Breed selection.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sixgunrich, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. sixgunrich

    sixgunrich New Egg

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    I am looking for a sturdy breed that will be very good at foraging for food on our organic vegetable farm .I would also like a dual purpose bird that can provide eggs and meat. We are considering the Black Australop breed for this purpose. What do you folks out there think ? We have a 30 acre farm in eastern Kansas and have hot humid summers and cold winters.
     
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    Black ast. sounds good to me. Any of the heavy breeds like the darker brahma with loads of feathers but tolerance for heat will help. I would not get light colors as they easier for hawks to get I have heard. Have you read the hendersons chicken breed chart about the different kinds of hens and if they are cold hardy or not? It is an excellent source. Also you want a spunky chick that can get away if chased I quess. Humm. Check out that chart Jean
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Choose whatever breed looks good to your eye. They are largely equivelant and overlap in performance. I think after you get into chickens more, you'll find it time better spent to maintain a flock of layers then do "crops" of broilers once or twice per year to fill your freezer.

    Really, in the long run, 5 years from now it will make no difference what breed you go with.
     
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I'd get some good layers that forage well. Andalusians, Anconas, Delawares, Autralorps...
     
  5. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Where are you? Some breeds are better geared to cold or hot climates than others.

    There is an overlap in breeds. More so if buying from a hatchery.

    I would go Delaware or Dorking, if you are planning on buying quality birds from a breeder.
     
  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are somewhat hard to find but Java's would fit the bill very well. Any Rock breed is also a great dual purpose bird.
     
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think Australorps are an excellent choice. They have been the most alert and active of the dual purpose breeds I've had.

    They are very good layers and surprisingly "meaty" when young.

    Aussies will also disappear in shadows and that may help with the hawks. And for all the "blackness" - they don't seem to have any special problem with the heat from the sun.

    I've been told that Aussie roos tend to be aggressive. I had a half-breed, didn't like him as he was certainly aggressive with the hens - gave him away.

    Steve
     
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I'm in central Kansas and have a varied assortment of different breeds. I think most any of the heavy breeds will do well for you as long as they have access to plenty of shade and water in our summers. I've got Orps, Wyandottes, Brahmas, Marans, Speckled Sussex, Javas, and Rocks to name most of them. They're all heavy breeds but I haven't lost any to the heat. I have had Australorps in the past and they also did well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  9. sixgunrich

    sixgunrich New Egg

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    Thank you guys for all the good advice !
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I can tell you that the best foragers I have are a Speckled Sussex (who would be a great meat bird), Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons. My SS hen, Nelda, is an eating machine. She forages all day long, every day...jumps in people's cars if they're parked in our driveway, all on a quest for food. And she is a short, round, tubby girl.
     

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