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What's Best Multi-Purpose Chicken for Free Range in Texas?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

We must deal with high summer temperatures, such as several days of 100-104 degrees.  Predators aplenty on our Central Texas farm, including coyotes, hawks, wild hogs, and owls.

I saw a video clip who said if you plan to free-range, you must choose the right breed as the more laid-back breeds may not be equipped to address even the small predator problems.

What breed would that be?  We need a chicken that can handle our long hot summers, hopefully still produce and is aggressive enough to have some chance?

Would prefer one that wouldn't dismember me though.

We plan to use 2 guardian dogs of appropriate breed for the job and build the coops portable.

Any input, especially from those of you in hot, predator-plagued country already succeeding at this?  What breed would be both a broiler and good egg producer and still accomplish the above?hmm

Thanks.

Connie

post #2 of 11

Plymouth Rocks!

~Madison~
Yes. My icon is of a chicken shooting a rainbow laser out of its eye.
I win.
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~Madison~
Yes. My icon is of a chicken shooting a rainbow laser out of its eye.
I win.
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post #3 of 11

In my opinion game chickens fit the bill better than any others.  They still have their flight instincts and are able to get away from those predators better than the heavy breeds. Not to mention they are egg laying machines that love to brood.

Tracy
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Tracy
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post #4 of 11

Yea get you some games and some old fashioned layers and cross them.  I have always found these mixes and their progeny to make great woodland farm birds.

Good luck!

Mixed Longcrowers and Longtails.  GreY junglefowl Hybrids.
Just the coolest chickens ever.  That's all.
Pictures of some Bengals, scroll to the bottom after you click on the link;
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/NDG/BRKGJF.html
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Mixed Longcrowers and Longtails.  GreY junglefowl Hybrids.
Just the coolest chickens ever.  That's all.
Pictures of some Bengals, scroll to the bottom after you click on the link;
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/NDG/BRKGJF.html
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post #5 of 11

We are in South TX and have Australops/Comet/Barred Rcoks/EE and so far so good.  They all are tolerating the heat decently and escape when they are loose. 

Avoid the overly feathered varieties as well as the feathered footed ones cant fly as well if not at all

I'm doing time inside a grapevine!!!!
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I'm doing time inside a grapevine!!!!
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post #6 of 11

Saipan Jungle Fowl are great free rangers, smart too.  They're close feathered so the heat isn't hard on them as long as they have access to water and shade.  They're also large, so most prey animals won't tackle with them.

SPPA, APA, & ABA Member || My Dragon Scroll

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." - Declaration of Independence
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SPPA, APA, & ABA Member || My Dragon Scroll

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." - Declaration of Independence
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post #7 of 11

we're in west texas ,, have RIR,white leghorn,aracunas australops,barred rocks,EE's,,the white leghorn has gone up against 2 hawks and a dog ,, and he will die before letting anything get the others,,,we also have guineas,, they are the best "alarms" to have,,, the slightest hint of predator,, and they let EVERYONE know.
we try to get the lightest colored ones we have a choice of,,and 1 hint,,,,,ours LOVE the sprinklers,,,hehe big_smile

BYC's original hippie..0 pair of games,0 peafowl,, 0, 0 savanah moniter,0 black emporer scorpion,0 bull snake,0 ball python,,0 wife,1 older boy,2 girls @ 7and9

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BYC's original hippie..0 pair of games,0 peafowl,, 0, 0 savanah moniter,0 black emporer scorpion,0 bull snake,0 ball python,,0 wife,1 older boy,2 girls @ 7and9

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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, all.

1Much, does our Texas heat affect the egg production or meat development more adversely on some of your breeds more than others?  We do hope to make some money on our chickens, both broilers and eggs.

Thanks.

post #9 of 11

I'm in South/East Texas and purchased 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Rhode Island Reds and 2 Orp buffs.

I think the heat (high 90's to 100+ from June to Mid Sept) will be really hard on the 2 Orp Buffs because of all their feathers, but we have built our coop to have lots of shade and hope it will help.

I hear the Barred rocks are hardy birds and good for this area and the light colors of the Rhode Island Reds were the reason I picked them.

I was told that all three will produce eggs like crazy... They are not there yet, but I have my fingers crossed... I would like to off set the feed when I able to.

My husband is also interested in Meat birds and I would like to know what folks are raising in our area as Meat birds.

Good Luck ...

Learning All I can so I can eat the eggs!
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Learning All I can so I can eat the eggs!
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post #10 of 11

My EE's do great here.  They free range all day.

                                    Hi, my name is Maria.  I have 2 dogs, a cat, and not enough chickens. 

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                                    Hi, my name is Maria.  I have 2 dogs, a cat, and not enough chickens. 

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