California Whites

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Afterburner, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Afterburner

    Afterburner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2010
    Vancouver, WA
    I have heard from a few friends that California Whites are much easier to deal with than the standard leghorns. From you personal experience, when they are raised as chicks with lots of human interaction, can they be handled (IE hand fed and picked up) as easily as friendlier breeds like Barred Rocks, Sexlinks, PR?
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I keep the California grey (CG) which can be crossed with white leghorns to produce California whites (CW). CG's are certainly calmer than leghorns and can be tamed and trained. So can leghorns although more is required. The CW should be intermediate.
  3. oldtimeway

    oldtimeway Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 5, 2010
    One of the reasons the CW was developed is it is not as flighty as a white leghorn or other leghorn strains with the exception of the Calif. Grey which I've found to be calmer than the CW.

    CW's are a might heavier than white leghorns therefore they are a better layer in cold weather and so they were preferred in the upper great plains states and the prairie provinces of Canada.
  4. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Another similar cross is Austra White - Black Australorp roo over White Leghorn hen. theyr'e a similar size to leghorns, are white with some black spots, but are a bit freidnlier than the WL.
  5. RonB

    RonB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    I have a Cal. White,a white leghorn and three Austra whites. My leghorn is the biggest of all, then the Cal white. my Austra white are small. they aren't as flighty as my leghorn but not as calm as my Cal, white. the cal. white wants to come in the house all the time. I can walk right up to her and pick her up. The Austra whites egg shells seem to be a little thinner then the other birds
  6. free burd

    free burd Out Of The Brooder

    valuable posts here, thank you [​IMG]

    does anyone have an opinion on which of the four
    is the best forager or most feed efficient ?

    robert braun [email protected]

    also, if you enjoy this kind of bird another one
    to squeeze into the topic is the jaerhon.
    very self-reliant - a good flier but not panicky,
    competitive lay rate (cream/white). friendly.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  7. RonB

    RonB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    All three of my breeds are good foragers. The Austra White is the smallest so its the most feed efficient. BUT I like the Cal. white the best and for the little differents in feed efficient I would go with the Cal. white. I'm going to get a couple more in the spring
  8. free burd

    free burd Out Of The Brooder

    thank you,
    i have an experienced woman trying to convince me that california grey is the way to go
    because they are so calm - if they can calm down a leghorn in a cal.white - i guess they are calm.
    i may try both.

    robert braun [email protected]
  9. JerryR

    JerryR Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 16, 2012
    Weaverville, NC
    Hi Robert, I have Jaerhons and really like them. I've been thinking abut getting some California Whites and/or California Greys. Did you get any? I'm very interested to hear your experience. Our chickens are in a free range situation. Our Jaerhons are good foragers and don't eat a lot of feed.. Thanks. Jerry
  10. free burd

    free burd Out Of The Brooder

    i have noticed that although there are only a few posts on this thread that it does get read by a large number of people so i wanted to add that, peppered throughout other threads california whites are frequently mentioned as the favorite within the mixed flock, they seem to stand out as personable to people. also in the dakotas i frequently run into people buying them at feed stores and more or less they report that there is nothing better as a layer in this unpredictable climate / long winters. and these can be back yarders with little children or rugged old timers reporting the same.

    for other friendly, efficient, productive, hardy and not panicky birds
    to mix in with your calwhites.

    please read through
    for extra inspiration related to 'whites'
    and may be even more cold hardy
    REMEMBER to chose the barred feathered 'grey' instead of calwhite if you have predator issues.

    if you like that type of bird in general.
    standard breed, not cold hardy.
    'flame' strain from sandhill hatchery is more cold hardy.
    not skittish but very high flyers and good survivors on rang.

    for a much smaller version of the same type of bird.
    a natural dwarf with an exceptional lay-rate.
    a swedish land-race with all the natural hardiness you would expect

    ALL LAY WHITE EGGS or tint/white.

    if you wish to generate your own line of great layers any of the above crossed would do the job
    and be a lot of fun to experiment with.

    i'm sorry i haven't seen a single word on the austra white that compares
    to all of the positive chat on the above. maybe someday.

    to edit:
    i should have added - ideal hatchery out of texas sells a line called
    production black which looks like either a california grey or a barred leghorn.
    they claim to have created it in the 1960's but dont say why they did it
    especially since the calgrey has been around since the 20's (dont get me
    going on krappy breed descriptions from hatcheries) when i called
    them to find out the difference i got a 'stepford wife' response from an
    operator who claimed they where the same...i have not read one single
    report on their behavior. they also sell calwhites which i am sure they
    use their production black over the white leghorn and not a real calgrey.
    get your california greys or whites from privett hatchery out of new mexico.
    they are the only real calgreys left in america at a major hatchery and they
    supply tractor supply stores if you wish to have less than a 25 chick shipment.

    ALSO i do not follow survivalist / shtf thinking myself but i often see 'best for this purpose' lists that do not
    include any of the above and i always wonder what people think they are going to feed their flock when shtf -
    the above can feed themselves and save your families life or otherwise pay for themselves in organic
    egg sales. BUGS AND WEEDS make premium organic eggs and are worth twice the price of battery cage
    breeds who have organic feed shoveled under their noses. these people will have to grow, process and
    store their own feed to keep their flock alive in the winter. that burden is greatly lessened with those on this list.
    egg production is far less of a burden than meat/egg production in this type of situation but families can
    survive just as well on eggs. wild game is better than fowl meat in this situation - Dr. Joel Wallach says that
    the only thing on a chicken worth eating is the skin (outside of eggs). if you understood his point of view
    the above list would be the only chicken list worth the bother. (however, add islandics to the list if you
    have rangeland, they are escape artists and can not be contained - the eggs are smaller)
    (also persian rumpless/manx rumpies are reported to be a 100% forage breed but are very difficult to
    get ahold of - sandhill only offers 5 per shipment, they lay very well but fertility is unreliable because
    of the taillessness - the 2 naughty parts do not connect well).

    robert braun [email protected]
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016

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