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Best recession/depression chicken breed(s)? - Page 8

post #71 of 139

oh hey thanks for bringing this back up - had not seen before.

i'm going to pitch in with my barred rocks are great forages... so are my RIR's. in fact i just ordered a passel of them and are changing my flock over.

The gander drew himself up to his full height, shrieking his war cry as he stomped into the warriors stance.. I swung my shepherd hook like a bat'leth and snarled in my best Klingon "Today is a good day to die!".....

http://adventuresinthegoodland.blogspot.com/
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The gander drew himself up to his full height, shrieking his war cry as he stomped into the warriors stance.. I swung my shepherd hook like a bat'leth and snarled in my best Klingon "Today is a good day to die!".....

http://adventuresinthegoodland.blogspot.com/
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post #72 of 139

My friend had chickens here that she let free range. They were just mutts and she didn't do a lot with them but they bred like crazy and she always had eggs. When she finally decided to get rid of them, she had a hard time because they kept hiding their eggs and coming back with more chicks. Let's face it, almost any chicken that is let free range, will likely learn how to fend for themselves.
When I was a kid, my father brought home several different small flocks at various times, we didn't feed them(we were really poor) anything but scraps but they always looked good and always learned to roost in the trees at night.  They layed well and hid their own nests.
I think you shouldn't worry about what breed you have, just make sure you have some mutt chickens. big_smile

BTW Japanese,mille fleur Jap project,  corturnix quail, some red chickens I got at TSC, one EE and 2 EE chicks, and some really poor pyncheons, 10 ducks and 2 welsh harlequin ducklings,  one pheasant hen, one pheasant chick, one MFC chick, 2 Norwegian Jaerhon chicks.
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BTW Japanese,mille fleur Jap project,  corturnix quail, some red chickens I got at TSC, one EE and 2 EE chicks, and some really poor pyncheons, 10 ducks and 2 welsh harlequin ducklings,  one pheasant hen, one pheasant chick, one MFC chick, 2 Norwegian Jaerhon chicks.
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post #73 of 139

Buckeyes fit all of these criteria. They free range well (hunting for everything from mice to snakes as well as bugs), pea combs are good for cold weather, the extra males are easy to butcher (they skin very easily) and have nice broad breasts, the hens can and do go broody (but not so much they some don't continue to lay), just an all around awesome bird.

If I could only have one breed of chicken, it would be Buckeyes.

post #74 of 139

I just posted a question about certain crosses.  I got BO, EE, and Speckled Sussex hens with the intent of keeping these 3 breeds, figuring out which one(s) I liked the best and laid the best/most eggs, and then perhaps getting a rooster of that breed and making more. 

Then I got some RIR because I'm in the south, and I understand that breed is pretty heat-hardy compared to some of my other girls. 

Unfortunately, my RIR are roos.  So no RIR hens on site, but would I get some good long-term survival birds if I bred these crosses?  RIR roo + any/all of these hens?  They would definitely be "mutts" after the first cross, at least.  But they would have some RIR characteristics mixed in, which means the roo babies would be mean...  tongue

post #75 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by hcammack 

Who can forage for their own food HMM I ask myself that sometimes to. It would not be a large breed or a leghorn but a breed that had a medium body and a medium lay rate. I would think an old american breed that could be fed on a bit of grain and house scraps you should not get to many though because their is only a limited amount of food for them in certain areas. I would think Java's or barred rocks or even delewares might fit the bill.

Henry


American gamefowl.. Or junglefowl, i owned both.. Medium sized eggs, not a very heavy breed.. Hardy.. etc, i let a lot of them free range around here and they do perfectly, look at all the Key west/Hawaii chickens... Game crosses, same with Guam, and various other places.. Wild and have been that way for a long time. But they can also be tamed fairly easily (or the american gamefowl at least...)...

-Daniel..

PS.. May have been suggested before, i didn't read the whole thread. And just because they can take care of themselves doesn't mean you would find the nests.. And stuff like that.


ETA: And even owning them in pens, they aren't a very "eaty" breed.. I feed mine about a whole vienna can full per rooster, and half for a hen (maybe a full can for hens if it's winter, i always watch how much they're eating..) and after that they usually won't eat anymore that day besides the bugs etc, and no.. They aren't underweight, or overweight. I try my best to keep mine "perfect".


Edited by DTchickens - 7/24/09 at 9:26am

Fourth generation poultry breeder focusing on Kraienköppe- the breed that won my heart and replaced all others on my farm.
http://www.freewebs.com/dtsfowl/

 

Interested in poultry showing? Live in Mississippi or a nearby state? Check out the Mississippi Poultry Show Club

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Fourth generation poultry breeder focusing on Kraienköppe- the breed that won my heart and replaced all others on my farm.
http://www.freewebs.com/dtsfowl/

 

Interested in poultry showing? Live in Mississippi or a nearby state? Check out the Mississippi Poultry Show Club

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post #76 of 139

I just posted a question about certain crosses.  I got BO, EE, and Speckled Sussex hens with the intent of keeping these 3 breeds, figuring out which one(s) I liked the best and laid the best/most eggs, and then perhaps getting a rooster of that breed and making more. 

Then I got some RIR because I'm in the south, and I understand that breed is pretty heat-hardy compared to some of my other girls. 

Unfortunately, my RIR are roos.  So no RIR hens on site, but would I get some good long-term survival birds if I bred these crosses?  RIR roo + any/all of these hens?  They would definitely be "mutts" after the first cross, at least.  But they would have some RIR characteristics mixed in, which means the roo babies would be mean... 

Offline


RIR x BO are an excellent cross. They lay well, they're winter-hardy, and attractive. I had one roo that I sold when he just started crowing, but he was super sweet and inquisitive.

As for having to have one bird to survive on- I'd go with red or black sex-links, or production reds. I'd favor eggs over meat any day. And- they are excellent foragers- keep my garden virtually bug-free.

The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less
-Socrates
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The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less
-Socrates
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post #77 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollkiller 

What I am thinking is this, chickens live worldwide and a lot of the world's population rely on them for eggs and meat. From what I see, and my view is very limited, a good portion of the world's population that keeps chickens are very poor so their birds do not get commercial feed.

Are their birds basically mutts and only the strong survive or are they a particular breed(s) that do well on basically what they can forage?


here in nicaragua long ago there USED to be lots of Old American Breeds, but as the country got poorer their numbers dwindle, I live in nicaragua the sencond poorest country in America...so What breed do you see more often here? OEG and their mixes, these guys know how to fend for them selves, as little food is given to them, you can see them FREE RANGING in the dusty dirt roads of nicaragua, where they catch bugs, mise and enything that moves...

post #78 of 139

I have added Norweigan Jaerhons to my flock this year. Our winters are *cold* and long and they tend to do be hardy, laying well into the winter. They are a smallish bird that does not have high nutritional needs (unlike my Marans--who are total piglets!)

Jaerhons not only forage well but they can *fly* so predators are not such a threat perhaps. I don't have any eggs yet from my pullets, but they reportedly are frequent layers of a large white egg.

I think they look kinda like OEG birds. Oh, and another plus is that you can sex them at birth. I am pretty crazy about them at this point because they are calm and easy to be around, not wild-acting or skittery at all.


Edited by alpinefarm - 7/24/09 at 11:42am
Don't follow your dreams. Chase them!
Norwegian Jaerhons, the ultimate cold climate flock, and Mille Fleur Cochin Bantams
http://www.localharvest.org/alpine-farm-M25661
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Don't follow your dreams. Chase them!
Norwegian Jaerhons, the ultimate cold climate flock, and Mille Fleur Cochin Bantams
http://www.localharvest.org/alpine-farm-M25661
Reply
post #79 of 139

I'm very late to this thread (and haven't read much of it), but thought I would add this.

I have 15 Welsumer and Partridge Chantecler chicks that are now 5 weeks old.  They started scratching in their pen (newspaper on the floor) when they were less than a week old and have been moving the shavings around a ton since they were put in a larger pen.  Their instinct to scratch and peck is stronger than with any other breeds I've had.  Of course, I haven't had a lot of experience with other breeds, especially ones that did not come the hatchery way.  But, they are much more active in this regard than the Delawares I hatched last year.

post #80 of 139

The best chicken for hard times are those that don't cost much to obtain, feed or maintain. There are, in fact, many things to recommend the locally obtained yard bird as the best "Depression Chicken."

But, this is as much about YOU than the chicken you own.

I asked this breed question of my friend, Mr Berry. He lived through the Depression, and his family were "chicken people" as he put it. He told me that no one back then cared two cents about fancy-schmancy breeds.

What they DID care about was how to take care of their chickens. Well cared for birds pay the owner ten-fold. It's a value equation.

According to him, anyone who could fix things and had decent chickens always had a little change in their pocket. His dad was a handyman and jack-of-all-trades, so could actually DO something useful. Because of this, he always had some sort of work. He told me once,

"... we we had vegetables from the garden and everyone traded around their produce. Because dad was known as a good tradesman, we had a bit of money. And we always had grits and eggs - and when we tired of that, we could have eggs and grits!"

So how you take care of them is really the crux, since they are going to feed you. Whether high-bred show bird or scrapping yard bird, all chickens need the same things:

- Cleanliness
- Adequate Space
- Clean food and water,
- Protection from predators
- Shelter according to their kind.

Fortunately, all of these things can be done for almost no money. Common sense is far more an asset than the "right breed."

But, supposing the Depression left me with enough money to actually select a breed, I would look to the recommendations of the old time books from a hundred years ago. I would keep it simple and select one of the Big 5:

- Plymouth Rock
- Wyandotte
- Orpington
- Brahma
- Rhode Island or New Hampshire Red

Ideally, it would be from a pure strain and a buff form of one of these dual purpose utility birds. A Buff Rock or New Hampshire Red would do nicely. I would get buffs because they present a nice, creamy skinned carcass. White birds are even better in this regard, and were, in fact, highly recommended a century ago.
Remember, one of their "purposes" is to serve as table fare, either when their laying efficiency is spent or as butchered cockerels.

But again, almost any flock can be brought to its best with careful breeding and the good sense that comes with familiarity. And that can hardly be improved on, whether you have money or not.

Neat question!


Edited by Davaroo - 7/24/09 at 12:05pm

Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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