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