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Euskal Oiloa - Marraduna Basque

Posted

Pros: Cute

Cons: Make weird crying noises, scary, emotionless expression, very agressive

     I am babysitting my grandmother's Basque pullet, and she scares me. I love chickens, but this girl is seriously like The Orphan crazy. She is little and cute with a buff color and a black tail (I do not know the names). I do not know if she is crazy because she was always picked on in a tiny, barren run, but I do know I do not trust her at all. She always has a completely blank look on her face, no matter what she is doing or what is going on. She does this continual, monotone crying noise that is nightmare worthy. I have bantams that make very funny noises, but this girl takes the cake for originality. She is afraid of big chickens. When she gets anywhere near a bantam chicken, her eyes glaze over and the crying noise gets higher and buzzier and quieter all at once. She zips out really fast and latches onto an eyelid or a waddle or comb, then rips and pulls in a calculated, jerky manner. This is nothing like a normal pecking order fight. When I pull her off, she looks blankly past me no matter how loud I scream in her face. Even the boys will not touch her. Ever. Even my very active game bantam cockerel moves out of her path. Dogs do not scare her, nor the dark or anything that logic tells you is scary. She is uninterested in treats. She has no friends. When a chicken just looks at her without getting close or knowing her, without her even glancing at them yet, they are already terrified of her. She does not randomly terrorize or chase anyone. It is just if they are sleeping or eating or just standing close that she sneaks up on them. She is adorable, but she acts like she is possessed or is a scary creature in a chicken's body. I am dead serious, you would agree if you just glanced at her. She has an unearthly intelligence and demeanor, like there is a world in her head she resides in all of the time. 

    If any of the others in this breed are like her, be very afraid. They are pretty, but once she takes this one back, I do not think I will get any.

Posted

Pros: Really friendly chicks, that love free ranging.

Cons: Not a recognized breed in the US.

Hatched out two batches of these in late fall, as a homesteading/homeschooling project with my children. They've exceeded all expectations so far. Looking forward to seeing how they measure up.

 

May 13, '12

I was drawn to this breed by their reputation as a great homesteading, free range bird. I have not been disappointed. One pullet started laying at 21 wks, the other 3 girls fell in right behind her during the next two weeks. My first cockerel to be culled weighed 7 1/2lb in the feather. Delicious, flavorful bird!

 

I'm really looking forward to working with this breed.

 

Sept 1, '12 - The two pullets that laid first are my best layers, I'm getting 64 - 66 gr Ex Large eggs three and four days in a row then they take a day off. Another pullet went broody and hatched eggs successfully, I'm really pleased so far with these birds homesteading capabilities.

 

March 18, 2013 - Processed 15 Basque cockerels in February. Delicious!  Last year's hens resumed laying in mid January, after a 2-1/2 mo holiday. Egg production started picking up in late Feb,  60 eggs from 9 hens in 12 days for a collection ending this past week. My first big hatch is due out next week, the 60 egg setting should be out in 3 weeks.

Roosters are testy with spring coming on, but the hens are just as docile and gregarious as ever. When they see me in the yard, they come running and flapping.

 

Oct. 29, 2013 - Hatched a slew of these chicks this spring. Ate a bunch and froze a bunch. Went to my third chicken swap with surplus pullets that didn't meet the cut for the Spanish SOP. I was amazed at how many folks sought me out to tell me how much they loved their Basques that they had gotten from me earlier.  Both of my breeding cocks turned mean this spring, a character flaw that I won't entertain. They got over being uptight and tense and actually became quite tender after a 9 hour soak in the mini spa known as the crock pot. Next years breeding pens will have males selected for temperament as well as conformation and color. The original hens and Summer '12 pullets are now in molt. This spring's pullets have recently come into lay, at an average of 26 wks. Eggs are already full size in the high 60's grams.

 

 

Basque pullets with a mixed bag of barnyard buddies...

 

28wk pullets, in lay, eggs in the upper 60gs.

 

 

Stay tuned for more reports...

Posted

Pros: Good forager, middle of the pecking order, nice eggs, excellent camoflage, beautiful.

Cons: Can't think of a single one.

I just love these! The friendliest of mine is Carmen. She is like a little cartoon chicken. These have a slightly shortened skull so retain their sort of baby-like cuteness into adulthood. They are very curious and great chasers of bugs. Can fly but really rarely do, unless to catch a grasshopper flying by in mid-air (hilarious to watch). Fairly brave and yet still cuddly, especially on cool days, she'll ride around in my coat. Super fun addition to any flock.

Posted

Pros: Extra large eggs, each hen lays about 4 eggs per week, excellent fertility, quiet, friendly, can usually be color-sexed at a couple weeks of age

Cons: I don't have any cons in my flock. I love them!

I started with one breeding pair. The hen has laid an egg every other day (sometimes two days in a row, then skip a day) for the past 5 months. There is a high fertility rate, and I am getting quite a few chicks from them. They have a calm, friendly disposition and easily tolerate me entering their pen, or if I add a newbie chicken to the pen. 

I added 4 pullets to the pen who will be laying soon, and everyone gets along as if they were always together.

Posted

Pros: A fine dual-purpose breed, hens are social

Cons: Aggressive roosters, had difficulty adjusting to climate/bacteria.

We purchased some Basque chicks after hearing how friendly they where.  Around a month the chicks become super friendly, and always wanted held.  That was also when they where hit with CRD.  We had other breeds in the brooder with them, but only the Basques became sick.  So, we put down all the sick birds, and where left with only six chicks out of our original fourteen.

 

The basques went outside in the fall, and they where fine.  However, they did not like the dead of the winter, and spent most of their time hiding in the coop.  The hens grew to be as friendly and useful as any other average dual-purpose breed that we have raised.  The roosters (all of them) where aggressive to both humans and the hens, so they went into the pot.  They where very tasty!

Posted

Pros: Smart, friendly

I got hatching eggs from skyline poultry. Wonderful birds.

1/20/13, had a pullet go broody last fall. She had 100% hatch rate and made a wonderful mother.

Posted

Pros: Fun, quick growing, beautiful, intelligent, resourceful

Cons: None

So far these have been some of the healthiest chicks I've ever had.  Ordered a group of chicks (not basques) from an online hatchery last year and lost about 30%.  Ordered these from Greenfire and haven't lost a single chick.  They are growing like weeds and have taken very well to foraging around.  I'm extremely impressed and can't wait to see how they turn out!

Posted

Pros: extremely friendly chicks

I bought 2 of these in a group of chicks a while back, unfourtunately they both turned out to be males so we had to get rid of them so I have no experience with eggs, etc.

Durring the time we had them they were by far the friendliest of all the other chicks.

They are very pretty too!

Euskal Oiloa - Marraduna Basque
Description:

Euskal oiloa first came into being as a natural breed evenly distributed across farms of the historical territories of Bizkaia, Araba and Gipuzkoa of the Basque Country (Euskal Herria) of Spain. Recovery and preservation of this breed began in 1975 when Dr. Fernando Orozco and his team at the Department of Animal Genetics INIA recognized the devastating impact that the use of hybrid laying hens for commercial production of the regionally preferred brown shelled eggs was having on the native breed. Based on this work, Dr. Jose Antonio Mendizabal drafted the spanish breed standard. The introduction of basque fowl into North America is relatively recent and the breed has attracted a following in Canada and the United States as a result of the combination of traits for hardiness, attractive color patterns, a friendly temperament, and good egg and meat producing properties.

Details:
DetailValue
APA/ABA Class
Breed Colors/Varieties
Breed Purpose
Breed Size
Breed Temperament
Broodiness
Climate Tolerance
Comb
Egg Color
Egg Productivity
Egg Size
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Dual purpose


Comb: Single, medium


Broodiness: Rare


Climate Tolerance: Broad; many kept in Canada despite single comb; Ventilation/dry air recommended

 

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: 180-220 eggs a year


Egg Size: Large to Extra Large


Egg Color: Brown

 

Breed Temperament:

Friendly, intelligent, curious; excellent foragers

 

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Marraduna: Barred reddish brown; most common variety in North America

Gorria: Reddish-brown

Beltza: Black

Zilarra: Colombian

Lepasoila: Naked-necked reddish-brown

All have yellow beaks and shanks, red earlobes, and an upright stance.

 

 

 

Breed Details:

Selected from the Basque region of Spain's country fowl in the 1970s, the Euskal Oiloa, or literally "Basque Hen," was developed to preserve the region's genetic heritage.  Basque Hens are charming; these outgoing, friendly, intelligent, and curious birds are distinct from the start.  Prolific layers of extra large, shiny, brown eggs, these fantastic foragers hold their own in the barnyard or on the homestead.  Dual-purpose, the roosters can weigh up to 9 pounds.  Because these chickens are new to North America, they are not yet recognized by the APA but can be shown under "Mediterranean Class, Any Other Variety."  A proposed standard is in development, and more information can be found at Basque Hens in North America and under the "Links" tab on this page.

 

 

Chicken Breed Photos:

 

Primary Image

 

 

 

Rooster

 

 

 
Hen
 

 

Egg
 
 

 

 

 

Chick
 
 
 
Adolescent
 

 

 

 

 

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