Breed compared for the non competing noob!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Chickenlady17, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Chickenlady17

    Chickenlady17 In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2014
    I realize I am probably opening a can of worms here! However, I am curious what my fellow chicken lovers think. 4 years ago I got my very first chickens, and I knew I wanted Rhode Island reds based on my research. Of course, when I went to Feldmans I just HAD to get two Plymouth Rocks as well because they were so darn cute! So my first flock was 4 chickens: 2 reds and 2 rocks [​IMG]

    My husband and I have noticed that the rocks appear to be a much heartier breed. They had no feet or crop issues, and when the Reds stopp d laying (after abouth 2 years) the rocks kept going strong. In fact I only have one chicken left from my original flock, you guessed it, she's a rock and she's still laying!

    So what are your thoughts? Fluke and I got lucky with the rock selection and unlucky with the reds? Or are the rocks a heartier breed?
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I think you got lucky with the rock selection and unlucky with reds. I've raised both Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks and they are both very hardy. I really can't say that one is hardier than the other, although I personally like the BRs better as the RIRs are sometimes aggressive (particularly the roosters). The hardiest breed (among dozens) that I've personally had over the past 50 years are Black Australorps. I've raised them where winter temperatures dropped down to 30 F below zero and where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and in both temperature extremes my BAs came through like troopers. In those really high summer temperatures, while my Barred Rocks (and my other dual purpose breeds as well) were listless, panting, and holding their wings out, my BAs were going about their business as usual. They also tended to live longer and lay longer than the other breeds that I've had.

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