Breeds I Own
The colour of these birds is similar to the popular Light Sussex Breed.They are good layers that lay a Cream coloured egg. They can be broody as I had one go broody on me this year. The flesh is pink on these birds which makes them good dual purpose birds. They are usually sold unsexed as both sexes have the same colours.
Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Reds are top notch layers of brown eggs. The hens are good natured but not very broody. The rooster are kind of lanky but have a bit of an aggressive streak. The roosters grow to pretty good size and are good eating as well although the flesh has a yellowish tinge to it.
Speckled Sussex are a popular breed in the Uk but are not as common here in Canada. They are average layers of cream coloured eggs. The hens are very broody as I had 2 of 3 hens go broody this year alone. Unfortuanately their colour is so similiar to the Willow Ptarmigan they are the hawks around here's favorite target as I lost half of my birds in the first year alone! The hens are quite tame and the roosters are not that aggressive. The flesh on these birds is white/pink so they are good meat birds.
The battery farms bird of choice these hens are egg laying machines layers of large white eggs. The one above is almost 4 years old and she is a regular in the nest box. The hens are not broody at all and are quite flighty. I'm not a big fan of them as they seem kind of bullyish in nature picking on heavy breeds. The hens are always at the top of the pecking order. The roosters are just as flighty but are not that aggressive. As for being meat birds leghorns are not much eating as they have small slender bodies with not much meat.
Red Sussex Cross
These birds are a cross between the RIR and Columbian Rock. The hens look somewhat like a RIR but the redish colour is a bit lighter. The Roosters resemble the Columbian Rock so they are better to order as you can order straight pullets. The hens lay a brown egg and are quite good layers. They are quite broody as I had 3 go broody in the nest box this year. The roosters are good for butchering as they have pink flesh.
The battery farms top layers of Brown eggs. Like the Red Sussex Cross the ISO Brown can be sexed by colour as the rooster is white with the odd brown feather. They go by many names and one of the best loved breeds but I just got them so I don't know that much about them.
Red Rock Cross (Black Sex Link)
The popular RIR Barred Rock Cross hen is a good layer. They lay large brown eggs and are somewhat broody. The roosters resemble the Barred Rock and can be quite aggressive. Once crossed with themselves the offspring will be harder to sex through colour as roosters begin to resemble more the first cross hens with dominant black feathers and red necks.
Home Raised Birds
Like a box of chocolates you never know what you will get once your poultry are left to their own devices. The results though if you can always bring in fresh roosters of unrelated stock you get hardy chickens that are all colours of the rainbow. The hens are often more broody since they were raised naturally.
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