here are some young pullets and hens
I would LOVE a nice pair of bantam cubalayas; anyone going to the Ohio National have any for sale??
6 month gold duckwing in the snow, sorry if this is blurry ,I need to get clear pics of this years best at some point..
Please note the lack of other chickens in the picture, only the cubalayas were out in the snow, the other lazies were sitting around in the barn...
Since this seems to be the Cubalaya thread on BYC, I wanted to take a few minutes to make my case for why this a great breed. In my opinion, this is THE IDEAL "homesteader's" chicken breed. Why? Let me list off the reasons!!
1) Foraging ability- they are the best foragers of any breed we have had, they FAR SURPASS any American or European Dual purpose breeds, which just get fat and lazy and hang around the feeders. The Cubalayas will roam literally 5 -10 times farther away than any other breeds we have had, except some mixed breed bantams.
2) Predator avoidance- they are good at avoiding becoming dinner themselves, very, very fast, alert, good flyers, agile. We never lose adults, sometimes, a small chick, but never any adults. The males WILL defend their flock, I have seen therm attack hawks, cats, and dogs, and WIN.
3) Very hardy- neither cold nor heat really bothers them, I can't say the same for the fat, panting, dual purpose fatties. I have never had any get sick, get mites, anything like that. I have never even seen them suffer at all in heat or cold, and we have lost other types of chickens in both extreme heat and cold before.
4)Amazing brooders- the best broodies I've ever had, they all, 100%, go broody at least once a year, often twice, and go broody the first year. They never poop the nest, attack chicks, abandon chicks, anything like that. I have never had cocks bother sitting hens, or bother even newly hatched chicks. They will brood chicks for months, trying to cover huge nearly full grown chicks at night. They will easily tolerate moving to a broody coop to set, and they are DEDICATED, I have had them hatch muscovy eggs.
5)Great temperaments- they are wonderful, pleasant birds!! Very friendly, curious, NOT AT ALL NOISY OR FLIGHTY!!! Very relaxed around people, they don't scream when picked up, or even when they are going to the knife, they have courage and stay calm. They are also the most intelligent chickens I have had, they can figure out things that seem beyond other chickens. They are NOT "game", the cocks can be more aggressive than some breeds, for sure, but, they are not "homicidal maniacs". I have the greatest respect for gamefowl and the breeders of them, but, I am looking for the ideal, sustainable, low-input chicken, and the games, although fantastic in many ways, would need more input from me to keep them from killing each other. The cubalayas are the best choice I can find for temperament without being "dead game".
6) Slow growers, and normal layers- So, why do I list these 2 as positives? A fast growing bird will need more food, and better food, to maintain growth and be healthy. My goal is to eventually produce all my own feed, so, most of the birds feed has to come from their own efforts. I don't see fast growing birds as well suited to that, they are more well suited to be fed heaps of grain, with foraging as more of a vitamin supplement. I have friends from Mexico, Laos, and Zambia, there are no bagged chicken feeds there, yet, everyone has chickens , and somehow they survive. Also, the normal layers comment-they lay in spring thru fall, and STOP in the winter. This is great!! There is no food to forage here in the winter, and no market for eggs then, so, why should they even lay? I sell pastured eggs, well, in the winter, they sure are not pastured, so, I can't honestly sell them as such, plus , the market I sell them at is closed. So, what do I do with all the dual purpose breeds who stupidly lay eggs all winter? I'm in the process of phasing them all out, in favor of birds that lay when the grass is green, and quit in the winter.
7) Finally, they are BEAUTIFUL!!! Hard to beat such elegant, graceful fowl. Why should productive livestock not also be beautiful to watch?
I feel strongly these are a much better choice for people just looking to put eggs and meat on the table in a sustainable way, than any dual purpose breed ever will be. No, these are not super productive, BUT, they are very low input, which, it seems to me is way better if you primarily want eggs and meat for your own family, for the least work, time, cost, and hassle. And they are beautiful, with great personality!!
you have some nice looking birds gallo, and i agree with all 7 points that you wrote about the cubalaya as a breed. if i had to get rid of all my chickens except for one breed, the one breed that i would keep would be cubalayas. if you have an excess of nice cockerels this year, you could sell me one
You have done the unthinkable. On one hand, you have convinced me that my first instinct is still right. I picked the Cubalaya out of the proverbial line up of breeds as my preferred Survival/ homesteading dream bird. On the other hand you also convinced me that it probably isn't the best choice for my current circumstances.
How did you do that? lol
I live on just under an acre in the suburbs. Its an older area, and a lot of people that don't mind a little self-sufficiency. That said, a few people have gotten verbal corrections for their free-ranging birds in others yards. The unwritten rule here is keep them in a pen and as long as your neighbors don't care, the county doesn't, until it gets out of hand. With woods bordering the rear of our property, free ranging dogs are a concern, as with the usual woods faring critters like possums and raccoons. My current flock is 11 production RIR hens, a RIR cockerel, and a mixed Maran/ RIR cock thats around a year. The others are all 5 months. Current coop is 4x6, and with 2 roos its getting about time to build a second. The original pen (fully enclosed) is about 6x16, now expanded with an additional 30x15 on the other side with no top and 7 ft sides.
I would still love to have cubalayas for the reasons mentioned as well as....well they make such beautiful birds. Plus, I would have something few others have. I like that. Moving further out to homestead is a definite goal, but not anytime soon. We've already discussed what changes will happen around the house when the shtf. My garden will suddenly cover most of the back yard and most of the flower beds will also go into producing food. The chickens will begin free ranging, even if I have to stand guard with a lever action.
To you guys with cubalayas, will they tolerate:
current pen area with their own coop?
the other two roosters? Dominance is ok, so long as they aren't in death duels.
how might the hens do? RIRs aren't known for broodiness, but are decent parents. Will the cubalayas rear RIR eggs?
I want 3-5 more birds, geared more toward meat (at least in the second generation). A cock and a few fens of their own breed, in their own coop, sharing a community run is what I want. I am also concerned with having a breed that I can be hands off as much as possible, other than enjoying their company.
From your post, it seems that for now keeping them penned isn't going to work unless I put a top on the run. With space I have, will they do ok for now?
I hate the thought of trying to wait for it to get bad before I get them, their not easy to find now... Of course, I have no intention of "cooping" up birds that hate being "cooped" up.
I will patiently await any advice and answers.