Originally Posted by rancher hicks
Well mine have finally started to lay. Since they're from May/June and their combs looked good I switched them to a layer feed. Eggs are brown, not as whitish as I thought they'd be.
Since no one offered to take them to breed, I'm keeping them for now. One taker only wanted the hens and while she was willing to pay the same price for the Trio, I still say no sale.
If you ever change your mind I would be more than happy to take them off your hands....All of them! Just offering....
They are friendly and I think like to forage rather than eat from a feeder. I've been keeping them inside because they wander unless I call them and stay outside with them.
I plan to build them a coop with a large covered run into the woods. Something like this but uncovered so things can grow through it. Only covered with poultry wire cloth. Locking them up at night as is my current modus operandi. I won't be setting eggs until spring at least. Who here hatches eggs? I will be offering eggs at some point, as long as I have these.
I think what may be a downside to MD's is the egg size is small and the birds themselves are not big in the eating department.
Don't let the small size fool you....As pullets the eggs are extremely small .5-.75 oz if you are lucky extra small salad egg...At about 12 months they increase to a decent 1 to 1.5 oz med egg give them time, you will like the eggs and quantity you receive
How do they do in the winter? I don't heat my coop and I just have the three. I'm considering sticking three young Delaware pullets in with them. Dels get along with just about anyone.
Mine do great in cold wet weather. They were bred for the cold wet marshy areas of England, if your up north, you only have to deal with the dry cold. I would watch for respiratory issues, I would not expect it. The longer they are in your climate, their offspring that survive the worst weather conditions will adapt quickly until your losses are almost none. I would expect a 50% loss on your first years hatchlings. Just so your not disappointed, the second breeding season you might experience a 10-20% loss, and the longer they become acclimated to your climate...the better they adapt, and the less you lose to sickness. So don't give up, protect your starter flock and they will make you happy...
I heat all of my coops, but the MD stay away from the heat lamps. As long as they are out of the wind and direct rain, I think they will do fine. My do not really care or the heat, or the red lamps as long as they have a nesting box they are happy.
I really hope you hold onto yours long enough to see what is so special about them, but if you ever feed the need to re-home them I would be happy to take all you have! All jokes aside!
Congrats on your eggs!!!!!!!