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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by faysel, Dec 3, 2012.
My Biel cockerel wearing his collar. It's working so far.
I know a lot of you have asked how the Bielefelder's compare to the other breeds. This is what I can say about them compared to the other breeds that I raise as well:
Biel's are very large birds with beautiful crele coloring and are GREAT foragers. Mine eat no more than any of the other breeds and do forage for a lot of their food. They will tend to eat the scratch that I throw out in the afternoons....but ALL of my chickens do....because it is CANDY to them!
I do find that the larger a bird is going to be when he is mature......the more he will consume as a chick and that is the way it should be! Once the Biel's are grown and filled out....they don't eat anymore than anybody else.
Mine can move very fast and can fly up to high perches.....I don't find them lazy at all for their size and I truly don't think they are calm just because of their size......I think that the genetics come into play there. Now, if people start to cross them with other breeds....you may start to see aggression coming from the genetics of other breeds...who knows. But the Biel is a sweetheart!
I own English Orpingtons (which are piglets on food....LOL).
My Sussex (all colors) are very big eaters as they are growing out....but cut back once they reach maturity and love to free range in the pastures and find extra treats.
My Sulmtalers are GREAT foragers and eat very little feed! I'm amazed at how easy they are to keep fat and healthy with such little feed.
The Isbars are another breed that eats very little....prefers to find their food through foraging.
As far as aggression.......the Biel's are SO GENTLE and CALM! No bullies in my flock.
I will say this......I don't like aggression in ANY breed! If it shows aggression it is going to camp freezer.
I can honestly say that here in Texas the Biel does very well! It can tolerate our excessive heat (110 degrees) in the summer and our low temps of (28 degrees) in the winter. They don't need to be babied or coddled! They aren't finicky eaters either....they eat whatever they are given.
They started laying at 7-8 months and their first eggs were BIG. Some of the other breeds have pullet eggs that are too small to incubate. The Biel's eggs are BIG from the git go! As they mature....they get bigger. I put them next to one of my duck eggs and it was almost the same size! They are a pretty terra cotta color as well. I have 6 hens and I get 5-6 eggs every single day from them! They are amazing!
The biggest thing I like about Biel's is their auto sexing the minute they are born! It is such a pleasure to be able to know right away what you have!
Hope this helps everybody.......
I for one......TRULY love them and will keep them on my farm!!!! My incubator is full right now with quite a few of them!
I am really sorry to hear about it. So frustrating and just disappointing when you candle and the eggs are clear.
Loved this! I created a listing on our favorite bird in the breed section on byc. Hope everyone reviews the breed. More people would have them if they knew how wonderful this breed is!
As time goes on in my chicken keeping I am wary of anyone giving tours of their breeding farm. A breeder that isn't NPIP certified or doesn't make appointments or take bio-hazard precautions with visitors is suspicious to me with all the types of diseases so easily transmitted to flocks - AIs, CRDs like MS/MG/etc, Fowl Pox, just to name a very few of easily transmitted diseases unbeknownst to less security-conscious individuals. I've been burned once and won't visit others or take visitors. I won't even go to local meetups or visit/handle customer chicks at the feed store. AI is very prevalent at the moment and with the Alaska breeding grounds for ducks, geese, waterfowl, etc they migrate through 4 pathways through Canada & the U.S. with some flying along the Western Coast, some fly in a Southwest-Rocky Mtn flight plan, and some through the Mississippi-Midwest path, and finally the Northeastern States route. AI crops up every few years with the wildlife carrying the deadly mutating viruses so that vaccines can't even be reliably developed to combat it. Tilly's Nest website is recommending not to free-range our flocks and not encourage wild birds with easily accessible chicken feed/water while the migratory North to South or South to North flight patterns are in effect with the wild garden birds visiting our yards and especially when the water fowl routes are active. So much to worry about but I'm just really skittish about owners/breeders that take these warnings/precautions casually within their business. All it takes is one irresponsible breeder to ruin it for the many responsible breeding businesses. A remote California Foster Farms facility was AI tested and had to destroy over 4,000 turkeys. There's only one way a remote farm can get AI and that's through wildlife transmission or bio-hazard carelessness. I'm willing to bet that FF as most poultry industries is very bio-security conscious so it was probably brought to their farm birds through wild life. We are converting to treadle feeders and nipple waterers to combat the wild birds feeding on traditional feeders/waterers in our yard. It's a small thing to do but we've noticed a significant drop in visiting wildlife.
I heard of one guy who had crows that were always eating his apples so he shot one and put it on a pole and the rest of them never came back.
Thank you so much for posting this! Outstanding information!
Thank you for doing this! I hope to be able to add a review of this breed in the coming months.
Wow, yeah, see what ya mean….if local i would rather sell the chicks because then you know it hatched…..i don't really sell anything but the few times i did send eggs out it was after i had incubated a few sets to know fertility.
That's good to know about keeping a dead body on a pole to ward off if it works. In my situation we don't mind the Crows in the neighborhood. They have NEVER come into the yard and never bother the hens. The closest they come is to sit on a telephone pole or the roof of a building. Crow flocks are excellent for chasing off Cooper's or Red-tailed Hawks around here and as long as the Crows stay out of our yard I don't mind their patrols of the area. However I wish a dead Sparrow on a pole would deter the scourge of Sparrow flocks that invade en masse!!!! Sparrows are not even native to the USA and were brought as cage pets by the British centuries ago and now they are the worst bird pest -- killing other bird species, robbing other species nests to make their own nests, and will flock-attack a bird as big as a Crow. Sparrows are horrible little devils for all their cuteness and my guess is that they'll be the pests that bring in disease as deadly as the AI to our backyard flocks. They already bring in lice/mites/worms!!!
Yeah just like starlings!!!!