Black Orloff Colour Project
Here in Canada we don't have access to many colour variations of the Russian Orloff breed. In the UK and Europe, colours such as Black, Cuckoo, and White are quite popular. In order to get these colours here we would either have to import birds from Europe which is very costly, or try to recreate them using similar breeds.
We chose to use the latter option and used a Black Ameraucana hen as the dame and an Orloff rooster. The first generation created a very beautiful hen that looked like a near perfect show quality Ameraucana hen with just a hint of red leakage.
In 2020, I crossed the F1 Black "Half-loff" back over her father, the Orloff rooster and saved one chick, this time a cockerel. I've been very impressed and the type is pretty close to being back to Orloff with of course red leakage still. The recessive yellow legs showed back up and both the F1 hen and F2 cockerel are carrying one copy of the Mottling gene.
For 2021, I plan to again continue with this little side project, now to try to get rid of the red leakage and have better coverage overall. It might end up turning into a Black Mottled project if I start getting Mottled chicks, but we'll see.
In 2021, I saved one Black cockerel along with the original F1 Black he. I'll continue to monitor the growth of the cockerel and decide whether to move forward with it or not.
Malay x Orloff "Mayloff" Project
In 2020, a fellow Canadian Orloff breeder and friend, Kelly McCulloch did the first crossing of Malay and Russian Orloff. The two of us had been discussing the potential benefits of the outcross for some months and both agreed that it could be a great way to increase size, produce broader skulls, get the upright gamefowl carriage back into the breed, increase leg length, and produce more stout beaks. The Malay breed was thought to be one of the foundation breeds that went into the creation of the Russian Orloff. Kelly was able to obtain some Malay stock from a specialty breeder before he sold all his breeding stock.
The results? Amazing and interesting. Despite the pandemic and insane postal system overload, we were able to do a couple egg swaps across five provinces! Hatches were not at all awesome but I was fortunate to have a decent hatch.
One cockerel "Mayloff" (term we coined for the Malay x Orloff) that we're raising is incredible. He's a monster with a huge body, tight hard feathering like the Malay, no beard, huge thick head, and long legs. He looks almost like a pure Malay. So we're very excited to use him for this coming season to breed back over some of our best Orloff hens and see what the results are.
In 2021, we've continued the project, breeding the F1 Mayloff stag to pure Orloff hens. The offspring were highly variable with some runts and some very nice birds! We continue to enjoy watching them growout with our fingers crossed!