Checking in again with pictures! I've sat down and really looked at my birds and come to several decisions on which birds to keep and which to move on. What I've concluded is this: I will be keeping all three Blue males that hatched this year, plus Black 1. I will not be keeping the mixed color guy, either of Gus's sons, Black 2, or Jack. There were a number of reasons I came to this decision, but suffice it to say it took a lot of mental back-and-forth before I settled on it and I'm happy with what I've decided on.
I have also decided that Washburne, Juniper, and possibly Bella will be culled from that breeding group after really sitting down and assessing them compared to the standard. Wash's type has always been less than stellar, so she was the obvious one to pull. Bella has some comb issues and beyond that just little things that bug me overall, which is why she's a maybe, and the same issues go for Juni, but Juni's eggs tend to be funky so they wouldn't be great to hatch from anyway, which is why she was the second obvious pull. I haven't taken their pictures in a long time now, but molt is starting to set in so they aren't as pretty as they could be. Actually handling them, though, and really looking them over in person, I feel like this is the right choice for that group. This will also make room for Trixie and Gwenyth to move to that pen, assuming I can tell Gwennie's eggs apart from the Cochins' eggs well enough that I'm confident I won't accidentally hatch from her. If they are too similar, then I'll have to pull her from that pen before I start hatching in the spring.
I did take pictures of the younger crowd yesterday, but the boys have moved to Rooster Row and are a pain in the butt to take pictures of now (well, always, but more so now), so I gave up after I got decent shots of the keeper boys. Since there are fewer pictures, I didn't bother to put them into collages as before. The youngest are about 4 months old now, and Trixie is just shy of 6 months old. I'm thankful I got those leg bands I'd been talking about and put them on Trixie and the younger Black pullet right away, because they are darn near impossible to tell apart now without them!!
The first one is Trixie! The younger Black pullet (Black 3) I've been calling Boba or Bobo, short for Hellebore. She needed a flower name because she'll be going into Gus's group when she's mature to bulk out the numbers there a little bit, and all of Gus's girls have flower names.
Out of the Blue pullets, I've been calling the lightest one (Blue 4) Athena, and the darker girl with good foot feathering (Blue 2) Inara.
The darker Blue pullet with poor foot feathering (Blue 6), ugh, look at her type!! If only her middle toes weren't so barren of feathering! I started calling her Ottilie 🥰 I know, I know, I shouldn't keep her, but I got so few pullets this year and she's so adorable! She'll live in the mixed flock, as a non-breeder / cull.
As for the boys, I have the Blue boys named (Zeke for Blue 1, Wyatt for Blue 3, and Levi for Blue 5), but not Black 1 yet, I'm still brainstorming on him. Anyway, here they are in that order: