Tim,

I kept the best from my first crop of backcross males (3/4 brahma) and combined them with the best F2 hens (1/2 brahma) from an unrelated cross. I generally retained a cockerel from each of these F3 matings and bred them to two either full-blood partridge or buff brahma hens. I backcrossed to full-blood brahmas another time or two, but generally that is what I did. Most of the color/pattern genes I am dealing with are dominant and I hatch a lot of chicks so this approach worked out quite well for me. If I were dealing with a recessive color like Lavender Id rely heavily on test mating.

Considering the state of the economy there could be no better time to infuse a bit of utility into our beauties. And considering the state of our culture when was the utility of beauty ever so apparent.

Dan