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Cream Legbar / Araucana whinge

I can't get my Legbars right. The hens are too gold around the neck hackles and they aren't quite autosexing. I think I had a secret 'Cotswold' Legbar in the breeding group two years ago and it's thrown everything out. I thought I'd solved it last year, but I haven't. And then last week someone contacted me saying some birds she'd got from me have come in to lay with white eggs.

Given that I don't like them as birds - they are too flighty and excitable - and that I also have the Araucanas that although bantam are laying lots of very nice coloured eggs, should I ditch them? Or should I spend another couple of seasons irritably winnowing out the ringers?

I don't want to buy in the new stock as that's a New Thing and I am clamping down on New Things this year.

They sell well, which is why I started keeping them in the first place. But although I can sell the ones that don't look quite right as garden hens, I can't do that if they're not going to lay green/blue eggs, because that's why people want them.

I'm grumpy. Validate me. In some way. I don't care how Smile.
Nicky Colour it green

you could justify getting new CLBs in cos it wouldn't be a 'new thing' just a new way of doing an old thing

on a side note, do Araucanas have bluer eggs than CLBs?

The Araucana I had laid white eggs.

Mind you, they never had a decent shell due to possible IB exposure, so may have lacked the tinted layer. I also suspected she may have had some Silkie blood because of the colour and shape of her comb.

Also she was daft as a brush and would frequently get soaked standing "shouting" at the rain.

My CLB is now 5 and still lays light turquoise eggs with reasonable frequency March - October. I doubt she's a perfect specimen, but aside of the drama on her first day when she ended up a tree, she's not put me off the breed.

The Araucana eggs are a more sky-blue range, the Legbar eggs are a less vibrant colour. I think it depends on strain, though.

I have blue/black araucanas, which also breed splash - they are very pretty. Although again, as a breed, they are more flighty than I'd like.

I have one Barnebar hen left, who I have in with the Legbar cockerel. Progeny should lay olive eggs. I am considering keeping a pen of the progeny and working on their form, because of the Barnebar they should be heavier and therefore more placid. And abandoning the Legbars completely.

I feel very dissatisfied all round with things at the moment.
Nicky Colour it green

funny enough i was playing around with genetics calculator trying to work out how to make a heavy olive egg layer, this morning. Also tempted to try to breed Rhodebars too. So many directions

If you put Legbar over Faverolles, I think you would get something that did the trick - and would be relatively quick to sex. Or Araucana over Faverolles, even.

I'm fed up with not having quite enough space for everything and desperately trying to rein in my expansionist tendencies. I've knocked two pens in to one for the Barnevelders now - they really didn't have enough space - and so the Legbars are in a small pen, in a different area to my main runs. Letting them go and concentrating on what's working is very tempting.

Arucana - we had a wonderful tiny bantam, very tame, very good layer and the best chicken we have ever had.

Umm, I really like my Cream Legbars. Over the years I've had a few "not rights" but am happy with how I've got them now (colour, size and shape of the birds, and of the size and colour of the eggs). I would research well and get in new stock or preferably hatching eggs from a good source.
As to olive egg layers. I have two which I bred from crossing my Welbars and Cream Legbars. The progeny autosexed well so I could just keep a couple of girls and the olive eggs are a good size and I love the colour.

Letting them go and concentrating on what's working is very tempting.

Careful. You're in danger of making sensible decisions and running a profitable business. Wink

@marshdaisy - I think it's a very personal thing. I much prefer the heavy breeds and the Barnevelders and Faverolles are really where my loyalties lie. The bantams have sort of crept in to odd corners and the Araucana bantams I find fascinating because of the blue/black/splash thing they have going on. The Legbars have never sat quite right with me and I think I might be looking for a reason to ditch them! I will give it some more thought before I make a pie.

Sean. I know. It's depressingly mature.

A friend once compared chickens breeding with a pail of milk. If you drop a rabbit turd into it, then no matter how much you strain and clean it, you're always going to have milk with s*** in it, so if it was me, I'd get rid of the lot and start again.

Just don't get rid of your araucana bantams until I am "getting more hens" as I have vowed not to hatch anything this year.

Handy thing this downsizer for thinking out loud. Barnevelders and faverolles it is?

Rationalise the amount of varieties you are breeding. Get rid of the Legbars.

Thank you Shan. I think that's what I'm going to do. They can go in to the big pen of layers and the cockerel can go in the pot.

Nenna's waking up literally every hour at the moment - I am homicidal with exhaustion. I can't problem-solve chicken genetics in this state.

Do I owe you faverolles hens btw? Because I have seven little girls that will be off heat in a month if you'd like a couple.

Remember to be kind to yourself.

Thanks Chez. Don't worry about the Faverolles, I have 15 chickens including our cockerel Boris - so far more than I need!!!! Isn't that always the case with chickens!! Laughing

And there's me thinking Laplace transforms were complex.

I like the idea that Chez sidled up to Shan at some point and said 'Errm, hope you don't mind but I'm a bit short at the moment, could you lend me a couple of Faverolles? Just to tide me over like. I'll pay you back soon as...' Wink

Actually, she sidled up and said she needed a big cock. Shocked Laughing
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