Big Medicine,

I would love to find some massive SQ Brahmas – ideally both blue partridge and buff columbian. I’d breed the two together and then use the F1 with some of my buff-laced birds. I don’t show, but my eye does like big, tall, massive birds with an owly brow. I admit to being cautious about breeding to a show standard that might compromise these birds’ utility. The SQ feathering is actually way too soft for the windy hill I live on. It doesn’t so much hold heat as act like a wind sail in this neck of the woods. smile

I don’t worry about messing up the laced pattern – or getting set back a few years – as I am way further ahead on this project than I imagined I would be by now. My main focus really has been on dual-purpose utility. That may seem a bit weird considering I’m playing with one of the most ornamental fowl patterns in the fancy. I just think that our livestock were meant to be more Rolls Royce (expressions of self and ‘beautility’) and less McDonalds (over billions served). I digress.

Dominant white does reduce the gold. I have some gold-laced cockerels that are brilliant deep mahogany (which would work well for you), but some that are much paler than the typical gold-laced standard. I’ve had buff-laced pullets that started feathering up almost pure white that ended up near perfect buff-laced birds. Some of my buff-laced cockerels have deep red shoulders, and some have an even ‘buff columbian’ toned buff throughout. As I’ve mentioned - for this particular project - I am trying to shoehorn a ‘Rolls Royce’ into a ‘Farmall’ sort of lifestyle. So, my selection process is a bit like trying to fill my shopping cart with a nice healthy balance of Mozart and meat and potatoes! smile

BTW, have you explored the ALBC’s buckeye project at all? It presents a great hands-on way to select for utility. I will find an URL for you if you want it.

I will try to get you some photos of my gold-laced birds. I wasn’t able to hatch until late in the summer – and this winter has been the worst in 15 years - so this spring’s youngsters are still looking pretty unkempt this spring. However, I purposely breed some of my oldest birds (three years old) in order to select for longevity, so some of the old gold-laced girls that have made ‘the cut’ (by shear will to live) are still around and looking better than many of last fall’s hatch at this point in the season.

Dan