shy

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 1, 2008
65
1
39
Hi I am new to this forum. When I was a boy, my dad and I raised Malays and Jungle Fowls. It has been 20 years since I have owned chickens. Anyhow last week, I was a TSC and bought some straight run chicks. I can tell that I got 2 RIR and a white leghorn. But the rest, took me a long time to figure out. The store was clueless since it was a staright run. Anyhow they looklike little chipmunks. At first, I thought maybe they were brown leghorns. But upon closer look, they have two parallel combs. So it made me think they were Buttercups from the pics of chicks (chipmunk with spotted faces) and double combs.

Anyhow just wondering if anyone has any experience with buttercups. I am planning to keep all the hens and butchering all the cockerals. From what I found so far, it seems that they lay small eggs and are moderate egg layers. Hoping both RIR and the white leghorn are females as I think they are good layers. How big do they get? Do they lay well or should I just butcher and get something else? Any help will be appreciated.
 

Rosalind

Songster
12 Years
Mar 25, 2007
1,310
7
181
I have four Buttercup hens and two roos. If I was starting out all over again, honestly, I would not choose Buttercups again. They are flighty, in a very literal sense--hate to be touched, hate to be picked up, don't want to stay in any pen they think they can escape. Raising them from babies and handling them a lot, spending time with them, did not a bit of good to tame them. The only time I can catch the buggers at all is at night when they are sleeping, and even then they turn around and bite me. I've had them fly away into the neighbor's yard several times, even with wings clipped, even in the winter, even when there is not a hope in heck that they will be able to find food anywhere but the barn. They wander back thinner and slightly frostbitten, and still don't want to be caught, but will contemplate going back in the barn of their own accord if I happen to hold the door open just so.

On the plus side, they do seem to be able to forage exceptionally well. They can evade predators like you wouldn't believe--we've got foxes, coyotes, hawks, you name it, and they manage somehow for weeks and weeks, even in winter when the predators are bold and there's less cover. Still, on the whole, since they are really very difficult to catch, I don't think I'd ever let them free-range.

They are not big chickens. Bigger than a banty, not so big as a standard. Their combs do get frostbite in the New England winter, whether you make the effort to put Vaseline on them or not--it doesn't make a bit of difference. Behaviour-wise, the roos leave a lot to be desired: they are not good leaders and are scared of everything, the first to run inside when hawks threaten and the first to fight hens for treats. And they get these monster spurs that need trimmed.

They are good layers. Smallish white eggs. I have heard tell that they aren't good brooders, but a couple of mine have acted broody more than once.
 

wclawrence

Songster
12 Years
Sep 14, 2007
686
13
151
Paulding County Georgia
I have a few phoenix with buttercup combs, a rooster and a hen that are both split to the gene that causes it. Anyways, they are very tame and calm, but they don't lay a whole lot of eggs, as they are Phoenix.
 

shy

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 1, 2008
65
1
39
Thanks everyone for your comments. I have been doing more research too. I think that I might butcher all the Buttercups. Of course if there are a few that aren't as flighty, I might keep them. I did get four Wyandotte pullets, which I will use as layers. They will do good for the winter time.

LinckHill, as far as Malays, they are big birds. They can be very good pets if socialized from very beginning. I recommend doing that with the roosters. They tend to fight each other more than most standard breeds. And an Alpha Roo will protect his hen and not back down to even an adult person. My uncle had one that every little kid had nightmares about. They are big birds and a Big mean rooster isn't very fun. We used to have problems with roos that were just a few weeks that fought to the death by the time we realized. They are very broody, at least the ones we had. I have heard that it depends on ancestry. We knew a farmer who had to incubate all his eggs. We never used the incubator. Worst case we would have maybe one hen in a couple of years that wouldn't sit and we would just give those to another hen. Hope that helps a little.
 

wclawrence

Songster
12 Years
Sep 14, 2007
686
13
151
Paulding County Georgia
The buttercups are worth more as eggers, there isnt really much meat on them. Very little. I would keep the hen(s) if you have any. Plus they are such a pretty color/pattern to look at!
 

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