Our Breeding History
Here at Deer Run Farm we strive for QUALITY in our breeding flocks. We know how much value lies within knowing the genetic make up of the birds one wishes to breed. We spend a lot of our time evaluating our birds and making breeding decisions to improve the genetics for future generations. We believe in the importance of sharing the breeding history of our lines so that the success of our flock doesn't end with us. This allows customer's to make informed decisions on how to continue to breed with our birds in their own flocks moving forward. It also allows us to give credit where credit is due to those breeders that came before us and have helped in the conservation of each breed.
Although each of our flocks have bloodline influence from several different breeders, we've spent over 5 years making breeding decisions that other breeders may not have made. We've maintained a closed flock since our beginning in 2017. For these reasons it is most accurate to refer to our birds as Deer Run Farm bloodlines.
Our Ameraucana, Copper Marans, Delaware and Welsummer flocks are the result of a full flock purchase from Will Morrow of Whitmore Farm in May of 2017. Each flock originated from breeding the best birds from chicks they purchased from several different small breeders they met through breeder groups beginning in 2003. Will disclosed the breeding history of each flock to us after we made the purchase of the flocks and moved them to our farm. Below is the breeding history for each our breeds as they are now.
Our Ameraucana flock originated from 6 different breeders. Majority of the stock chosen to breed forward was from Paul Smith in Texas. It is fair to say that our bloodlines have a lot of Paul Smith bloodline influence, however bloodlines from Washington and Connecticut have some influence as well. In Spring of 2023 we will be introducing new stock from quality breeders, Lindsey Helton and Brad Henson. Both breeder have bloodlines that we believe exemplify breeding traits our flock could use for future generation improvement.
Majority of our Copper Marans flock originated from Wade Jeane bloodlines. An outcross with a Blue Copper Marans cockerel from Michigan was done to introduce the blue color gene, but also to improve fertility and vitality after discovering much of Wade Jeane's pure lines were heavily inbred with many problems. When we purchased the flock in 2017 we bred one season before bringing in a poultry judge to help evaluate the flock. We then split the flock up into 3 breeding groups to focus our attention on specific breeding traits to more quickly correct flaws within the overall flock. In the coming years we hope to find new stock that our flock could further improve with their addition.
Our Delaware flock originated as an evenly mixed combination of 6 different small breeders in its early stages. Whitmore found breeders throughout the US through breeder clubs and chicken forums. They purchased chicks from each breeder, grew them out to evaluate and selected the best to breed forward. With the goal of developing the flock for meat purposes, they worked closely with the flock selecting future breeders for each generation that showed the strongest growth rates and body type. No new bloodlines were added prior to our ownership nor have any new been introduced thus far.
We're most proud of our Welsummer's lineage as they remain one of the last direct descendants from the imported UK line of Welsummers. Whitmore sourced their original stock of Welsummers from Channing Grisham of Anderson, Alabama who's stock came from Frank Clark of Ambridge Stud, Belpers, Darbys, UK. Similar to our Marans flock, we established 3 separate breeding flocks within the overall flock in order to begin spiral breeding to help protect the flock from inbreeding. We currently have no plans to outsource new stock.
Our Olive Eggers are the only breed not considered a heritage breed, rather a mixed breed from two heritage breed parents. We created our Olive Egger line by crossing our Ameraucana over our Welsummer. The blue egg gene crossed with a brown egg gene will create offspring that lay green eggs. This is due to the blue egg being the base color of the egg and the brown color pigment being applied over top. Our flock currently consists of first generation Olive Eggers (F1) and backcrossed Olive Eggers (BC1).