Buckeyes or Jersey Giants ?

Herdsman01

In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 27, 2011
56
6
41
Central Illinois
Hi everyone, Im new to forum. Its that time of year when the hatchery catalogues come in the mail and a lot of people are getting ready to place their orders for chicks this spring. I know that I am in this particular situation as well. We currently have mostly Plymouth Rocks but Im looking for something different and I cant seem to decide between Jersey Giant or Buckeye. I just wanted to know what some peoples opinions are on these two breed. Like how do they do free ranging? All of our chickens allowed to take care of themselves during the spring summer and fall months (Of corse we do supply them with feed and water even though the much prefer to scratch up their own). I would like a chicken that is a good forager and is pretty good at avoiding predators. As far as I know we don't have a bad coyote problem but hawks have come in a take a few of our chickens a time or two. Are the roosters of either of these breeds aggressive? I would like to keep back a roo as our last one was pretty aggressive towards our hens and us so a friendly roo is a must. Any other info on these two breeds would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to name other breeds if any body has other opinions on a different breed that would fit the bill. I wold like to stick to American heritage chickens since preserving those seems to interest me most. Sorry for the lengthy post.
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Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
256
336
Forks, WA
They're both good foragers, both good breeds in general, but remember - Using hatchery birds isn't preserving heritage breeding, and what you get from hatcheries certainly isn't going to get you what you expect. Hatchery Jersey Giants are no where near as big nor magnificent, and Buckeyes aren't as meaty or as prolific and directly rooting to the original stock.

Neither of them naturally are aggressive, but there is no guarantee with big hatcheries. Since they only breed for production, traits like aggression can easily be ignored and continued down the lines.
 

Herdsman01

In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 27, 2011
56
6
41
Central Illinois
Thanks for your reply! I do like my hatchery chickens but i know they are nothing close to there standard and are bred more for production. I think i would like to gradually replace my current flock with one of these heritage breeds (plus we are all out of birds in the freezer) as I really would like to help preserve one of them. Does anyone know of breeders of either buckeyes ore jersey giants in Illinois, preferably in central or northern illinois area. Also if anyone has opinions on these two breeds feel free to chime in!
 

6Happiness

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
166
1
103
Quote:
Hi to relatively local person :) Can't help you though... I LOVE to have heritage quality giants (among other things) but when I see the price tags... :-(
 

Arielle

Crowing
8 Years
Feb 19, 2011
16,722
642
411
Massachusetts, USA
Did you know there is a Buckeye breed thread with loads of info--like 250+ pages. You might find a breeder thru contacts located there. I haven't looked for the Jersey Giant thread--maybe there is one that can help. WOuld like to have couple of those too, sooo big. Cool.
 

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