Edited by holm25 - 4/11/16 at 6:55am
- Jr Chicken Wrangler
Edited by holm25 - 4/11/16 at 6:55am
Hello! I have owned my Orusts for just about 1.5 years now. And this is what I have learned.
The Males are aggressive against humans, hawks, neighbors kids and each other. I had 6 males and had to get rid of all but one due to the fighting. Right now my poor legs have two stab marks from his spurs that are healing because I ran to protect my child from the aggressive male. He instead attacked my legs. He displays territorial ground scratching. Conversely, i raised him with my Welsummer male, The wellsummer is the dominate one in the flock.
The hens I can mix and match easily with other chickens (red stars, Welsummers and Wyandottes) with no problems. Hens are nice, and curious, and EXCELLENT mothers. Their temperaments are wonderful. they let you handle them and wait paitently to be let go. Anytime I've had to clean them, or doctor them up (dog ripping our feathers or fox or hawk attacks) They rebound very nicely with no issues. They (males and females) will sit and allow me to Help them. Males are very attentive to females. locating food and setting up the nest box. They are the lowest on teh pecking order but are never bullied.(they also are teh smallest)
They scourer the forests more than the feilds, digging up the old leaves, leaf clippings and obiliterating any tasty fauna. They actually ate my entire ruhbarb planet in the course of 3 days! I am still saddened. It was a 80 year old plant. :*( They dont wander! which was a surprize to me. They can forage 1/2 acre (1/4acre big 70ft trees) without any need to explore further.
Not sex linked. Their size slowly grows and finally biggest at just a year old. Also the feathering was slow. They will hold onto the mottled penguin patches for quite some time. I feel around 6 to 7 months the adults black and white balanced plumage is fully in. The shanks are yellow or white. the black spots on the legs will not be there at birth but will come in starting around 3 months. The males comb will get frostbite. Hens dont seem to have this problem with frost bite. Chicks needs considerable care. First round of hatching I incubated, but this year, I let the moma hen do the work. The chicks all seem much less stressed.
First year lay the eggs are definitely Small. They lay at about rate of 4 a week. More during summer and less during winter. Color is white/offwhite/light tan and I had a hen that laid a PINK colored looking egg which could just be a very light tan also. I was able to hatch out some crossbredss with the Orust breed. And any crossbreeds will only lay Brown eggs. So, their eggs (or genetics) are not a true white I suspect. They go broody every spring after their matured. And will stop laying for just a month long recess in January/Feburary
Happily I noticed a considerable change to MEDIUM around 12/13 months of age. Very pleased. The yolks can be yellow to orange and very healthy looking and firm, and whites are never runny. Are very tasteful as well.
Just a step up from a Bantam. Their feathers seem to come in more white as they age and with each molting it seems its mainly white feathers replacing.
They confine well. Hens and roosters will treat each other nicely on extended days in the coops. Mine primarily free range. But during the winters windy cold weather, I will keep them in the coop. They seem anxious to get out, but do not hurt each other if they don't.
They roost on the highest branch or bar. They will find a little notch in the roofing and balance it. The nesting box they enjoy is always the one which is the highest, and most hidden.
Funny story... I worked 2nd shift for 3 months, and in that time, I built a new coop. But even after a week of confineing them to the coop to reorient them to the new structure, they would try and roost 25-30 feet up the pine tree next to it. So, I would come home at 1130 at night, and have to climb that pine tree to collect my chickens! So dangerous! I did this for awhile till I figured the coop perches were not high enough. A couple scews and some forest branches fixed that problem.
Overall i enjoy the breed. Very pleasing to the eyes. And temperment is very good for the females. confines well, great mothering skills, and eggs are delicious!