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Best recession/depression chicken breed(s)? - Page 5

post #41 of 139

Dominiques, hands down are the survival of the fittest, however I will include Games also. I only raise Dominique. One thing I noticed this summer when a stray dog came through trying to catch his meal, these hens can fly pretty good because of their weight. My pullets have just started laying and its been below average temps here. My  Dominiques will range about 600 to 800 feet from the wagon type chicken house they use. You just cant beat a Dominique for a recession proof chicken!  old

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.   Winston Churchill            http://www.dominiquechicken.com/
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A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.   Winston Churchill            http://www.dominiquechicken.com/
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post #42 of 139

Almost any breed seems to become broody as they get older, including the hybrids. If you don't mind keeping a couple tough old hens around to keep the flock going you probably don't have to worry about broodiness.

Also, it might be cheaper to have one tough old lady around to hatch out eggs rather than keep your younger hens from going broody all the time.

If we went into a serious depression I have absolutely no idea what chicken breed I'd settle on. I'd probably break down and go with White Rocks. White Rocks are great all-around layers and grow a lot faster than a lot of your other breeds (not the Cornish Rocks - the actual White Plymouth Rocks).

I've always been tempted to get Egyptian Fayoumis. They're supposed to be very disease resistant (and possibly even resistant to Avian Flu), great foragers, and mature rapidly. Roosters begin crowing at 5-6 weeks old and hens begin laying at 4-5 months. The downside is that there's almost no meat to them at all. But if you don't mind eating birds the size of quail then I suppose you could butcher your extra roosters at a month old.

I guess in the end you'd want mutts that worked well for your area. You'd be less interested in sticking with breed standards and more interested in introducing traits from neighboring flocks that work best for you. If the depression lasted long enough, we'd see a lot of breeds go exinct and be replaced by a new generation of hardy farm birds that would end up being their own distinct breeds down the road.

Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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post #43 of 139

Hi Mahonri,

Here in the Uk we have a lot of places doing the Hi Line Chickens, and when I was looking at what birds to get I wanted to get a particular type that is know here as Bovan Goldline, they also match the egg production that you quoted, so I guess they are the same kind of breeds.

I went in the end for the  Black Rock, which is a bird bread from RIR and Plymouth Rocks and they are known for their hardiness, they are bred here in Scotland, but we have a local agent.

They are extremely good birds with a strong immune system, and very good at free ranging and egg production.  My supplier brings all his birds up free ranging on the mountainside near here. 

I am so pleased with them, and despite the egg production not being as high as the Hi Line, they do produce around 280 a year.  They also started laying in the worst possible cold snap we have had. Lovely quiet birds, very friendly and I am besotted....lol.  My sister had a mixed flock from another supplier, then bought 2 Black Rocks later, and out of 10 birds only the Black Rocks are laying regularly.

If I increase my flock this year I will be looking again at the Bovan Goldlines, and maybe some heritage breeds.  But I am sooo thrilled with my Black Rocks, I don't know what you would call them over there.

We started this for lots of reasons including the economy, and I am very pleased with my girls.  I get all my eggs and supply a few neighbours, which pays for the food.

Excellent, experience all round with a truely economical chicken....lol.

Jena.

The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
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The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
Reply
post #44 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jena 

Hi Mahonri,

Here in the Uk we have a lot of places doing the Hi Line Chickens, and when I was looking at what birds to get I wanted to get a particular type that is know here as Bovan Goldline, they also match the egg production that you quoted, so I guess they are the same kind of breeds.

I went in the end for the  Black Rock, which is a bird bread from RIR and Plymouth Rocks and they are known for their hardiness, they are bred here in Scotland, but we have a local agent.

They are extremely good birds with a strong immune system, and very good at free ranging and egg production.  My supplier brings all his birds up free ranging on the mountainside near here. 

I am so pleased with them, and despite the egg production not being as high as the Hi Line, they do produce around 280 a year.  They also started laying in the worst possible cold snap we have had. Lovely quiet birds, very friendly and I am besotted....lol.  My sister had a mixed flock from another supplier, then bought 2 Black Rocks later, and out of 10 birds only the Black Rocks are laying regularly.

If I increase my flock this year I will be looking again at the Bovan Goldlines, and maybe some heritage breeds.  But I am sooo thrilled with my Black Rocks, I don't know what you would call them over there.

We started this for lots of reasons including the economy, and I am very pleased with my girls.  I get all my eggs and supply a few neighbours, which pays for the food.

Excellent, experience all round with a truely economical chicken....lol.

Jena.


Jena, are the Black Rocks in the UK a first generation cross or are they a developed variety or breed?  We have a 1st gen. hybrid of those two breeds here, but we don't have an actual Black Rock variety that I know of.

post #45 of 139

Hi Seriousbill,

They are a breed fromone particular farm in Scotland, This guy has the permiit for the name of Black Rock, but in England there are other names, like pepperpots.

It is just the trade mark for this farm I believe.
here is some info I copied:

http://www.blackrockhens.co.uk/

Why is this chicken better than pure breeds for domestic egg production? - this is because she will lay more than any pure breeds in the UK nowadays, and she is more cost effective in terms of the amount she eats for each egg. Unlike the pure breeds who have had little consistent selection for good productivity in 90% of the current strains, Peter Siddons, the only breeder of the Black Rock in the country, has maintained his high standards of breeding. The Black Rock is a consistantly good bird in all kinds of free range conditions. Over the past decades we have sold birds around Scotland and they have coped, nay thrived, in some of the most inhospitable places.
It is very unkind to put the commercial hybrids, with their weak feathering, poor immune systems, limited ranging, and high food value demands, outside in some of our exposed garden, croft and smallholding situations. Its a terrible thing to do to ex-battery birds, which have known only a completely protected environment for all their lives. Few gardens in most of the UK provide anything like the sort of environment they need. Unfortunately they are stoic, and put up with so much humans throw at them, in the name of providing us with food and then in salving some sort of anthropomorphic conscience about it.
In constrast the likes of most pure breeds and birds like the Black Rock have been given the qualities by our breeding over the generations to really be able to thrive in the vagaries of the outside world.

What is a Black Rock hen? - the Black Rock hen is an extremely attractive bird, predominantly black with variable amounts of chestnut colouring around the neck. She is very productive, laying up to 280 eggs a year in ideal conditions. In most domestic situations, which are rarely ideal in productivity terms, they are still generous enough to give over 230 or more eggs a year. In ideal conditions this can be as much as 280 eggs a year. 
She is bred from very special and uniquely selected strains of Rhode Island Red and Barred Plymouth Rock from a single hatchery in the East of Scotland. This is the ONLY source of Black Rock birds. All the grand-parent and parent stock are bred by the same person - Mr Peter Siddons. Fortunately there are people around the country who, like us, take youngsters, from day old chicks upwards, and grow them on to pullets ready for you to take on, so that the birds are available to you for your situation. There is a link to acknowledged growers, like us, around the country here.
Obviously we can only supply birds to people who can come and collect them from the farm here. We free range rear all our birds and are limited in the numbers we can raise each year by the weather and amount of housing we have. Frequently we are booked up well in advance of the birds going away.

I have seen pics of birds just like mine on BYC, but I don;t know what you call them there.  My girls are lovely.Nice brown eggs and a good size.

Hope this helps,

Jena.

The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
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The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
Reply
post #46 of 139

Ah, I see.  It's a hybrid.  I think we just call those "black sex-links" here.

Edited to add:

"Both Red and Black Sex-Links use a red male for the father. Either a Rhode Island Red or a New Hampshire may be used.

Black Sex-Links are produced using a Barred Rock as the mother. Both sexes hatch out black, but the males have a white dot on their heads. Pullets feather out black with some red in neck feathers. Males feather out with the Barred Rock pattern along with a few red feathers. Black Sex-Links are often referred to as Rock Reds."


from Feathersite.


Edited by seriousbill - 1/1/09 at 7:05am
post #47 of 139

Ahhh thank you,

now you have answered my question too. lol...

They are really great birds.

Many thanks.

Jena.

The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
Reply
The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
Reply
post #48 of 139

If you want eggs, I think it's *line* as much as breed you need to worry about. Randomly-chosen hatchery or show <insert name of traditional American breed here> chickens are unlikely to perform as well as ones from a utility line that someone's been keeping for decades for exactly the purpose you describe.

I do not see what the problem is with keeping something small (leghorns, campines, hamburgs, whatever) that lays well but won't produce a big ol' roast. Big ol' roasts didn't exist for most of the chicken's history but people have been eating 'em anyhow... hence, for one thing, the popularity of fried chicken wink  You just have to adjust your expectations about what the carcass will look like, how many it will feed (most people eat way, way more meat in their diets than is in any way shape or form required, *anyhow*) and how to cook it.

It also depends a huge amount on your location. If you are somewhere warm, a free-range flock of leghorns or campines or games or whatever, that fends for itself pretty much and doesn't require you to feed it very much, certainly makes sense. As long as you can find the eggs and keep ahead of the predators.

OTOH there are a lot of us for which it Would Not Happen, at least not as a year-round proposition. (While I could certainly leave my chickens loose during the winter with access to a barn for shelter, the raccoons and weasels would be using the same barn for shelter and eat all my chickens, plus which I would ABSOLUTELY have to be feeding the chickens essentially all their food for at least 5 months a year, as the only thing they could eat free-range would be snow and ice)

So for me, capacity to forage for self would be a lesser concern than ability to get along without gratuitously high amounts of food and ability to tolerate confinement without messin' each other up.


Pat

post #49 of 139

I would strongly suggest mutts.  Get a few hens of whatever breed you want and a American Game rooster and let the crossing begin.

post #50 of 139

My Great GM kept some Dominiques and some mixed breed mutts.  She said the Doms were meaner than a snake and would keep away predators, go broody, forage for everything and would lay on a handfull of corn/mash/scraps daily.  They have a rose comb and were pretty mean, but mutts were also good layers and foragers.  Mutts seem to follow the "survival of the fittest" rule, which makes them pretty tough birds in tough times.  She had a big family and fed her chickens mostly table scraps.  They always had eggs and plenty of fried chicken.  She culled anything that did not lay or have a specific purpose.  When times get tough, you just don't want to feed anything that will not produce something you can use.

Just about "setting" time again!
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Just about "setting" time again!
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