California Greys???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by vortec, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anybody have this breed or sell them? It is in one of my poultry books and it sounds like a great concept with the auto sexing babies, and jumbo white eggs. I see all of the time, California Whites, but is the California Grey still around?

    vortec
     
  2. DukeDawg528

    DukeDawg528 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes you still can order them through Randall Burkey Company for $1.72 st. run and pullets $2.36 plus shipping...
     
  3. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

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    I know that Strombergs also sells them. I had a cockerel a few years back and he was so pretty and calm.
     
  4. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    One thing people has to be careful, make SURE before ordering that the California Grays are the barred birds.. I nearly ordered from one hatchery, only to find out their "California Grays" are actually California White- like crosses.. I'd have gotten white chicks if I didn't 'make sure'! I commented on that, their response was basically 'well they are crosses out of CG, so...'.. argh!

    Also found out that some sources 'develop' their own line of CG by crossing Barred Rocks with Leghorns, so there are going to be some differences.
     
  5. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ooh? Is it a barred roo and a leghorn hen. If so I might have to look into doing this, as I already have this setup. Would an Ideal 236 work as the leghorn hen?

    vortec
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes it is CG roo over a White Leghorn hen.

    I have to say am not sure what exactly it is about the cross that makes them sex linking.. asked one producer what it was and he would not tell. Does anybody know what a California White cockerel chick looks like? Couldn't help with the Ideal 236 hen question. I'm curious though, did they prove to be good layers and how are their temperament? Despise flighty screechy chickens.
     
  7. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I questioned getting the ideal 236s too because of the fear of the unknown, as far as temperment goes, but what made me do it was the fact that leghorns are known to be flighty, and stand offish. Mine are 5-6 weeks old now and they are loveable. They are a little shy but when compared to buff orps and barred rocks, most will be a little shy, even my black australorps are shy in comparrison. As for the laying, I still have a ways to go but the good news is they are my only white egg layers so I should be able to tell you accurately how they are laying.

    So, as far as getting CG pullets, all I have to do is hatch eggs from a BR roo and a leghorn hen and keep the pullets, and they are considered CGs? It sounds too good to be true. I have all of the needed birds so getting a CG hen will be easy if thats all you have to do

    vortec
     
  8. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    California Greys are the parent stock of California Whites, correct. What advantages does a California White give you as opposed to the Grey?

    vortec
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't believe that a California Grey should quite be thought of as a hybrid. When James Dryden developed the breed 100 years ago, he had been working with strains that he considered 7/8th Leghorn and 1/8th Barred Rock, if I remember right. He probably just continued developing them into the breed he called California Grey thru inbreeding.

    After so many generations separation from the Leghorn, maybe we should think of the California White as an outcrossing and the hybrid. Feathersite says that feather-sexing, rather than color, is used for the chicks.

    I know next to nothing about these birds except what I've read by and about Dryden. The California White seems to out there in fairly good numbers and there must be a benefit from the hybridizing. Also, the Grey is described as a fairly large bird so the White may have a reduced size and lower maintenance requirements.

    Steve
     
  10. oldtimeway

    oldtimeway Out Of The Brooder

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    Afraid it wasn't a hundred years ago that the breed was developed. This breed showed up in the 40's. Dryden intended it to be a little "worker in grey coveralls" which the breed is. It possesses the best traits of both it's orig. parent lines. It has the leghorn laying ability but will be about a pound heavier than the white leghorn and is a much more docile bird. They're not flighty nor broody. Egg size was excellent. I can not praise this bird enough. We always had a good market for the hens to Asian markets when they were done laying as they were a colored bird.

    You will not find a better colored bird that lays a white egg.

    The Calif. Grey roosters are mated to a good white leghorn hen like a Hy-line to use to make the Calif. White which is a white bird with an occasional black feather. The reason for the Calif. white cross is they were preferred in the upper midwest and parts of Canada as they were a white bird with calmer temperament than a white leghorn and they also were a better winter layer due to the slightly larger size.

    Today many hatcheries are selling "calif whites" that are not true cal whites but actually Austra WHites which are a cross between a black Australorp and a white leghorn. These birds look similar but you'll see the result when they start laying as they will lay a cream egg unlike the pure white egg of the california white.

    A few hatcheries still produce a true calif white by buying their roosters from one of a couple of true Dryden flocks left in the US, that being Privett and Rockin Rooster Ranch. They have true Calif Grey stock.

    The Calif. Grey never became popular because things moved on to caged layers which required smaller birds in the commercial industry and for the hobbyist, Dryden frowned on birds that he called "Fluff and feathers" so he never attempted to have the bird put in the Standard of Perfection. Their ended up being two main strains of this bird left in the US, the Welp strain and the Colonial strain. Both hatcheries maintained closed flocks for years. Sad to say both hatcheries are no longer with us. Welp is but a clearing house and broiler producer and Colonial is gone. The two hatcheries I mentioned ealier that have true Calif. Greys have both bloodlines in their flocks and unfortunately I never kept the two blood lines separate in my own flock either so a true Welp or a true Colonial strain is not bto be had to m knowledge but I would give my eye teeth to find a true Colonial strain bird.
     
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