I am Karen in Turlock California.We live on 6 acres in the central San Joaquin valley. We have polled Hereford cattle in the pasture & my chickens in pens in what used to be the corral in years gone by when we had, horses, sheep, goats etc. while our kids were being raised in 4H.
I am all about pretty chickens & beautiful eggs of color. I stick with dual purpose breeds 6.5 lbs & above that are average or above average egg layers. I keep a couple large white egg layers for color contrast in the carton. I do keep some Silkies ( mine are soft feathered whites) for there broody tendencies. I am interested in the less common breeds & love the idea of maintaining heritage breeds but haven't gotten into that yet.
I am always on the hunt for the new adventure.
My incubator experience last year was terrible but I tried again this year with much better results & have many juvenile birds now. I haven't done any cross breeding at this point but am toying with the idea of crossing my Cuckoo Marans with the EE. The breeder tells me it will produce off spring that lay "Olive Eggers". My Cuckoos were hatchery birds & lay an egg that is not as dark as I want so I haven't been breeding them & got rid of my roosters.
I have more Black Copper Marans than anything else but I also have trios or more in Wheaten Marans, a pen of Delawares, a pen of Light Sussex I have been giving away my extras so in my laying pen I am down to Cuckoo Marans, Single comb Brown Leghorns, a Buff Orphington & an EE & a few BCM & a White Marans. I have a quartet of Blue Andalusians that I will be selling soon.
I have been hatching like crazy this season so have a porch & patio full of chicks of different ages & breeds & an incubator Brinsea Ova 190 Easy full of eggs all the time. I have been having a blast selling hatching eggs & hatching eggs myself from all over the country.
I have true Ameraucanas from several different breeders, Harry Shaffer, Crystal Creek (Cindy Aultman), Spiritwood (Robin Davis), Christine Kitsch. I have BCMs from Ruth (Monique) & some of my own which are mixed Wade/Presley/Davis. I have White Marans from Substainable Yield Poultry (Carrie Stroble) & her BLRW. I have some Black Orpingtons chicks from I can't remember what breeder right now...........LOL What fun & what a way to keep yourself crazily busy.....LOL. I still have ordered eggs coming in from other places.............I think I need a 12 step program......LOL
I have an automated water system that my son installed for me on a pressure system that I am very happy with. I had been through different watering techniques & was discouraged until now.
My biggestest problem is keeping everyone happily seaparated into breeds without running out of pens. I never know when I am going to trip over a new love that I think I have to have.....LOL
My goal is to get down to around 5 (maybe 6) nice looking breeds that lay the eggs I want & promote a really nice healthy line of each......................... Which breeds they will be in the end I can't say, but I do know Marans will always be in the mix. I am "into" egg color.