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Look at the foot feathers on the mystery chick. Way better than the Chocolates. I'm looking forward to see how this peep feathers out, The red head is interesting.

Right now I like the color of the cuckoo better than the chocolates. Now I'm going to want them to hurry up and get their big bird feathers so we'll see their final colors.

Will that light blue on the far left keep that light blue coloring? That's one of my favorite varieties. You rarely see the same blue in Silkies since they got so mixed up with blacks.

How can you fix the foot feathering on the chocolates? Is there a variety you can cross them with to improve them or is that going to be it with them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #242 ·
I'm hoping the light Blue stays light! One thing I want to work on with them is lightening the Blues. I think it's an issue with silkied feathering in general where darker Blues just look like they're Black. My two Blue hens are so dark it's hard to tell them from the Black hens in the same pen sometimes. That's one reason why I was excited to put Diesel over them, because he was a lighter Blue who was very obviously blue at a glance and hopefully would make more like him, but sadly he passed on before I could do that. :confused: If this little one is a super light Blue, though, then I'll at least have a lighter one to work from again! 🙏

Foot feathering is caused by several genes, mostly dominant but some recessive as well, that cause feathering on different parts of the legs. The Chocolates do have at least some of those genes, and hopefully they are still carrying at least some of the recessive genes as well so crossing them to any of my other Cochins will bring those back out. One of the Chocolates has pretty good foot feathering as is, so if he's a cockerel and turns out to be pretty nice looking as Cochins go, I'll put him over some silkied Black hens and go from there!

I did take pictures of all them individually today! That was... not easy. :ROFLMAO: Since there are so many of them, I just put them in a collage so as not to bog the page down with that many pictures. Here they are! I tried to put them in hatch order within their respective colors as best as I could remember it, but many of them hatched when I wasn't in the room, so... close enough, I guess! The ones marked 'G1' and 'G2' are the Gus babies. Also, I do think that the one I wasn't sure about (not the mixed color baby, but the one I wasn't sure whether it was Blue or Black) is a Black at this point, but I guess we'll see as she feathers! I have her listed as Black Baby 3 here.

Bird Facial expression Vertebrate Beak Neck
 

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I wish Maisey would get out of my lap so I could look really closely at the pics. sigh. Until I can get rid of her and do some real looking I do have a question.

In Silkies, you can put a white bird with a questionable black/blue. If the peeps all hatch black, then the questioned bird is black. But white in silkies is recessive and I don't know if that trick can work with Cochins.
 

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Maisey is out of my lap. It's hard for my compromised eyes to see a lot of detail although I did pick up on a bit more foot feathering.

It looks like you've got to fairly light blues. Or did you already say that?

And so far, the cuckoo is still my favorite of the chocolates. And the detail of the red head is lost in that small pic but I got to see it and hope it stays there.
 

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I'm hoping the light Blue stays light! One thing I want to work on with them is lightening the Blues. I think it's an issue with silkied feathering in general where darker Blues just look like they're Black. My two Blue hens are so dark it's hard to tell them from the Black hens in the same pen sometimes. That's one reason why I was excited to put Diesel over them, because he was a lighter Blue who was very obviously blue at a glance and hopefully would make more like him, but sadly he passed on before I could do that. :confused: If this little one is a super light Blue, though, then I'll at least have a lighter one to work from again! 🙏

Foot feathering is caused by several genes, mostly dominant but some recessive as well, that cause feathering on different parts of the legs. The Chocolates do have at least some of those genes, and hopefully they are still carrying at least some of the recessive genes as well so crossing them to any of my other Cochins will bring those back out. One of the Chocolates has pretty good foot feathering as is, so if he's a cockerel and turns out to be pretty nice looking as Cochins go, I'll put him over some silkied Black hens and go from there!

I did take pictures of all them individually today! That was... not easy. :ROFLMAO: Since there are so many of them, I just put them in a collage so as not to bog the page down with that many pictures. Here they are! I tried to put them in hatch order within their respective colors as best as I could remember it, but many of them hatched when I wasn't in the room, so... close enough, I guess! The ones marked 'G1' and 'G2' are the Gus babies. Also, I do think that the one I wasn't sure about (not the mixed color baby, but the one I wasn't sure whether it was Blue or Black) is a Black at this point, but I guess we'll see as she feathers! I have her listed as Black Baby 3 here.

View attachment 44486
Great pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #246 ·
In Silkies, you can put a white bird with a questionable black/blue. If the peeps all hatch black, then the questioned bird is black. But white in silkies is recessive and I don't know if that trick can work with Cochins.
White in Cochins is recessive as well, but the only White bird I have is Dandy, and with all her prolapse troubles I'm hesitant to breed her. However, I also know for sure which of my adults are Black and which are Blue, so I can always breed her to a Black and get the same result. I do think she's Black, though, as she just seems too dark to be dark Blue.


Maisey is out of my lap. It's hard for my compromised eyes to see a lot of detail although I did pick up on a bit more foot feathering.

It looks like you've got to fairly light blues. Or did you already say that?

And so far, the cuckoo is still my favorite of the chocolates. And the detail of the red head is lost in that small pic but I got to see it and hope it stays there.
You can click and drag the picture to your URL bar to look at it bigger, or right click it and open in a new tab. On mobile, hold your finger on the picture until the menu pops up and then tap open in new tab. That lets you zoom in a bit and look closer, since it had to shrink them down to fit in the post. :)

Yes, I got two Blues that look pretty light. Number 4 is the super light one from all the way to the left in that picture with all the Blues. 2 has a darker back (she's actually the one right next to the lightest Blue in the Blues picture), but is still lighter overall than the rest of the Blues. Here's hoping they both stay light!

I do like the color on the Chocolate Cuckoo baby now, if only she would stay that color. The picture of the mixed color baby is actually the same one that I posted before. I cheated a bit on that and reused it because it was a struggle to get the rest of them to cooperate. :ROFLMAO:


Great pictures!
Thank you! :giggle:
 

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That did help. I never even gave that a thought. With the pic being smaller it's hard to see the red on the head of the mixed color peep. I would like to see it keep that color combo as it matures. Of course it's your baby and you might have other ideas.

Of course I'm seeing the tones on a computer screen so I could be way off on how interesting the cuckoo is if I saw it in person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #248 ·
I get the feeling that little one will end up black with red leakage, so sparse red feathering in a few spots on an otherwise solid black bird. We'll see! Like I said, I'll keep her in my mixed flock if she's a pullet, but I really don't have the space to keep a mixed-color cockerel that I have no real purpose for, unfortunately.

In person, the cuckoo is the same sort of solid chocolate-brown as the others, but a few shades lighter, plus her head spot of course. Not sure if that's what you're seeing or not. It is a pleasant shade of brown, though!



A quick check in today with our little lady from Easter, who's about 8 weeks old now! ❤ I still need to decide on names for her and her naked neck buddy. She's living outside now, so don't mind the less pretty backdrop than usual. 😅

Bird Grey Feather Galliformes Beak
Bird Grey Phasianidae Galliformes Beak
Bird Beak Terrestrial animal Feather Flightless bird


And just for fun, here's the naked neck, too, my little weirdo :ROFLMAO:

Bird Eye Phasianidae Beak Galliformes
Head Bird Eye Phasianidae Beak
 

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I'm seeing the lighter color of the cuckoo. They're all going to have to get bigger to really appreciate their looks.

Easter, Esther. But she's stunning at such a young age. She's going to be amazing as she gets older.

That poor NN is so ugly it's cute. It's actually quite adorable in these pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #250 ·
Sorry for not checking in for a few days! We had strong storms late Monday night that led to a 34-hour-long power outage, and things got a bit crazy! As long as I've had chickens, I'd never had a power outage last that long with heat-dependent chicks still in the brooder. Thankfully, our gas stove still works without electricity, so I was able to warm up water bottles to keep the babies cozy and everyone pulled through just fine. ❤

They're about a week old today, give or take a day, so we'll see if I have the patience to pull off another set of individual shots of them a little later. :ROFLMAO: At the very least, I'll get more group shots if I can!
 

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Don't be sorry, it's that time of year when everyone is busy or exhausted. And you've got several full plates with the newest additions.

That must be the same storms that hit us but we didn't lose power. Did you get the storms we had from last night yet?

Smart thinking on the warm water bottles but that had to keep you pretty busy just keeping warm bottles in there for the peeps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #252 ·
Yeah, June is generally my busiest month, between babies, usually older chicks as well (in this case, just the two, so not that big of a deal), and everything else I have going on. It's a lot! I'm actually only here to post real quick and head to bed for another long day tomorrow.

I don't know if they're the same storms! We're in northern Indiana here, the storms swept in from the Chicago area and through to north / centralish Ohio. I'm not sure how far they went into Ohio, though, because the power was gone by then. We only got a bit of rain first thing this morning, no actual storms since Monday.

The water bottles lasted roughly 2-3 hours, so it wasn't too bad. Mostly, I just listened for them to start being more vocal than usual and then warmed up the next ones to switch out. :giggle: It worked out really well!


Here are our babies today! We'll just call them all close enough to one week old for the purposes of the pictures. I did collages again, but this time in groups so it wouldn't shrink them down as much. You can always open them in a new tab to view closer still, though! I'm still not 100% convinced that Black baby 3 is Black, although her little wing feathers are quite dark so far... Also, interestingly enough, the mixed color baby appears to be feathering in silkied so far! She still won't be any good for breeding, but I wasn't sure whether to expect silkied or smooth from her!

Bird Photograph Vertebrate White Nature

Bird Photograph Facial expression Vertebrate White

Bird Photograph Vertebrate White Organism
 

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And I thank you for the updated pics. I know it's got to take time you don't have.

I can see why black baby 3 has you guessing. Although the wings don't look dark to me on this side of the screen.

Looking at Gus's peeps, it's surprising to see so much color on black babies. And the different color of the beaks.

And the blues. I'm in love. OK, baby 4 has top spot. But then there's baby 2 and baby 5. Might as well just choose all of them as my favorites.

Now chocolate baby one is my favorite. The cuckoo has fallen to it's OK but look at it's head dressing. Is that for real or an illusion?

Going to have to wait to see what the MC baby does variety wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #254 ·
No worries, I set aside the time to do that on the 16th so it didn't take any time I didn't have available. :giggle: I'm free all day today, too, so I have a lot of places online to check in and let everyone know I'm still alive. :ROFLMAO:

Yeah, in person Black baby 3 has what definitely look like black feathers coming in on those little wings, so I do think she's Black after all. I held her up in sunlight to be sure, no bluish-ness at all.

Gus's babies have me thinking maybe they both had the same mother. Zinnia had a lot of white on her as a baby, where Gus and Myrtle, the other hen in that pen, didn't have as much. That would also explain why three of the eggs didn't develop at all, if all three of those were Myrtle's eggs and she's not letting Gus breed her for some reason. Myrtle definitely has more junk in the trunk, so maybe it's just that I need to do a more thorough trimming on her than on the other two to be sure they can actually breed.

Anyway, this is the parent group of the two Gus babies as babies, themselves, for the comparison. Zinnia is the little one with the red leg band, all the way to the right. Gus had the green leg band, the baby in the middle of the three Black babies. Myrtle is the Black baby in the background at the middle, and of course our Dandelion is all the way on the left. ❤ Dandelion is the only one of these birds I know for sure was not a parent because she's no longer in that coop.

Bird Beak Neck Phasianidae Poultry


Here's baby Zinnia on her own. She was even lighter than the current babies!

Bird Beak Feather Poultry Livestock


And, Zinnia now! :love:

Bird Chicken Phasianidae Beak Organism



I have such high hopes for Blue baby 4 being a light Blue. Thus far, she's feathering in pretty light! Male or female, that little one is a keeper for sure! Other than 4, I'm partial to Blue numbers 2 and 6, personally. I love 2's marbled face, and 6's little goggles. :ROFLMAO: I also love that a lot of the Black babies have distinct white eyebrows over their eyes. They're all such sweet little babies, though, as always! ❤

Chocolate 1 has the best leg feathering of the group, although looks to have light skin like an Orpington instead of yellow skin like a proper Cochin. The Cuckoo baby has a lighter cast over the back of her head from the cuckoo head spot, is that what you're seeing?
 

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Zinnia was absolutely over the moon adorable. I can see why you'd be happy to see her peeps now that she's an adult.

I'm glad the baby pics are still on the page. I can scroll back and look at what you're seeing. OK, you love the mottling and the bandit eyes but they won't keep them. Sadly

When you have time running it by me why blues 2 and 6? I think I see why with conformation but that's in a pic. I could be way off base in person.

In the pic the cuckoo looks like it has all this peep fuzz only on the back of it's head. Sort of like those bald guys that only lose their hair on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #256 ·
Oh, my preferences at the moment are based almost entirely on chick down despite that it won't stay :ROFLMAO: Blue baby 2 is feathering in pretty light thus far, so that's an added point in her favor. Number 6 is just the cutest little tiny baby and her face markings are adorable to me, so that's why I like her a lot. I won't pick based on conformation until they're much older. By then, I'm sure my preferences will have shifted anyway based on other factors like how they're feathering in and how their personalities have developed. :giggle:

Zinnia is a favorite, so yeah, I'd be thrilled if they were her babies! I love Myrtle a lot, too, and she does have better conformation overall, but Zinni's such a sweetheart and I'm sure her babies will be the same way. ❤

That's funny on the Cuckoo baby! :ROFLMAO: I think I see what you're saying! That's the head spot that signifies future barring that you're seeing giving that baby that effect.
 

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It's hard isn't it? Especially if they turn out as special as they were as chicks.

How long has you been raising the Cochins? I don't think we ever talked about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #258 ·
Cochins in general, I think I got my first one in 2013? But that was just one cockerel and he died before he even turned a year old because I forgot to close his coop one night. :confused: The next ones I got were large fowl in 2016, and that's also the year I got my first set of silkied bantams later in the fall from someone who was selling out of them entirely.

As far as how long I've been breeding them, that's far more recent, technically this year as last year I didn't have any hatch from Gus's group despite trying. So I'm relatively new to the aspect of selecting for the standard for them, but have had Cochins just for fun in my mixed flock for a very long time now. :giggle:
 

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The breeding part is work. It's good you've also got those that are just part of the flock. I think that's the only reason I stayed with the Silkies as long as I did. Those pets.

Did you keep the large fowl or did you realize you didn't care for them? One person I knew that raised them was absolutely over the moon about them. I kept thinking I needed some but never got around to getting any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #260 ·
Oh, I still have them! They're just hatchery birds, a Blue and a Splash, but they are gloriously fluffy, calm, docile birds. When I got them, I was much younger and never would have thought back then that I'd reach the point of actively breeding chickens one day, honestly. They were purchased as pets and remain as such.
 
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