grizzlyheart1990

In the Brooder
May 18, 2017
2
0
20
Hey everyone, I have had what I would call a successful first year with my flock of chickens, I started out with 30 but 5 of those were roosters who have made a great addition to my freezer, and I've started selling eggs, which has been a blast so far my favorites have been the Plymouth barreds but come spring I am looking to increase size, and cull some of my own. Buckeyes have caught my eyes and I'm thinking of just doing buckeyes and barred rocks, anyone have any experience with buckeyes? tell me what your think of them! as chickens, as layers, as meat, as producers and as just ingeneral company of your backyard or farm!
 

fawndane

Songster
Oct 7, 2017
158
273
116
Good day @grizzlyheart1990 Hope you’re having an excellent time on BYC! :)

I’ve never had Buckeyes, but don’t let that stop you. I’d research on their average egg production a year, about how long they lay, and their temperament.

In the end, it’s your decision.. If you like what you’ve learned about them, go for it! :thumbsup
 

Sunshine Flock

Crowing
Sep 27, 2017
1,363
3,754
317
Northern California
I have no experience with Buckeyes, other than having been hatched in Ohio.

But when I move to a colder climate, they're topping my list of breeds. I love everything I've read about them. They're a heritage breed developed by a woman in the 1800s in Ohio. The breed needs our support lest it vanish. And they're hardy birds with small combs; great for cold climates.

Good choice!
 

MNChickMom

Crowing
Feb 17, 2016
1,493
2,636
271
Central Minnesota
Good Day,
I have 3 buckeye pullets and now I am down to 2 buckeye cockerels. One of my pullets is a "skreecher" she is very timid and shy. The other 2 just mind their own business and are happy go lucky egg layers. The 2 cockerels are true gentlemen! I have no problems leaving them alone in the coop with my kids, they swone the ladies nicely.

I live in MN so the small comb was a definite selling feature for me. I can not comment fully on the laying as I have them in a mixed flock. The flock as a whole is going more dormant with egg laying due to our lack of light.
 

RhodeRunner

Songster
11 Years
Feb 22, 2009
1,548
170
231
Ashtabula, Ohio
I used to bred Buckeyes years back, when they had a resurge in popularity. Once again, they are extremely rare. Coincidence?

In theory, they are prefect birds for those of us whom live in cold environments. They have great temperaments, are excellent layers, develop quickly, are tasty, and make great moms. So, why wouldn't they be the best birds ever? Health problems. I got out of Buckeyes because I couldn't keep them alive. And so did a few other people that I know that worked with them.

You will see Buckeye articles claim everywhere that you need a high protein diet, to get your Buckeyes to reach their full potential. But, it doesn't say that about 15% of your chicks hearts and legs will give out a high protein diet. They rest of the babies will look and grow fantastically.

Then, you put together a breeding flock and they lay, lay, lay. And the hens go broody and boy are they great moms. Then they molt, and some of their hearts and legs start going out again. Within a year, about 50% of my Buckeyes were dead. And I didn't see a single sniffle, no coccidiosis, no mareks. It was their legs and their hearts.

Protein and genetics were the issue. I could have tinkered with protein, but I sold birds and people were coming back to me that were not keeping them on high protein diets, saying they were dying without any warning or cause. I couldn't handle that, so I got rid of them.

These day's I raise APA strains of Single and Rosecomb Rhode Island Reds, and absolutely love them. Great temperament, and health. We live in the snowbelt, so the Rosecombs were a very practical choice... but the Single Combed Reds and Rocks are doing fine too. If you want another winter hardy breed without much fuss, you can look into the Chanteclers. I bred them for a number of years, and they were amazing birds. I sold my flock when I moved, as I couldn't offer them free-range housing anymore... and they do bicker in small cages. Chanteclers need space, but a great meat/egg birds, and they grow really fast without the health problems.
 

Amer

Addict
Nov 8, 2017
5,124
65,371
1,257
Wisconsin
My Coop
I have Buckeyes. I have never met someone who was disappointed in them. Feed them a high protein diet as chicks, like turkey or game feed, they need lots of protein or they will never reach full size. Even without it ours grew pretty big fast, they just won't get a full meaty breast. They have longer legs and so their carcass will be leggy looking, but believe me, their meat is delicious. They are fast growing and lay lots of eggs. They also make wonderful foragers. I almost wish we had more roos, so we could butcher them. I am glad someone is interested in Buckeyes. They are the best all purpose breed I have ever had. And they need help, because they are rare. To achieve the best producing birds, you may have to buy breeder quality birds, hatchery birds are small, and have skimpy meat. But it is a small price to pay for such wonderful birds. Also note that Buckeyes are skittish as chicks, but when they become adults they calm down.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,927
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I added BE to my flock this spring. I have kept 4 pullets, and one cockerel. Have one cockerel to process. He'd have been gone 2 months ago, but I hate to process, so he lives a solitary life. He's a beautiful boy, and is desperate for any kind of attention. He gets so excited when I go in to tend him, and has never shown an ounce of aggression.

The 4 pullets and other cockerel fit well into my flock. Goliath is much bigger than my main man, Jack, but remains submissive to Jack. The pullets are laying, though I don't know how often and can't discern their eggs from those of their flock mates. One of these days, I'll trap a pullet in the nest so i can see what her egg is like. I'm impressed with the temperament of the BE.

As for "high protein needs", all my birds get the same treatment: Whole flock is on fermented un-medicated starter when there are youngsters. Any time after the youngsters get their cluck, I switch whole flock back to 16% layer, fermented. Scratch or other household treats are a rarity. They are on DL, and get to free range as predation and my schedule allows.
 

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