Delaware VS White Rock VS other?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Gilded Feather, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Gilded Feather

    Gilded Feather Songster

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    I’m drafting up my spring chick order (I know, super early but I can’t help myself; I love doing my research :rolleyes: ) and keep going back and forth on these two breeds. Which is the better layer and more friendly of the two? I’m essentially looking for an excellent layer that can be processed once done laying. As a side note I’m considering these breeds in order to cross with the RIR cockerels I’m planning on ordering - to raise for sex link chicks down the road.

    Has anyone had both breeds? What are your thoughts/and or/experiences? Is there another breed I should consider for my purposes? I’m nearly 100% sure I’m ordering from McMurray hatchery so the breed recommended would have to come from what they have to offer.

    Thank you in advance! :D
     
  2. NatJ

    NatJ Songster

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    I have no experience with Delawares, only with white rocks, and it's been about 20 years. I remember that they were nice birds--my Mom's favorites. Good layers, good meat. We crossed them with a RIR rooster to get sexlinks, too.

    At the time, we also had barred rocks. Also good layers and good to eat, but I did not like their temperament as well.

    What was fun was hatching 4 colors of chicks and knowing all the genders: gold/red chicks and black ones were pullets, white chicks and black ones with a dot on their heads were cockerels. (RIR + white rock = gold sexlink, RIR + barred rock = black sexlink.)

    Delawares look really pretty in pictures, and I've read good things about them, but I have no personal experience there.

    McMurray claims that Delawares and White Rocks have "good" egg production, while Barred Rocks have "better" egg production--of course, those are not very precise amounts to compare!
     
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  3. Compost King

    Compost King Free Ranging

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    For sex Links I would avoid White Rocks, unless you know for sure it has the silver factor. If its dom white or Rec white it won't be any good for making sex links. Maybe someone who knows about White Rocks at McMurray can confirm their white rocks have the right genetics for sex links but until you get a good solid confirmation I would stick with Delawares.

    here is a partial list of Hens from McMurray that can be used for Red Sex Links including Bantams:
    Columbian Wyandottes

    Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam

    Dorkings (silver grey)

    Light Brahmas

    Pheonix (silver variety)

    Silver Duckwing Old English Game Bantam

    Silver Leghorn

    Delaware






     
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  4. Compost King

    Compost King Free Ranging

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    There are others that may be good for Red Sex Links but I can't confirm it so I left them out of the list
     
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  5. NatJ

    NatJ Songster

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    Now that I think back--I've had Light Brahmas also (again, about 20 years ago.) I liked them, but would not recommend them for your project: because they grow slowly, and because of the feathered feet. (Feathered feet + mud is gross, and in freezing weather it's worse.) The slow growing is a real nuisance if you want to butcher the cockerels! The brahmas were really pretty, and had nice temperaments, though.

    About whether the white rocks have the right genetics for making sexlinks: good point, Compost King. The ones I had 20 years ago did, but that's a long time ago, and they were from another hatchery.
     
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  6. Compost King

    Compost King Free Ranging

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    https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/big_red_broiler.html If my intention was to create Dual Purpose Red Sex Links where you eat the males I would get one of these as my Rooster and put it over a Silver Grey Dorking. I have done the reverse (I wasn't aiming for sex links) with my Silver Grey Dorking over a Red Ranger (from a different hatchery) and made the best tasting fast developing meat bird I ever tasted. However I would suggest getting a good sampling of all the possible Hen types because with my experiences with hatcheries is that some of their breeds are not hardy at all. Like say if you got all Silver Grey Dorkings from McMurray there is a good chance they might all die, the chicks of that breed from hatchery stock are not the hardiest although if they make it to adult hood they become very hardy in heat and cold. With these big hatcheries its hit or miss which chicks will come out hardy and which will not. If you get a sampling of Silver Factor hens for red sex links you increase your chance of having some make it to adulthood. I got Silver Leghorns from McMurray and only 25% made it to adulthood, then I got them again from Welp and all of them made it to adulthood. that's not to say Welp is better than McMurray because each hatchery has their strong and weak breeds. The more common the breed the hardier they tend be from big hatcheries.
     
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  7. FortCluck

    FortCluck Free Ranging

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    I have a Delaware, but I have no experience with White rocks. I can tell you that Delaware's definitely lay almost everyday and they have good size eggs, if you are interested in hatching. I crossed my Delaware's with my black Jersey Giants to create a meat bird, but I cannot say how good they are going to do because they are due to hatch on October 31st.

    I'm hoping that I can use these crosses for meat and for laying. I plan on using our fertile eggs to hatch meat birds.
     
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  8. Gilded Feather

    Gilded Feather Songster

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    Thank you NatJ! That’s exactly what I plan to do with these chicks further down the road. Where I’m at in eastern KY the consensus is that if you’re going to have chickens then they need serve a dual purpose (eggs and meat). There’s no point not using the whole bird both in life and death otherwise it’s just a waste in a sense.

    I’ve also heard the same about barred rocks but was thinking of using cuckoo marans for my black sex links. Maybe I should reconsider? I figured they would pair well with the RIR McMurray sells as they are supposed to lay well and lay extra large eggs - or so McMurray’s website says anyway. As you’ve stated, they aren’t very exact in their amounts.

    But I do appreciate you sharing your experience with white rocks!
     
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  9. Gilded Feather

    Gilded Feather Songster

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    Thank you for the sex link info and recommendations Compost King! I didn’t even think about the white rocks being this way. I know using white leghorns is a no no but didn’t even consider this also holding true with the rocks as dumb as it sounds.

    I will definitely look into the ranger x Dorking cross you suggested. We’re the hens good egg layers by chance?

    But your comment about ‘sampling’ the silver factor birds has crossed my mind. I think I even read a review that said the silver leghorns were a weaker breed during shipping and wondered if this would hold true for any others. It’s a shame as my husband prefers the leghorn breed for their feed conversion ability.
     
  10. Gilded Feather

    Gilded Feather Songster

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    This is definitely what I was hoping to hear. Thank you FortCluck!
     
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