Originally Posted by bmvf
I thought I'd pop into the thread. I'm from Lebanon County just 5 miles off of I-81.
I am looking for some dual purpose breeds to raise and maybe breed. I'm looking especially closely at Delaware's but have thought about New Hampshire's too. Anybody near by breeding these breeds?
I have some heritage (not hatchery) New Hampshires. They are the "German" line, there is a long thread on this site about them if you are interested in learning more about the history of the breed. I only have one pullet laying, so building up a decent breeding group has been slow, but I think I am about ready to start selling chicks. There were some other people in this thread that expressed interest a few months back. If anyone is still interested, pm me.
I find the New Hampshires beautiful. The eggs are large for the age of the pullet and the chicks seem to grow a bit faster than my other breeds, and even the barnyard mixes (seems like the least valuable ones often perform the best, this being a rare exception).
Here's a pic of my trio. The roo is very well behaved and tolerates me picking him up and holding him like a baby. He always looks a little indignant, but resigned.
For Delawares, there are some heritage strains around, but I don't personally know anyone with them. If you are interested in a step up from hatchery stock, but perhaps not quite show quality, look into Whitmore Farm in MD. If I had the space and time, I'd get some of them and cross a NH roo with the Delaware hens to make red sexlinks. I bet they'd be great dual purpose birds since the roos of both grow fast to a large size.
I don't think you can go wrong with either breed.