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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hellbender, Dec 27, 2013.
I would LOVE to see pics of your Rhodebars...I find them to be a very beautiful bird!
neopolitancrazy, Aaak! I did say rose combs didnt I. I meant large single comb in roosters.Why blue orpingtons? Unlike the buff colored orps, the blues are much bigger and robust. Yes their legs shanks are thicker and broad stanced. Being dual purpose birds, Iam very satisfied with egg production, size of egg and consistency. They provide good quantity of meat and reach table weight without eating you out of house and home. These birds are cold hardy and have wintered well for us. I am not sure on how this strain color of orpington arose but I assume its a cross that makes it what it is. I purchased this rare color when it was first introduced and have been very happy with it. They are truly not blue and there are 3 color variations. Go figure!
The history behind NNs is actually pretty utilitarian: they have roughly 25% less feathering than other birds; they're good meat birds; less feathering = less plucking at processing and cleaner carcasses. Right now in France they're being used as a cross with many of the standard French meat birds both to increase the amount of meat and to make processing easier. Plus, they really do have wonderful personalities and they're VERY hardy birds with natural resistance to several illnesses that challenge most poultry flocks. And the NN gene is actually a dominant gene, so it's easy to crossbreed into other breeds of chicken to get some pretty wild feathering patterns. Less feathering is also a big plus here in the desert SW where summer temps routinely head north of 100 degrees. (We've been in the upper 70s to mid-80s for weeks now.) And they're pretty good layers of large eggs on top of it all. Definitely an acquired taste though. I originally swore I'd never own such an "ugly" bird, but I absolutely love them now.
I'm anxious to see pics of your project birds at every stage. Blue Orps were high on my list of possible breeds at one time because I absolutely love how they look, and crossing with Biels...can't wait to see how they look! What a fun hobby!
They are still in dire need, but are improving with each gen...
Still beautiful!! Do they lay well?
I am excited to hear how this goes. I am an orpington collector and the blue is HUGE. Definitely bridging on turkey sized legs. The spangled are also excellent in size. I think you could pick and choose your way to the desirable combination.
As far as combs go, maybe you could select for the one that is more frost tolerant since you are in MI?
Please give pictures when you can.
Heron's Nest Farm,
Pictures? Ha ha. These 2 breeds wont mate until spring of 2016. So dont hold your breath! Iam getting bielie chicks in april and a roo. I have one season of grow out before I can mate them. I will post some pictures of both breeds as they grow.
Your Blue Orps sound fabulous, can you post some pictures so we can drool over them?
I also have a "blue" variety, (Blue Laced Red Wyandottes,) and the reason they come in 3 colors is because the blue results from a combination of the "black" gene and the "splash" gene. Birds with one of each are blue, while birds with two matching genes will be either the black or splash.
I am not disputing anyone's claims of poor production with any contemporary strain of any breed, but white Wyandottes were prize-winning egg layers in the 1890's or so, when those egg-laying contests got started, and the 2 pullets I have now are up to laying 6-7 large eggs per pullet per week. One is trying to go broody, dang it. I plan to evaluate their daughters for POL this year, and for speediness of molt and winter laying in future years.
They lay like crazy, but their carcasses are awful. Lol. But, they have improved so that's something. If only I could get them up to par with my reds. Good egg laying and carcass quality. But Gary and his dad and grandfather have been working on these reds for over 100 years, so I have a ways to go.
It'll be years but as long as I keep seeing improvement I'll keep plucking away.
Thanks @bnjrob and @RedRidge for the pics. I have PVC to make another A-frame tractor but do not have the chicken wire. I've considered making the Joel Salatin style chicken tractors but I'm not sure how they'll work with layers.