Euskal Oiloa - Marraduna Basque

Average User Rating:
  1. AuroraSprings
    "Overall Best Homesteading Breed"
    Pros - Calm, great foragers, respectful/protective roosters, great mothers- but not overly broody, accepting of newcomers, etc. etc. etc!
    Cons - Brave, too brave. (As in, not scared of any dog- no matter how many the dogs kill. And rarely scared of birds of prey)
    We have had these birds for around 6 years now and LOVE this breed. We are pretty picky about the breeds we raise, but these chickens are awesome. They handle the heat and humidity of Georgia with little effort and are great, hardy foragers. They come in a variety of colors, even if they aren't all "breed standard". There is a wonderful, small group of people raising them, which makes it all the better to have them. Can't say enough good things about this breed - you're always welcome to email us with specific questions if you have some.
  2. Free Feather
    "Crazy pullet"
    Pros - Cute
    Cons - Make weird crying noises, scary, emotionless expression, very agressive
    I am babysitting my grandmother's Basque pullet, and she scares me. I love chickens, but this girl is seriously like The Orphan crazy. She is little and cute with a buff color and a black tail (I do not know the names). I do not know if she is crazy because she was always picked on in a tiny, barren run, but I do know I do not trust her at all. She always has a completely blank look on her face, no matter what she is doing or what is going on. She does this continual, monotone crying noise that is nightmare worthy. I have bantams that make very funny noises, but this girl takes the cake for originality. She is afraid of big chickens. When she gets anywhere near a bantam chicken, her eyes glaze over and the crying noise gets higher and buzzier and quieter all at once. She zips out really fast and latches onto an eyelid or a waddle or comb, then rips and pulls in a calculated, jerky manner. This is nothing like a normal pecking order fight. When I pull her off, she looks blankly past me no matter how loud I scream in her face. Even the boys will not touch her. Ever. Even my very active game bantam cockerel moves out of her path. Dogs do not scare her, nor the dark or anything that logic tells you is scary. She is uninterested in treats. She has no friends. When a chicken just looks at her without getting close or knowing her, without her even glancing at them yet, they are already terrified of her. She does not randomly terrorize or chase anyone. It is just if they are sleeping or eating or just standing close that she sneaks up on them. She is adorable, but she acts like she is possessed or is a scary creature in a chicken's body. I am dead serious, you would agree if you just glanced at her. She has an unearthly intelligence and demeanor, like there is a world in her head she resides in all of the time.
    If any of the others in this breed are like her, be very afraid. They are pretty, but once she takes this one back, I do not think I will get any.
    nminusyplusm and WhiteWyan like this.
  3. WyandotteIndeed
    "Great medium-sized breed. So cute and great..."
    Pros - Good forager, middle of the pecking order, nice eggs, excellent camoflage, beautiful.
    Cons - Can't think of a single one.
    I just love these! The friendliest of mine is Carmen. She is like a little cartoon chicken. These have a slightly shortened skull so retain their sort of baby-like cuteness into adulthood. They are very curious and great chasers of bugs. Can fly but really rarely do, unless to catch a grasshopper flying by in mid-air (hilarious to watch). Fairly brave and yet still cuddly, especially on cool days, she'll ride around in my coat. Super fun addition to any flock.[​IMG]
    TXChixRock and gootziecat like this.
  4. lauragutknecht
    "Calm, Friendly, good egg layers, easy keepers"
    Pros - Extra large eggs, each hen lays about 4 eggs per week, excellent fertility, quiet, friendly, can usually be color-sexed at a couple weeks of age
    Cons - I don't have any cons in my flock. I love them!
    I started with one breeding pair. The hen has laid an egg every other day (sometimes two days in a row, then skip a day) for the past 5 months. There is a high fertility rate, and I am getting quite a few chicks from them. They have a calm, friendly disposition and easily tolerate me entering their pen, or if I add a newbie chicken to the pen.
    I added 4 pullets to the pen who will be laying soon, and everyone gets along as if they were always together.
    TXChixRock likes this.
  5. RhodeRunner
    Pros - A fine dual-purpose breed, hens are social
    Cons - Aggressive roosters, had difficulty adjusting to climate/bacteria.
    We purchased some Basque chicks after hearing how friendly they where. Around a month the chicks become super friendly, and always wanted held. That was also when they where hit with CRD. We had other breeds in the brooder with them, but only the Basques became sick. So, we put down all the sick birds, and where left with only six chicks out of our original fourteen.

    The basques went outside in the fall, and they where fine. However, they did not like the dead of the winter, and spent most of their time hiding in the coop. The hens grew to be as friendly and useful as any other average dual-purpose breed that we have raised. The roosters (all of them) where aggressive to both humans and the hens, so they went into the pot. They where very tasty!
  6. hartshill
    "sweet, talkative and friendly"
    Pros - friendly, talkative and fun to watch
    Cons - eggs are small
    Although the eggs are small, I get one daily. Very friendly.
  7. naturespace
    "Love them"
    Pros - Smart, friendly
    I got hatching eggs from skyline poultry. Wonderful birds.

    1/20/13, had a pullet go broody last fall. She had 100% hatch rate and made a wonderful mother.
    Purchase Date:
  8. bayocum
    "Very Hardy and Resourceful"
    Pros - Fun, quick growing, beautiful, intelligent, resourceful
    Cons - None
    So far these have been some of the healthiest chicks I've ever had. Ordered a group of chicks (not basques) from an online hatchery last year and lost about 30%. Ordered these from Greenfire and haven't lost a single chick. They are growing like weeds and have taken very well to foraging around. I'm extremely impressed and can't wait to see how they turn out!
    Purchase Date:
  9. Leah and peeps
    "Euskal Oiloa"
    Pros - extremely friendly chicks
    I bought 2 of these in a group of chicks a while back, unfourtunately they both turned out to be males so we had to get rid of them so I have no experience with eggs, etc.
    Durring the time we had them they were by far the friendliest of all the other chicks.
    They are very pretty too!
  10. Maggiesdad
    "Dual Purpose Hardy Chicken"
    Pros - Really friendly chicks, that love free ranging.
    Cons - Not a recognized breed in the US.
    Hatched out two batches of these in late fall, as a homesteading/homeschooling project with my children. They've exceeded all expectations so far. Looking forward to seeing how they measure up.

    May 13, '12
    I was drawn to this breed by their reputation as a great homesteading, free range bird. I have not been disappointed. One pullet started laying at 21 wks, the other 3 girls fell in right behind her during the next two weeks. My first cockerel to be culled weighed 7 1/2lb in the feather. Delicious, flavorful bird!

    I'm really looking forward to working with this breed.

    Sept 1, '12 - The two pullets that laid first are my best layers, I'm getting 64 - 66 gr Ex Large eggs three and four days in a row then they take a day off. Another pullet went broody and hatched eggs successfully, I'm really pleased so far with these birds homesteading capabilities.

    March 18, 2013 - Processed 15 Basque cockerels in February. Delicious! Last year's hens resumed laying in mid January, after a 2-1/2 mo holiday. Egg production started picking up in late Feb, 60 eggs from 9 hens in 12 days for a collection ending this past week. My first big hatch is due out next week, the 60 egg setting should be out in 3 weeks.
    Roosters are testy with spring coming on, but the hens are just as docile and gregarious as ever. When they see me in the yard, they come running and flapping.

    Oct. 29, 2013 - Hatched a slew of these chicks this spring. Ate a bunch and froze a bunch. Went to my third chicken swap with surplus pullets that didn't meet the cut for the Spanish SOP. I was amazed at how many folks sought me out to tell me how much they loved their Basques that they had gotten from me earlier. Both of my breeding cocks turned mean this spring, a character flaw that I won't entertain. They got over being uptight and tense and actually became quite tender after a 9 hour soak in the mini spa known as the crock pot. Next years breeding pens will have males selected for temperament as well as conformation and color. The original hens and Summer '12 pullets are now in molt. This spring's pullets have recently come into lay, at an average of 26 wks. Eggs are already full size in the high 60's grams.

    Basque pullets with a mixed bag of barnyard buddies...

    28wk pullets, in lay, eggs in the upper 60gs.

    Stay tuned for more reports...
    ChoctawJenn and OhZark Biddies like this.

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