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Newbi Araucana breeder

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

I recently retired to the country and having past experience with chickens it was a natural for me to put chickens on the top of my list. My past experience was with 35.000 birds and now I had 15 and very quickly realized that this is a different game. A friend told me about the Araucana breed and I was very intrigued. I decided if I was going to make some eggs why not make some pretty ones. I live in Quebec and have found as you move east from Ontario the Araucana gets much rarer. I found a breeder at the Ontario border which I thought must be a great breeder judging by his operation. He had so many species of gorgeous birds and a really nice and clean operation. Upon my telling him of my lack of experience and asking him to choose for me he assured me that I was in good hands so I went ahead and bought 15 chics. It wasn't too long before I came to realize that I had 1 cochin hen, a polish hen and 7 roosters. One chic didn't make it and so now I have 4 hens and a rooster which I'm confident and enthusiastic that I can build my flock from. This is why the Araucana will always be the only chicken on my farm. Do one and do it right is my motto. My birds are nine months old and have been producing well for 3 months plus. They started producing during sub zero temperatures and have produced well during a heat wave. 4 hens 4 eggs a day with the odd 3 egg day always between 11am and 2 pm consistently.

I'm day 10 into my first hatch with a little giant incubator with rotator. I candled at day 7 and it seems that 41 out of 42 have taken but I'm not so confident of my candling skills.

Something of interest is through a friend, a prominent Montreal chef received some of my eggs and made a carbonera sauce which he later described as the best sauce he had ever made and could only attribute it to the eggs. I don't hear or read anything about any difference that there might be between a blue egg and a white or brown one. White, brown it's the same so I expected blue to be no different but actually I'm convinced that they are different. The first time that I cracked one into a frying pan i noticed that the white was very solid and later discovered that a month old one was no different. I just the other night tried for the first time boiling a few fresh from the day. This is when I was convinced that they are different as they were almost rubbery and one might think that it was boiled days ago. So I think that the secret is in the sauce. When I can produce enough to market I will definitely be talking to some chefs.

Anyway I'm very enthusiastic and excited about heading into year 2 with my birds and have definitely dug my heels in for the long haul. I'm also eager to make some Araucana friends and contacts!

Rene

post #2 of 7
I’m not sure what the differences ae between the Canadian Araucana and the USA Araucana. Each country develops their own standards. I know Australia adopted the UK standards which are totally different from ours but I haven’t looked at Canadian standards. If you are going to breed true Araucana I suggest you start going to chicken shows even if you don’t show yourself. Breeding true to the standard is kind of tricky, you may need some help determining what you should be breeding for. I suggest you also get a written copy of the Canadian standards and see if there is a Canadian Araucana club that might interest you. You sound like the type of person that might want to breed to the standard. But another option is to breed for the eggs you want. Show standards don’t make a difference if that is your goal. We all have our own individual goals.

Our eggs are usually different from store bought eggs but it’s not due to shell color. Our eggs are normally fresher than store-bought eggs. The longer an egg is stored the more moisture it loses through the porous shell. That affects the thickness of the whites. Ours are often quite stiff. Another factor in the stiffness of the whites is how long the hen has been laying. A hen that has just started to lay normally has really stiff whites, but as the months go by in her laying cycle before the molt the more likely you are to get runny whites. Eggs that have been stored a while are normally easier to peel if you boil them but may have runny whites.

Another factor in the flavor of the eggs is what the hens eat. Hens that lay store-bought eggs are normally fed nothing but chicken feed. Ours normally get to eat different vegetation and even some creepy crawlies. This can make a difference in the flavor of the eggs. Often ours eat things that can make the egg yolks quite a bit darker than store-bought eggs too. I put some carrots in the freezer yesterday and fed some carrot peelings to my flock. I expect the yolks will be really dark for the next few days.

Welcome to the forum and the adventure. It sounds like you could have some fun with it.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 7

Welcome to BYC :frow​ Glad you joined the flock! Your chick purchase reminded me of when I decided to expand my tiny flock a few years ago. I found and ordered 100 sexed RIR chicks from a "reputable breeder" and ended up with 99 varieties of assorted mutt and the barn cat. Ranging from day old to week old and many males in-between. Fun times...

 

Ridgerunner explained the egg quality well. Home produced eggs are amazing compared to shop bought ones in freshness and quality and if there is a market for them at restaurants, I'm sure you'll do well selling them. 

 

Good luck with your ventures and if you'd like to chat with some of our other Canadian members, you'll find them here:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/144/canadians-check-in-here/0_30

 

And if you're interested, there is a breeder list here:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/120419/canadian-breeder-list/0_30

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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post #4 of 7
Hi welcome-byc.gif

I'm glad you could join us here! Ridgerunner has left you some great advice and Sumi some great links to check out. I will wish you the very best of luck.

Enjoy BYC and all the chicken chat frow.gif
post #5 of 7

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

Reply
post #6 of 7

Hi Rene and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice already so I'll just say hello!

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #7 of 7
Sounds like you have a plan - hope you excel at your project to produce great eggs. Nice to meet you Rene, Welcome to Backyard chickens.

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