My Basque Hens, or Euskal Oiloak (EOs), are 7 weeks old. The pigment in their shanks is becoming more apparent, and they are growing stout and sturdy. These guys love greens and bugs and amuse themselves in the evenings by chasing flies.
The all-white cockerel at the top of the post remains pure white. This recessive white trait has been popping up in a lot of these birds and seems to accompany a very assertive, curious, and friendly personality and good size. This guy will make somebody an awesome little buddy of a rooster for a mixed backyard flock, but he isn’t close to the Spanish standard. The next cockerel, just above, was “Pink,” who I had thought was a pullet but then grew a thick, pink comb at about 6 weeks old. His coloring is more appropriate with warm, muted beige on his body and barred grey in his tail and hackles. He also has nice yellow shanks, which is a plus, but he is small compared to all of the others, including the pullets, and was slow to mature. You can see him in the middle of the group below.
I have two other cockerels: one is very grey and the other dark rust, neither a standard color, but both of great size, shape, and vitality. My rusty cockerel is going to be a cool rooster with his warm, rich colors and smooth white shanks. I really like the grey guy, too, and he has good, Basque-y yellow feet.
The two pullets have nicely shaped and colored bodies, but both seem to be developing off-color shanks. One has white skin with grey pigment yielding slate colored legs while the other has grey pigment over yellow skin yielding willow (just like my Silver Ameraucana girl with that name). They are beautiful to watch, though. They are less forward than the boys, as is normal, but still friendly and curious. Their shape and manner appears graceful, which I appreciate and hope this is an attribute they retain as hens.
As much as I love these guys, I don’t think I have much potential for a breeding flock of Basque Hens at this point. So, back to the incubator! I have a broody hen and an incubator, and I am not afraid to use them! 🙂 Stay tuned, because although I declared an end to hatching season, another hatch may be in the works!