The birds above are the parent stock that I am using this year to start with. I will be using a different rooster for the next cross. Then I will be just crossing chicks from the two different groups and see how it all works out in the next few years. Fingers crossed.
My new project chicks. These will be SOP bred RIR's. I'm hoping to get the length and width back into the backs, great color, nice tail sets, good horn color in legs and beaks, more pronounced keels and an all around good laying bird with a nice brown color shell like I remember from way back when I was a kid. LOL
I just want to say that so many of us (including myself) have read and said, Don't cross these lines. I've also read where when Don Nelson started his line he crossed quite a few to get the line that we all now call the Don Nelson line. I have the Nelson, Underwood and the Old Reese lines at this time. The following statement is copied/pasted from Showbird/proboards: My line is far from pure,I have an old line base but have added Myers,Underwood,production,Bowers(old related line) to my flock over the last 20 years.I feel by selectively adding different birds that I have improved my Reds significantly over the ones I started with,There were mistakes made and many times took steps backward to move forward.The Reds now are larger in body size,earlier maturing,better and earlier layers,and have great color and feather quality.
Read more: http://showbirdbid.proboards.com/thread/2420/don-nelson-large-fowl#ixzz3ayZo4rOT
With this information, I am going to put back into some of my old Nelson hens some of the lines that Don crossed in the beginning to get some of the old bloodlines back into these birds. I don't really feel that this would be called crossing lines since they already have these lines in them from long ago. I'm working on a project with these and hoping that it pans out. If not, I'll just keep the hens for layers if they lay good. lol
I will be keeping information and pictures. I know this is something that won't happen this year but it will give me a start to what I'm wanting in my reds. Fingers crossed that this works as planned. One thing for sure I'm not going out of the RIR breed to get what I'm looking for. I have enough lines to work with to try this. If the hatch shows anything at all, I have good expectations. Gosh, these chicks seem to have so much energy just zipping and popping out of the shells. These chicks will have approximately 6 different bloodlines in them.
I have a lot of information from Maurice Wallace on breeding for certain things and I'm trying my best to put this all into action. Each year will be a different task until I get it right (hopefully).
4/26/2015 Set 24 eggs in incubator, 5/14/15 had 17 that looked good for lock down, the other 7 were clear which didn't surprise me at all for I only had the cock bird in with the hens for approx. one week before saving eggs. I am so hoping for a good hatch I am really wanting to work on this project for the next couple of years and see what happens. I really think this is going to be a wonderful line. Fingers crossed.
5/16/2015 As usual these little ones start to hatch on day 20. The three below started hatching around 6 PM and quite a few pips in eggs. I'm taking them out so they don't overcrowd in the incubator. Last hatch I had one that didn't absorb all the yoke and climbed over all the eggs and had a bad hatch. I'm watching this hatch really close. I'll take out all that hatch before bedtime then let the others go till morning if any hatch during the night. lol 5 of these were hatched before midnight and the other 7 came Sunday. They are really nice.
5/19/2015 Two and 3 day old chicks. Oh my are these little guys cute. Am really anxious to see how these turn out. Oh my, I'm loving their deep dark down color. I could just hear my old buddy Bob if he could see this.
5/23/2015 All 12 still doing just great. Growing like bad weeds, getting wing feathers and eating like little pigs. These are sure some nice chicks. I remember how my ole buddy Bob Blosl used to talk about the ones that stand out from hatch and I'm sure watching a couple of these because they sure are nice.
- 5/29/15 Two weeks in a couple of days. Getting very nice.
6/17/2015 Just put these in their outside pen. Will keep them inside there for a couple of days then let them outside to run and play. There are 12 that were 4 weeks on the 15th and 6 were 3 weeks. Getting pretty nice.
7/7/15 I still have all 18 of theses. 6 of them are 7 weeks and 12 are 8 weeks. Really getting nice and they have super yellow color on their legs. Some are really getting the nice horn down the front. I think I have quite a bunch of little boys in this group. All is okay though.
8/5/15 11 weeks old and getting pretty nice. I'm a little excited over these. Had 18 and a friend of mine took two of the cockerels last week then a predator took two. Hoping I can raise the rest. I caught the coon in a trap and killed him so maybe I'll be okay now. Keeping the trap set and nothing since so maybe that was the only one around. These guys/gals are not feathered good yet. They are going through their juvenile molt. I really like the keel on the boy in the last three pictures.
9/14/2015 17 weeks old today. I am extremely pleased of how most of these are turning out. The last photo in this group shows the nice dark yellow and horn color on the legs of these young reds. Coming right along.
10/17/2015 5 months old yesterday. These are getting pretty nice. A few of the girls and one of the boys. His leg color doesn't look to good on here but he was outside in the sun and the girls are in the pen. His legs look just like theirs.
3/17/2016 These photos were taken today. They are 10 months old. First two pic's are the same bird. Next three are same bird but different then the first two pic's. No Bird in first picture does not have anything wrong with his tail, he was just starting to move when I snapped the shot. Just in case you don't know, you can click on each picture to enlarge and see whole picture. LOL