Epic search for real Delawares

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Katonk, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Katonk

    Katonk Chirping

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    So I'm looking for large meat delawares and it's been a sad search so far. I was excited to be planning a purchase from Claborn Farms but he emailed back to let me know he had lost his flock to illness. Totally heartbreaking, his lines showed his love of the breed and years of hard careful work. So now I'm looking for options. Lots of hatcheries selling mutts, private owners with ill flocks. (Gotta say i love Dave's Garden review section for the skinny on a few hatcheries i considered.) I haven't committed to anything yet as my current flock is healthy and happy, and man alive I didn't realize what a gift that was until I started searching.
    My current flock are for eggs only. There's a few big girls in there but the flock is too small to put some good consistent meat up to offer.
    Anyways delawares seem like the best fit for us, I'm not ready to give up on my hopes for Delaware chicks next spring. I've already got one rooster who is too tiny to work with as far as breeding stock, so I've committed to plans for two separate flocks with hopefully two to four breeding pairs. I'd like to buy eggs from a few breeders and then close my flock to work towards what my family needs.
    But guys. Just locating owners has been a challenge. So much so I'm wondering if my tiny Tim of a rooster might be my only option to pair with commercial hatchery birds.
    But I think this move would be a disservice to the breed.
    What to do?
    Who out there knows of large bodied delawares? Good responsible breeders? Who else is out there trying to find and grow this breed?
     
  2. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    I'm assuming Texoma as your location means around Texas and Oklahoma? If you can get to his place, you might be able to talk Frank Reese into selling you some hatching eggs. He has Delawares and I'm nearly positive he has bred them up himself like they did originally. His focus is on table birds, so if you could find someone that knows him well and could get an 'in' so to speak, that would be a great start. I know for sure 100% he does NOT ship anything, don't even bother asking.

    There was someone on here that had also started reworking Delawares, I don't remember if it was Kathy In Missouri or who, but do a search/scroll through the Exhibition section and you should find her too.
     
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  3. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    Also, see about joining the Delaware club, I'm sure there must be one. I do believe breeders are listed with the APA as well.
     
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  4. Katonk

    Katonk Chirping

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    Thank you so much!
    Solid leads for sure. I'm not interested in shipping- I'm in kinda country rural Texas about ten or so minutes from the Oklahoma border and I've already heard horror stories about Amazon packages. If I find birds my husband is already ok with a quick road trip (as in over a weekend), I harvested an unneeded rooster and though it made a great broth he was disappointed with the meat. We've sons and it's important our birds grow well. I'm not interested in the frankinchickens I'd rather get a little less meat and have a good strong happy bird with lines I enjoy maintaining.
    Thanks again
     
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  5. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    Yeah, Kansas shouldn't be too bad of a trip. Have you seen his website? Might be best to shoot him an email, unless you know someone that knows him. It's Good Shepherd Poultry, don't know the exact web address right now.

    It just depends on your time and resources available, really. If you can't find anyone with decent stock, you can breed up hatchery birds. The thing is, it's gonna take hundreds of them, grown to about 12 weeks. Cull everything but the heaviest 10%, grow out to maturity, evaluate, and breed all you can, 100 if possible. Then cull everything but the top 10%, and breed them back to their parents. Do it again.
     
  6. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    @Katonk I tagged you in an old Delaware Breeders thread in the Exhibition forum.

    Also, Sandhill Preservation does Delawares. They don't necessarily produce show quality stock, but they do try to do the heritage breeds, so there might be a bit more quality there than a major hatchery. Don't put all your eggs in that basket though, I've seen a lot of posts saying that they are very hard to actually get the chicks shipped out to you when they say they will. Worth a shot though. Here is where the Delawares are listed:
    https://www.sandhillpreservation.com/american-breeds
     
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  7. Katonk

    Katonk Chirping

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    I heard the same thing, I know it sounds nutty but I'm down to travel for good eggs.... Might have some family willing to let me couch surf in their area. Even the best shippers must ultimately depend on my local post, and that's not a place I'd put faith in if the package had a "non local" family name on it. For something not alive I might chance it, but eggs? Heeeck no.
    I'm about to search out the Missouri lady lead now☺️
     
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  8. Compost King

    Compost King Crowing

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    I have 1 Delaware I received from a major Hatchery... its the size of my White Leghorns. I was hoping for a decent dual purpose. I had ordered 6 1 male and 5 females but only one survived. Its only an egger of a bird. @jolenesdad just received some in the mail and I believed he researched and found the ideal place to get meaty birds. I tagged him so likely he will share his info. He is a very helpful contributor to BYC forums and he has his own thread going with his most recent posts about his new Delawares.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...broilers-heritage-and-hybrids.1295366/page-51
     
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  9. Katonk

    Katonk Chirping

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    I have the space for that, I can build up the pens soon, I like to do my building in the early fall. I built my coop on a concrete slab and I've had zero loss from predator break in unlike most of my neighbors. I can't pour another huge slab like that but for breeding pairs the coops wouldn't have to be huge, just tall for venting and deep litter. Culling that many wouldn't be awful either I've got a deep freezer. I've an engineer hubby im about to turn loose on a YouTube video for the mother of all chicken pluckers I just need to set out the supply and walk away... Like a moth to flame lol. Im outside city limits so only county law and those numbers would be within limits.
    @jolenesdad hey there so how was your experience?
     
  10. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

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    Yayyyyyyyyyyy more Delaware enthusiasts.

    There’s a fascinating thread on here for Delawares I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It’s about Delawares from “Kathy I’m MO”. That is the “Bonham” line of Dels. The most correct to the SOP because she actually recreated the breed. Apparently she deleted some of her notes here in BYC, but the thread still abounds with great info. It’s LONG.

    Aside from that. There a few lines of these birds.

    The original Whitmore line is fairly utility. That line is now owned and worked on by Deer Run Farm. They’re working on more utility with every breeding. Realllllly nice people. Ship eggs year round, they’re only shipping birds the next four weeks until spring.

    The chickcharney line was sold. They’re not “releasing” it back to the public for a little while, I don’t know when.

    Oregon Delawares breeds based off the Bonham line but it’s their own line now. They breed to the SOP so maybe not what you want.

    I just purchased Delawares from Dawnridge Farm in CA. They hatch to order and ship year round and do not often ship eggs. 10.00 per chick, including shipping, 25 minimum. Erin Angulo is the breeder, really helpful.

    This line is getting finished carcasses of 3 - 3.5 lbs at 12-13 weeks. It’s the MOST utility line out there. It is NOT an SOP line, it carries a few faults, I believe. That’s probably not your goal with Dels, if you’re looking for utility.

    If you’re on FB, the Delaware United Club has a group that is really very informative. I actually found my APA mentor through that group.

    Oh also, Frank Reese is active in that group as well.

    Oh, I also have two Bonham-line (via Oregon) Delawares.
     

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