Friday, May 30, 2014

Belgian D'Uccle Breeding Program ( surprising results ! )

 Since the start of this year I have been planning how to pair up this years breeding pen for the coming of a new generation of chicks. I started in about February by culling  & selling any unwanted birds , getting it down to one rooster and seven hens. I knew there were going to be some crossing of colors and I thought I knew what the outcome would be but I was sure wrong when this rooster threw some amazing surprises !
 Above is a fraction of the chicks hatched. Most of the chicks that first hatched turned out as I thought, but the blue mottled in the middle threw me off .  If you remember, the mottled porcelain cross hen from my post Black Mottled D'Uccle * breeding project, she is the parent of the blue chick above. I knew she carried the dilute gene but it shouldn't have shown till another generation. This left me thinking maybe the dilute genetics in her were very strong and it wasn't until later I  solved the mystery.

 Above was the next  group to hatch ,  above, there are a porcelain and a self blue mottled ( under the hen). These two colors should not have shown till another generation. I got to thinking about the roosters' parents at the time he was hatched and my breeding pen only had Mille Fleur's which meant his dad was Crimson and most likely the hen above, so there shouldn't have been any dilute genes in play. But one of the days in summer  a few months before the chicks hatched I had most of the bantams out to free range which left the possibility of different colors to mix . Copper ( the rooster above ) had a shape completely different than his siblings and parents, but had a similar shape to Glacier my Porcelain cockerel which leaves me to think Glacier is his dad and would explain a lot.
 This is one of a few chicks that came out looking like this with two pinstripes and a dot on the head. I think it will be fun to see if it will turn out like a regular Mille or somewhat different. So far 25 chicks have hatched with more coming. All colors hatched are Mille Fleur's with Porcelain genetics, a Self blue mottled, a Blue mottled, and Porcelains with Mille genetics. My main goal is to get better shape in my birds as far as now and  I've seen a lot of improvement in the last 4 generations with better foot feathering and better beards , thicker body type and posture. I'm pleased with the results.

Above are my two second generation pure Porcelain chicks with a Barred Rock Americana Cross for my new laying flock. To read how the Porcelain to Mille genetics work see my post D'Uccle Color Genetics *. I will update how the chicks are coming along soon along with some photos of their family tree.  By Bugs .