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Empordanesa & Penedesenca - Who has them?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by LuannKeller, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Hangtown Farms

    Hangtown Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    My emps and penedesenca do great in my runs. Egg color will vary greatly through the laying season. From very dark to pretty light . It can work that way with any breed that lays dark eggs
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  2. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello Hangtown: Yes, I bet your Penes do great in runs. Sounds like you have plenty of property to have sufficient space in your runs. I bet one of your runs is the size of just my one little yard LOL!

    I'm a back yarder so Meds unfortunately would find it cramped to forage after our yard is taken up by 2 patios and 3 large fenced garden beds plus the coop home and small run. On the farm our Leghorns were in runs the size of city lots. In our little city backyard our White Leg Med joyfully flew around her first day in our yard but after being brought back to the correct area, she never went outside of it again. Meds love freedom but she was a wonderful respecter of boundaries and being an alpha she was an example to subsequent pullets of what the yard perimeters were. It was sad for us to see her staying behind a 2' rabbit fence barrier when she could so easily fly over our 6' yard fence but she intelligently stayed w/ the flock on "her" side. Yes, all chickens love freedom, but Meds are particularly needy of that freedom. And intelligent enough to come home to roost rather than stay in trees for the night - at least that has been our personal history w/ Meds.

    Our family has always loved Legs is why I briefly considered an all-Med flock w/ varied egg colors from white to very dark. We concluded it wasn't worth confining freedom-loving Meds like Penes or Emps in our small yard. Plus we haven't been satisfied in our experience w/ the varied degrees of "dark" or speckling from chocolate layers. We and 2 of our chicken friends have tried dark layers (Marans, Welsummer, Penes) and we all felt it was a matter of preference if you wanted the possible disappointment, or the roulette pleasure, of dealing w/ iffy egg colors.

    I am jealous of breeders who have the commitment, space, & time to preserve and perfect the chocolate layers - especially the Penes and Emps w/ the rare king's comb. You have my kudos!
     
  3. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

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    I have Three Partridge, one wheaten and two Kittle SC RIR pullets from Dick Horstman in a very small run. I have been popping in a Cockerel to get fertile eggs. They do just fine and are not too crazy at all. There is a lot of mis understanding about how they behave. They do not go crazy they just do not like me much. They are not like leghorns and the Boys do not attack.

    The eggs are very dark. The biggest advantage for me is that they do not die in the heat. I do not have problems with them escaping or going over fences. If I did, I would clip one wing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Overrun With Chickens

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    Meds do seem fine in confinement. However, it's just me - my preference is giving them as much freedom & space as possible because they love it & handle it so well. I like giving them the personal ability to adjust to heat their own way in a free-range environment. I clipped one wing once many years ago & really didn't need to. Our flightiest bird was never clipped & stayed in the "zone." Our Legs have always been manageable & we discovered them to be not only alert foragers, but the smartest, most intelligent, most agreeable, most trainable breed we ever had even understanding several word & hand commands. Our Marans were stubborn, resistant & eventually acquiesced but the Meds were willing learners from the get-go.

    An acquaintance found a sweet Columbian patterned stray hen in their backyard & fed it & made a sheltered nestbox for her. She even ate out of the hand. She would fly up to a tree to roost but came down in the day to forage, eat pellets & lay her egg. By the time a henhouse got constructed for her she was too feral to stay in it and panicked wildly from the confinement. They let her go back to her established routine roosting in the tree. They bought new chickens to utilize the new henhouse & the feral hen flies down to forage w/ the flock & lay her egg & get her hand-fed treats but flies back to the tree to roost while the others go into the henhouse. This has gone on for a year. Free-rangers are so resilient.

    Just out of curiosity, how dark is "dark" in your opinion on the brown egg chart? Personally, we are not satisfied w/ #4 as many non-Med breeds can reach that color. If you get past #4 I consider that a wonderful accomplishment. Heaven forbid that any USA birds ever reach #9 as currently it seems European stock are the only birds that reach that goal - and then only a pullet's first eggs. Please do keep up the good work as I'm unequipped and not zoned for breeding in our city.
     
  5. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

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    They are over a 4 for sure.

    [​IMG]

    This one is very dark.

    [​IMG]

    They are very nice and the Partridge lay the darkest ones. The Wheaten and Black lay nice eggs but they are not as dark.
     
  6. omas biddies

    omas biddies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello
    Would you ship eggs.I would be happy with 6 I don't show chickens.I like different chickens on my place and diffrent egg colors
     
  7. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

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    I need to do a test hatch to make sure they are fertile. I will send you a PM in a weak or so.
     
  8. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Overrun With Chickens

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    You have a beautiful assortment. It's the look we wanted in the egg basket but after re-homing an unpleasant Marans & a White Leg who came out of moult aggressive, we decided pleasant temperaments were better than colorful eggs. The Marans was laying #4 on the color chart sometimes w/ varied degrees of speckling or none & the eggs were kind of small like your darkest egg in your pic (awfully small egg for our 7-lb Marans). However our gentle White Leg gave XL snow white eggs but emerged from her 3rd year moult w/ such aggression that we re-homed her. Both re-homed hens went to a friend who sells eggs and appreciates them.

    Interesting that your Partridge lays darker than the Wheaten or Black - maybe the smaller egg surface holds more color than the larger eggs of the other two varieties? Don't know, but read that the bigger-bodied Black Penes were the darkest egg layers - your girls proved that theory incorrect - Smiles :)

    Currently we have 2 Silkies that are production machines when not broody, an APA Ameraucana, & a Buff Leghorn. Our egg colors are cream, light tint, blue, & pinkish-tan now. Not the multiplicity of colors we planned but certainly the flock dynamic is more peaceful. We're gonna stick w/ the feed-efficient under 5-lb breeds for now. We are toying w/ getting a gentle under-5-lb Breda for white eggs but still researching. We love the gentle Dominique but it won't add variety to the basket. Med breeds are wonderful birds but we're shying away from the enormous floppy combs. After a frosty winter without a huge comb to worry about, we liked not dealing w/ it. Getting lazy in our old age LOL.
     
  9. omas biddies

    omas biddies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello thank you
    I don't think this is a way of life chickens have taken over my life. Lol
    I will be waiting to hear from you
    Take your time
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:
    I'm in the burbs too and have limited space and only have room to do justice to one breed. I now raise Black Penedesencas. ~~I haven't raised Emps or the egg type Penedesenca varieties - I have however, raised white and black Leghorns, Anconas, Buttercups and White Minorcas.
    If I were you, I'd try the huge white egg laying Minorca (not prone to be a flyer) and/or black Penedesenca. My Penes will not fly unless pressed hard. They prefer to run and if not threatened will actually stay inside a 2' fence. I can't imagine one going over a 4' fence unless there's a dog or coyote attack.


    X2
    Once they mature, they're pretty calm. They just don't want any contact with humans (or anything non chicken for that matter)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014

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