The reigning king in my barnyard, Buck, is now probably 4 years old. I bought him as a cockerel and he and his ladies have reigned in the barnyard ever since. They have their own special coop and the nicest, shaded, pen. His sons and grandsons could not come close to his type and attitude and were gotten rid of at the end of the year. I would keep one of them as a backup rooster and then get rid of him when the new hatch came along. They were just not up to par. That however, has quietly changed.
Last year I had picked out my new backup rooster from that years hatch. I took him to a show last fall, and he turned out to have "roachback". This is where the one of the back legs is actually set ahead of the other on the spine, so that the tail twists sideways and bird kind of "sidewinds" when he walks. A disqualification in any show and in the breeding pen. He was disposed of and I kept the only one I had left at that point as the back up cockerel. Then this happened:
My last batch of chicks hatched last year, the ones that were the most ignored, had the most losses due to predation was hiding a gem! The last cockerel hatched, the runt of litter, the one that I ignored, has quietly come on to be worthy candidate to replace his Dad. In my humble opinion, of course. Do you think I like him or what? I am just happy he was not of his hatchmates that I lost to the cat, the cold, or the raccoon. I have gotten very lucky with him. He has the type (I think) and a very nice attitude. He's "cocky" but does not attack. That I will not tolerate. Here's a side shot:
And a shot of his head. I am pleased with the comb and wattles. They are very small and tidy. Can you see why you would want these birds if you live in a cold climate? It is no fun to watch a bird suffer from frozen combs and wattles, the most vulnerable parts of their bodies in the winter. This breed will suffer less heat loss and be more comfortable in harsh conditions.
I have 3 chicks of his on the ground and will be mating him back to his mothers and grandmothers pens come late March. Wish him luck!