Project Motzle’s goal is to create a heavy breed frizzled, mottled bird that is also calm, a great layer and not prone to jumping fences or roosting in trees. Blue eggs would be nice too.
The starting point for this experiment is a gaggle of Anconas and some very large buff columbian frizzles.
The buff columbian frizzles are a reasonable (but not excellent) laying strain. They’re a large breed, calm (but not comatose) and regard both fences and trees as insurmountable barriers. They also happen to carry the blue egg laying gene.
The parent Ancona lay an egg every other day, run a mile when a human comes near, consider fences to be merely optional and love to roost up a tree. In fact the only thing they really contribute to this project is the mottling gene. For all of the other traits we want to select away from the Anconas.
For this reason, and the fact that we’d like BLUE mottled frizzled chooks, we’ve decided to also work on producing a blue mottled smooth feathered bird for eventual crossing with a black mottled frizzled bird. For this part of the project we’ve chosen some very cruisy blue Orpington girls whose egg laying prowess has yet to be determined. The hope is that the addition of the Orpington genetics will help counter the negative traits of the Ancona.
The first generation of chicks hatched during the Spring/Summer of 2013/2014. These were hatched from our Ancona rooster and Buff Columbian Frizzle hen. We’ve selected six girls (2 frizzled, 4 smooth) and one boy (frizzled) from this pairing to go forward to the next generation.
We’ve had the first batch of second generation chicks, which as at mid August 2014 are six weeks old. It’ll be another three months before we have a good idea of the quality of those chicks – and to see if any actually got a double dose of the mottling gene!
In 2016-12017 we’ve been working away hard at creating further second generation chicks, and a handful of third generation chicks. We have frizzled mottled birds appearing with regularity, plus we have also had some phenomenal luck (1 in 256 chance kind of luck) and had some smooth feathered mille fleur pullets pop up too, including one with the precious blue egg gene.
The addition of blue feathering into the line hasn’t worked out yet. We only have a single blue first generation cross pullet and we haven’t managed to hatch any of her eggs out yet, so it’s back to the drawing board on the blue side of things.
In the coming season we hope to continue to work with both the Motzles and the mille fleurs to select for the traits we’re after and away from the traits we’re not so keen to see. We’re a way off being able to sell any mille fleur birds yet, but Motzles are available on a somewhat regular basis now.