Best Heritage breed for raising oranically and where to purchase chick

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sixofus09, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. sixofus09

    sixofus09 In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I'm ready to go big this year. I have had up to 20 birds so far, and I'm ready to go to 50 +. I'm just wondering which breed would be best. I've decided I want heritage breeds. I'm also going to raise them organically. I'm in the seacoast area of New Hampshire. I would like to have the largest eggs as possible. I have Jersey Giants, Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Arucanas (EE's I know its a touchy subject [​IMG] ), New Hampshires, Buff Bramas, Sultans, and silver laced wyandotte. They are altogether and seem to be doing fine. Some are easy going and others are a little snappy [​IMG] I'm not worried about the pullets. I know the males are the ones to look out for. I'm just looking for experience in large numbers with certain breeds. I don't mind mixing a few. I may get a male or two of certain breeds and split them up and keep the breeds going. I'm in the works of starting an organic farm, and this would be a great start for me. A pre thanks to all who my post some info for me.

  2. tadkerson

    tadkerson Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    If you are on a working farm and want lots of large white eggs buy some white leghorns. If you want lots of large brown eggs get some sex links. If you want a heritage breed that lays large brown eggs go with rhode island red. You are going to have to sell the eggs to recoup the feed cost. I purchased some Rhode Island red from a commecial hatchery and after some selective breeding I had some nice looking birds.



    If you are going to have a working farm, I would suggest getting a few rhode island red males and the remainder of the birds should be delaware. This way you can cross the two and produce sex linked chicks. You will have to replace your pullets every two years if you want a good feed conversion to egg ratio. Find someone that has a chicken plucker or a place that will dress the culled birds at a cheap rate and put them into the freezer or sell them to people that want them.

    You will have to keep a few male delaware around to cycle in the new female delaware every three years or so.

    Remember it takes a young bird a while to lay a large egg. You have to start hatching and raising your new birds when your older birds are a 1 year old. This way the new birds will cycle in and be laying well when you get rid of the older birds.

    I sold eggs to a health food store and had over 100 birds. I no longer do this. I have devoted all my space to experimental breeding and breeding for varieties.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  3. mama24

    mama24 Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    If you want a dual purpose breed, there are a lot. Delawares are really good for meat, and also lay pretty well. Speckled Sussex are also really big. I only have one pullet, though, so I can't vouch for laying ability.
  4. lucky123

    lucky123 Songster

    Sep 12, 2009
    I think when it comes to laying a great number of eggs for a heritage breed, I would check out the german line of nh. They are also great looking birds.
  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Before really answering your question, I have a question for you - What is your definition of a good heritage breed? ;) Sounds to me like you just want large egg layers for selling eggs, while, most heritage breeds were dual purpose birds, so, are you looking just for big egg production? (sex-links are the best) or dual purpose (non hatchery heritage birds are best as well as some non-heritage breeds like Marans and Araucanas. Real ones not EE's)

    And if dual purpose, do you actually plan to breed them or just eat whatever roosters you get on accident in your orders?
  6. vnsseed

    vnsseed Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    New Hampshire
    What Illia said. [​IMG] . Raising Heritage breeds and high egg production don't typically go hand in hand. Are you looking to breed or just acquire stock? You will be hard pressed to get a "true" Heritage bird from a hatchery. If I were you I would join the ALBC and read, read, read, before you buy anything.
  7. sixofus09

    sixofus09 In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I want to have all heritage products on my farm. Eggs, meat, and produce. If they produce slower I'll just have more. I guess I would want a dual purpose. I was thinking of getting meat birds also. I could just have my egg layers and then have my meat birds. I don't know if there is one good large egg maker with fast production that is heritage, and one meat bird that is a heritage breed. If the egg layer isn't so fast to reproduce eggs I'll just get more. I'm going the organic route with everything, so if anyone knows a breed that does well with that would help. I'm using Green Mountain organic feed from Vermont with all of my animals. I just want to know before I go hunting for the breeds. I'm not in it for show birds. If my daughter wants to she can, but I don't think she will like the fact of culling for looks. She hates it when I set a trap for animals that are helping themselves with our birds. I'm just hoping to get pointed in the right direction.

  8. vnsseed

    vnsseed Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    New Hampshire
    The ALBC isn't all about showing, they are more about education of Heritage breeds and their various uses. We don't show either, we raise birds for utilitarian purposes, however if you are going to claim "Heritage", one of the items that defines a "Heritage" breed is that is must match the APA Standard. Just something to think about. As for Organic, are you going to get certified? If not, here is something to think about (this is from a friend of mine on his farm website):
  9. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    IMO Delaware are your better choice for meat and large eggs. They lay fairly well and arent real aggressive. I raise them and Domonique. The dominique lay fairly large eggs but not as well as the del and are a little smaller in size for meat. As far as where to get them . Pick what breeds you are interested in and check around your local breeders or check here for breeders of what you want.
    If keeping with the trueness of a heritage breed check into where they got them and how long they have had them to help better insure that your really getting a fair representative of the breed.
  10. Jaboyd2u

    Jaboyd2u Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    Branford Fl
    We currently raise Heritage Light Sussex absolutely love their personality very easy going birds that are pretty big, Not sure they are as big as the Jersey Giant but will grow out a little faster. Eggs are not huge but fill up the slot in a jumbo egg carton rather nicely. Couple pictures I have from last spring our male is 11-12 months old in the picture all the hens are pullets in the picture they are all now over a year old
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012

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