the photo is.  In fact she looks to be pure Silver. 
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on January 12, 2021, 10:31:49 PM
Hopefully a week from today I'll have some photos of chicks from these crosses with my first hatch of the season.  I also kept a LF black/Polish cross cockerel to put over the LF buff hens.  He is 6.2 pounds.  I plan to raise up both some pullets and cockerels from this cross.  The best cockerels may go back over pure buff pullets next year.  There is a lot of crossing back and forth planned for this project.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Michael Muenks on January 13, 2021, 10:33:10 AM
John - Those are some slate legs on that cockerel. I really like how the Polish brings the dark slate along. This is a fascinating project.

Mike - I am pretty sure that the pullet's sire is split silver and gold. I also concur that he is split E (extended black) . . . I've leaned toward birchen for him based on other offspring from the cross and I really haven't done test crosses of E and e+ to know what the offspring look like. Historically I've kept to the playbook. I kept a full brother cockerel from the cross that is birchen with some gold leakage. He will eventually be eaten I'm sure. I was interested to see how he developed. The picture of the pullet is a bit deceptive in the light because her main body is black. A couple more pictures of the pullet.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on January 19, 2021, 02:18:08 PM
This was a big hatch for my LF buff project.
26 LF buff cock over LF black X LF buff laced Polish chicks hatched.  I kept 2 that look buff, although they don't have the proper shack color. 
36 LF buff cock over LF black X bantam buff chicks hatched.  I kept 3 that with the best buffish color.
The "rejects" will be sold locally as Easter Eggers.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on February 25, 2021, 03:17:14 PM
John - Those are some slate legs on that cockerel. I really like how the Polish brings the dark slate along. This is a fascinating project.

The lf buff laced Polish are based on Birchen (ER), so like Extended Black (E) it makes for a darker shank than a Wheaten (ey) has and our buff Ameraucanas are based on Wheaten.  The cross did help produce much darker shanks on our buff Ameraucanas than I had when they were created using Orpingtons.  I've thought about creating a line of lf buff Ameraucanas based on Birchen, since the "laced" Polish are, but it looks like it won't work with a "self" buff.   
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Mike Gilbert on February 25, 2021, 07:30:23 PM
Nope, I think a self-buff would be next to impossible based on Er.    Interestingly enough, Golden Sebrights (and the Silvers) are based on Er though, along with the Buff Laced Polish.   
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Suki on April 09, 2021, 11:12:11 PM
Hopefully a week from today I'll have some photos of chicks from these crosses with my first hatch of the season.  I also kept a LF black/Polish cross cockerel to put over the LF buff hens. 

so that cock bird is black and I guess dominant white?  Interesting method for buffs.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Suki on April 09, 2021, 11:12:53 PM
I snapped a picture of the pullet that is an outcross of a black LF male x silver bantam female.
  I wasn't that lucky.  Nice shot.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on April 10, 2021, 10:05:55 AM
Hopefully a week from today I'll have some photos of chicks from these crosses with my first hatch of the season.  I also kept a LF black/Polish cross cockerel to put over the LF buff hens. 

so that cock bird is black and I guess dominant white?  Interesting method for buffs.

The dominant white (I) came from the silver laced buff Polish.  It changes black to white, but it doesn't effect red/buff color.  So self buff varieties that carry dominant white would show silver/white "salting" in the tails rather than the common black "peppering".  With the Polish dominant white (I) makes what would be black lacing into silver/white.  This Polish variety is based on ER, so even though they bring in several undesired traits when crossed with Ameraucanas they could be used to try to improve laced blue Ameraucanas.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on April 11, 2021, 02:29:46 PM
Here is one of the pullets hatched earlier this year from part of this lf buff improvement project.  She is from a lf buff Ameraucana cock over a lf black Ameraucana/lf laced buff Polish pullet.  She has dominant white (I) in her tail that the photo doesn't show, but overall I feel this is a lot of progress for the F2 generation.
The Polish hen, in the previous post, was her grandmother.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Mike Gilbert on April 11, 2021, 04:13:39 PM
Yes, that is a big change for one generation to the next.   Good work.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Suki on April 11, 2021, 06:32:37 PM
Well it sure is an interesting look.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on May 20, 2021, 04:31:09 PM
If all goes well with these growing buffs I'll have plenty of breeders to work with next year.  So far I'm planning on 3 different small flock matings and maybe up to 3 pair matings.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Mike Gilbert on May 20, 2021, 05:56:00 PM
If all goes well with these growing buffs I'll have plenty of breeders to work with next year.  So far I'm planning on 3 different small flock matings and maybe up to 3 pair matings.

How many did you hatch to get your keepers?
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on May 21, 2021, 01:20:31 PM
How many did you hatch to get your keepers?

According to my records I hatched 173 chicks from the matings that produced these.  Not all of these remaining will be breeders next year, but I don't like to cull too severely too early in case a varmint or virus reduces the numbers I have to work with. 
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Michael Muenks on May 24, 2021, 04:58:35 PM
The color is great on them. Well done John!
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: John W Blehm on June 10, 2021, 01:14:06 PM
I noticed 6 eggs on the ground, yesterday, in the pen of LF buffs.  Since my 1st hatch of this year was on January 19th, this makes the oldest pullets 20 weeks old.  The bad news is even for pullet eggs these are small.  The good news is even though some were more greenish, in person than in this photo, about half were much bluer than is normally expected from LF buff Ameraucanas.  Part of the logic behind the crosses I made was to improve egg color and size, using LF blacks that lay large to exra-large blue eggs and Polish that lay white/tinted eggs.
Title: Re: Improving LF buff Ameraucanas
Post by: Mike Gilbert on June 10, 2021, 02:52:16 PM
My October hatched LF Blue Wheaten pullets are laying a small egg too.    The good news is that they are blue, not greenish, and they lay a lot of them.    These are out of one of the last of Barb Campbell's roosters, a wheaten.   I lost him over the winter to a digestive issue, so am happy I decided to use him last fall.