I am very excited about some of the new breeds we have here, particularly the wheaten/blue wheaten ameraucana and the new sussex we have. The ameraucana's are so incredibly friendly, inquisitive and beautiful that I just can't help but love them! The sussex are much the same, they are very beautiful and quite friendly although not as "in your face" as some of the ameraucana can be. The sussex have been astonishing me with their rapid growth rate though! Both the Coronation and the Silver sussex are growing much faster then our Light Sussex from last year have. I have several roosters of all three varieties that will be headed for the table over the next few months, so we will see how they compare as a carcass. I have high hopes!
Speaking of "for the table", it appears that we have several Beltsville White turkey poults that are toms! That means we should have some turkey to roast for Easter! I think Christmas would be expecting a little much as they only hatched in August, but Easter should do. These turkeys are hilarious, ridiculous and calm. I say ridiculous because they truly are. They are so nosey and very opinionated. In fact, they believe they can do whatever they want, and that it should be just fine with whoever "owns" them, although they don't believe in being owned, truly. My youngest 6 poults are still in the brooder because they have suckered me into thinking they are still too feeble to face the cold. I think they actually want to be in there because there is more for them to get into! They constantly flip buckets off the shelf onto the floor, tip over the feed storage bin, and terrorize (I'm sure) the day old chicks in the small brooder on the table. If nothing else, they try to poop on them. At any rate, they make me laugh pretty much every day, and they are all named "BAD TURKEY!" (yes, with the exclamation mark).
I am so looking forward to spring-putting together the chosen birds for breeding, firing up the incubator and being able to share my lovelies around Canada in the form of fertilized eggs! I have high hopes of being able to breed very high quality/exhibition quality Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons, as well as the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes and Coronation Sussex. The Silver sussex are still a bit of a work in progress, but we will do our very best to select the best quality of breeding flock we can. As for the marans - well, our French Wheaten Marans & Black Copper Marans are wonderful flocks, good typey birds that lay wonderfully dark eggs. The Blue/Black/Splash (solid) marans are a work in progress in regards to getting the whole flock to the french standard (feathered legs), and then there is the other issue of egg color, it's a bit varied in our blue flock with some darker then others, however our goal is to breed for darker eggs of course. The Birchen Marans are going to be a long journey as we work towards having them where they should be at to be called Marans! As such, from the looks of things, we won't be sharing any of them in 2012 but will work on improving them and aim to have them available in 2013. I know it's a long wait but we are hoping it will be worth it in the end!
Hard work and loving what you do always pays off!