Big Medicine,

I too got a reality check this past week when I decided to weigh my birds. My biggest hen is 9 pounds at four years old. That is the good news. My biggest cockerels from last fall weighed the same, and the pullets weighed in at around seven. So, I am in the same boat as you. I do hope you brought home some big birds from that Ohio show!

BTW, how soon do you make your first cull? A few years back I started culling at day one for ‘buff laced’ chick down coloration (deep gold swirled faces with pale yellow bodies), feathered legs down to the center toe, and pea combs. This year my chicks are surprisingly uniform – and my gold-laced chicks are absolutely perfect – but several of my buff laced chicks are clear yellow with no gold on the face (which I have not seen for a many years). I thought I might toe-punch them and hang onto them to see what they grow into rather than cull them this year.

Also, looking through my flock I noticed that one non-breeder pullet that has snow white lacing, hackle, and tail without so much as a hint of black flecking. Her base color is also deeply red, so I am thinking perhaps she is not homozygous dominant white, but is actually carrying blue. Perhaps I haven’t lost my blue gene after all! She isn’t much to look at (and is very small), but I may throw her in with my black laced red male and hope for a couple blue laced chicks. Time will tell.

Dan