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Dorking or La Fleche

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by johnnymac221, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. johnnymac221

    johnnymac221 Out Of The Brooder

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    So I've heard the best tasting and most useful breed for meat are the Dorking and La Fleche. Both win blind taste tests consistently, and both are remarkably useful as dual purpose breeds. Has anyone had any experience with either of these two? I've heard the Dorkings are great brooders as well. The La Fleche, I must admit, I don't know that much about except that they are a French breed that have typically scored better than most heritage breeds for tastes. The great thing about these breeds is that they are still readily available in the US even though they are critically endangered.
     
  2. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry I can't offer advice about your question, but "La Fleche" caught my eye, I have had a hard time finding sources for them, other than hatchery quality, do you know of a breeder or do I just stink at research? LOL! [​IMG]
     
  3. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:http://www.sunnydalefarms.org/ They aren't on his website, but he had them and I believe still does. I have some delaware/la fleche mixes. I haven't ate any, but they are sweet nice birds, though a little flighty. They are just starting to lay too, so will probably calm a bit too.
     
  4. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    ok finally something I can comment on. [​IMG] I also contemplated several heritage breeds, but I don't care for crested (or horned) breeds as I plan to free range a LOT and the crests seem to get in the way. same with feathered feet. (ok so my bantam cochins break that rule LOL) so my answer?
    Dorking. for sure. [​IMG]

    and they're not as readily available as you might think... mcmurray has silver greys, but IMO the quality isn't there for how I perceive the breed SHOULD be. mine all have foot/toe conformation issues, taper a bit much toward the tail (they should be more blocky), they're a bit smaller than I'd like to see, their eggs are on the small side (my own eggs and those i've had sent to me were all the same), and many if not most hens seem to have too much white on their earlobes - they should be red. but with time and perserverance these can be overcome. I'm sure of it. [​IMG]

    that said, I'm doing what I can. I've only got 1 breeding trio right now, with 14 chicks growing out. 6 cockerels, 8 pullets. these birds are all from mcmurray lines, some directly (my trio), others 2nd (12 of my chicks) or 3rd gen 2 chicks from shipped eggs.

    Some breeders are working on the other colors, white, red, colored, black, etc as well, but they are not as available as the silver grey. I have an order in with Sandhill Preservation for some red/colored/silver grey, so [​IMG] i get them soon. Dick Horstman also has silver grey and reds so I may go with his over sandhills. it depends on what I get from my first sandhill order already placed.

    IMO the chicks are a bit skittish, but once they grow a bit mellow out pretty well. my oldest pair of chicks (from shipped eggs) free range daily, and hardly spaz when 2 hyper standard poodles blitz on by, and my roo is a big baby. he'll sit in hubby's arms for as long as he can to get scritchies.

    I started my research back in April, decided on the breed by June, and researched even more, before looking for breeders... I've only had my trio since October, and my first 2 chicks hatched soon after, but I'm hooked. no other LF for me. tho I will allow the EE's to remain, they were here first. The trio was rehomed because the roo flogged her youngest child - only one he's flogged here is a bantam Sultan roo named Funky, and only then when Funky attempts to flog ME. go figure. for now Funky's only alive still because of the comic relief. [​IMG]

    B.Y.C. Dorking Club! thread has LOTS of good info.
    Here's my "big guy"
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  5. johnnymac221

    johnnymac221 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:There's a guy in Minnesota that had been raising them since the 70s. A true mail order hatchery, no website. I'll look for his name and get back to you.
     
  6. johnnymac221

    johnnymac221 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Do a search for Duane Urch on BYC.
     
  7. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:http://www.sunnydalefarms.org/ They aren't on his website, but he had them and I believe still does. I have some delaware/la fleche mixes. I haven't ate any, but they are sweet nice birds, though a little flighty. They are just starting to lay too, so will probably calm a bit too.

    Cool, thanks! [​IMG]

    johnnymac221--thanks for the info!! [​IMG]
     
  8. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    Quote:Do a search for Duane Urch on BYC.

    found these linked on another thread...
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  9. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'm hoping to get these, too. Have you had any fertility or hardiness issues?
     
  10. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    Quote:the only issues for fertility were that I was free ranging 1 dorking roo with his 2 girls and 8 more bantam hens... and he liked the bantams a LOT. [​IMG]

    but he's penned with his girls now (and a couple of his favorite smaller girls) so that should resolve shortly. the biggest issue I've had, and I'm hearing similar from others, is chicks dying in the shell around the 2 week mark... talking with a past professor at UMaine (who's also big into poultry and got me started in the first place), he's having similar issues with his nankins. and we both agree it's likely more because of extensive inbreeding than anything else. I'm planning on getting some birds from Sandhill preservation center this spring, and will see if that helps, since the birds i have now are all mcmurray stock. as for hardy, yes, i think they are. i've got my trio and the oldest pair of chicks outside, the chicks are free ranging now and have been for about 2 weeks. growing like weeds and eating everything in sight! 8)

    only one chick i have inside gives me reason to pause. and that's because he's smaller than some cochin bantam chicks hatched the same day. but i'll keep him going, and possibly use him (it is a cockerel) with an oegb hen. (bad oegb, because she looks more like a dorking than she should LOL).

    with the chicks i get from sandhill, I'm studying up on the genetics, and I think i've figured out how the red and colored work, I might try crossing one of those onto the silvers and see if that doesn't help some of the issues too, then breed back for color again. I think i've determined that the red is actually mahogany, and the colored the dilute gene. both are dominant over the wild type colorations but silver overrides both of them so ... i'll stop there before I confuse anyone. LOL. if you want to talk color genetics PM me and i'll tell you my ideas. i may be way off base on what I think I know, but that's what test breedings will do. prove to me if i'm right or wrong.
     

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