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Rosecombs - Breeding Project

While it's always my goal to improve all of the colors of rosecombs that I raise, the whites have been a particular challenge. There are very few breeders who have quality whites and even fewer who show competitively. It is for this reason that I have chosen this color to work on improving in addition to the blacks and blues.

White Rosecomb Project - 2005
The whites I have are very game bird in type and have very narrow, short sickle feathers. To improve the type of the whites I've crossed them to my blacks. My first generation (F1) has come out all blue so far. I hope that by crossing them back to each other I will get white chicks, but also retain half of the black rosecomb bloodline thereby improving the rosecomb type in the whites.

So far the first generation of blues is looking very promising. The comb type in white rooster was quite poor, but so far the blue chicks are showing the same quality comb as in the black rosecombs. The blues are still too young to know how the lobes will turn out, but so far they are looking very good. I hope to post some comparison images soon.

2006
From my original cross black / white cross I kept three blue hens and two blue roosters. From genetic research crossing these blues back together should yield 25% white chicks. This is indeed what happened. I also crossed the blue roosters back to the original white hens. This cross yielded 50% white chicks.

The chicks were of moderate quality and grew to have far superior heads.

October Update: A white rosecomb hatch pullet from this year took reserve of breed rosecomb at the Fall Classic poultry show this year in a class of nearly 20 birds.

2007
This year I plan my second black / white cross with the added bonus that I will have to opportunity to use birds from Rick Hare's bloodline. I'm hoping that this will greatly improve the overall quality of the white rosecombs this year and in the future. I hope Rick's birds will also help raise the standard of birds in Canada.

I also plan to do a direct white/white cross of last years birds to boost the number of whites in the coop.

July update: The white chicks this year from the white/white cross are looking very good indeed! The combs so far are looking even better than before with few of the major faults that were seen in previous years.

2008
Things are going along about the same in the white rosecomb improvement area. I'm a little disappointed in the hatch this year as the white rooster I selected out to breed from had some fertility problems. I started out with a few nice whites and then was not able to hatch many more. In addition the heads on the ones I did hatch did not show much improvement over last years hatch. Once the chicks mature a bit more I will get a better idea is they show much improvement over last years birds.

At this point I'm thinking of introducing some white leghorn into the line to get back to the white legs that the white rosecombs are supposed to have.

2009
Unfortunately this year was a repeat of last year with fertility problems with the white rooster. He was the same one I used last year which looking back was not the brightest move on my part. He was a little underage last year so I was hoping with maturity his baby producing abilities would have improved as well. It was a gamble that did not pay off. I will keep the only three young white roosters that hatched this year for next years breeding season. On the bright side these three young roosters are very nice in type and will be an asset to the project.

2010
So far so good. Fertility is better and I have five young white chicks already.

 



white rosecomb hens

The starting point - These are the white hens I started the breeding project off with.

 

Blue Rosecomb

This is a first generation blue rooster from a black / white cross. Not bad - This fellow has beautiful round earlobes that have maintained their shape into his adult life. He will be going on two years old and his earlobes are still nice and round, something that seems to be very rare in older birds.


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