Originally Posted by TillyPeeps
I like "Designing Poultry", very impressive.
Bielefelders are really good-looking gentle birds, but is their production as good as barred rock? Any way, I think your current Welbars are really perfect for the future market: beautiful autosexing chickens with the best production of dark brown eggs. What can you ask more for a chicken? After you confirm that they breed true and get more chicks, you should start to show the BYC people about it. I'm petty sure that there will be a big market for them.
It's hard to say if they are as good as a Rock. They took longer to come into lay, but skipped the pullet eggs entirely - their first eggs were as large as most breeds get at the end of their season, and now they are extra large, as large as my second year Rhodebars and Welsummers, for sure. I'm having a hard time finding anything I don't like about the BF's. I thought they were not hatching well, but I pulled 2 out of the hatcher tonight, making for a total of 4 out of 5 eggs. The Welbars did 6 out of 7. 2 of each were clear, so I set 7 BF eggs and got 4 chicks and 9 WB eggs and got 6. These are all first or 2nd week eggs, and you have to expect the first few eggs from a pullet may not hatch that well.
If I had BF's 2 years ago when I started on the WB project, I might not have bothered, they are so close. I need to get pics of the adults and eggs to post for everyone to compare. Supposedly the BF's have some Welsummer genes in their ancestry, and I'm guessing Barred Rock too, that is likely where the large size comes from, some of the heritage lines of rocks are very large birds.
The Welbar eggs are mostly a little darker and they hatch a day earlier. I have a lot more Welbar pullets at or near POL, so I will probably have 10x the number of Welbars to sell this year, I will likely reserve the BF's for people that want them specifically, and anyone just looking for a large dual purpose dark egg layer will get a Welbar recommendation.