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...