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Farming and Homesteading Heritage Poultry

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by Yellow House Farm, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    I was surprised by my first two of three Catalanas going broody. They were excellent mothers.
     
  2. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you some homework and studying up on this choice from the Med. class as these for sure the hardest of a hard color(Blue/Andalusia blue)[​IMG] to breed correctly for. Might ought to check into something a little "more simpler" to start out with till you figure things out a little "more better" J/S; if not Lacey Blues on here can probly get you off and running with some eggs or chicks. She is in Nevada that's as close to the west coast as I can get you to.

    Jeff
     
  3. Extra Java

    Extra Java Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    You would need to check with Hawaiian rules etc. re: importing hatching eggs to the Islands. I know someone in Hawaii that has Marans I could put you in contact with.

    I'm in Southern CA and it's too hot for shipping hatching eggs...I'd wait for the weather to cool off for a better hatch rate.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    I like the high shoulders and proud stance of an Andalusion cock. I like the big white earlobes set against that black or blue. Good looking birds that have some class.

    Certainly, the number one reason to raise birds is that we enjoy them. It is never, really, for the economy. I do not know about Hawaii, but on the mainland it is certainly a lot cheaper to take a trip to Walmart. In that case, get what tickles your fancy, and enjoy them. Enjoy the meat, enjoy the eggs, enjoy figuring out better ways to raise them, and most of all enjoy the birds.

    And if economy is a large concern, the Mediterranean breeds make a lot of sense. Especially with how feed prices are and will be.
     
  5. HawaiianRoo

    HawaiianRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, they are beautiful birds! From the research, they should also earn their keep on the farm. Reducing everything to economy or efficiency in many cases reduces a vibrant and living world to any number of parts from which money can be made. However, there is a balance. I will be prioritizing function and performance over form. Building the barn before painting it. Importing feed purchased on Kauai is rather expensive. I pay $32 for a 40 lbs. bag of organic nutrena poultry feed! I have to take in consideration the foraging and self-sufficient skills of these breeds. One day, purchased feeds may no longer be affordable, but I would still like to be raising chickens.

    To ship hatching eggs to Kauai, HI, breeders must be NPIP certified. Those are the requirements.
     
  6. Extra Java

    Extra Java Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, that's good to know.
     
  7. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    If it cost 32.00 for 40lbs of feed here, I would have American Games. LOL. Bantams at that.
     
  8. mountaindog66

    mountaindog66 Out Of The Brooder

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    I realize this post is a few weeks old, but just so good, and I though it would be a good way to introduce myself on this thread.

    I’ve been reading back on this thread for a while and am learning a lot, I like this topic as I’m interested in starting a home flock for eggs, but interested in dual purpose heritage breeds. That way if I ever want to propagate my own stock just to keep the flock size consistent without buying new chicks every few years, the culls will be nice table birds as well.

    Unlike many here, though, I am not interested in serious breeding other than to just keep my flock going. I don’t even begin to pretend I can glean all of that genetic knowledge required to improve a breed, I am one of the ones who hopes to benefit from the fact that the breed is being improved. What I breed for my own home use, I would want to do as responsibly as possible, however. I am not looking to start a large flock to sell any eggs or meat, just enough to keep my husband and I more self-sufficient for food, so maybe 12 birds. Maybe once I’m retired from my job I could expand the size a bit more.

    When you discuss preserving these breeds, I’m often not sure how a small home-flock like the one I want to start fits in. I assume it is helpful for people like me to support the breed by purchasing stock from preservationists, even though my goal is just to propagate a home utility flock. Or are folks like me just a drop in the bucket of what is needed help the breed? On the other hand, what is the point of improving a breed if its eventual purpose is not to provide some utility for lots of people like me as livestock for food?

    I hope this is the right place to ask these questions, since a lot of the breed-specific threads seem more geared to showing, which I realize can be an end unto itself for some.

    I’m also looking for suggestions on what breed (s) to start out with: I hear the advice to stick with just one or two breeds to really know them. I’ll post more questions on that later if appropriate here.

    As a side note, I really enjoyed the posts a few weeks back on the Dorking s and Am. Bresse as meat birds, I have some more questions on just that alone, for later, as we spend a lot of time in France and I’ve been forever trying to ID the best tasting chicken I’ve ever had in my life there.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
    --Terry
     
  9. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Greetings Terry!

    Awesome! Twelve hens is great! Could you envision a building easily subdivided into three or four sections? Maybe a 16'x6' or 16x8' divided into four sections of 6'x4' or 6'x8'? If that's too long, maybe one 12' long divided into three sections. Each section can have a run coming off the back extending 12' or so. In each subsection you can keep three or four hens with a cock. You would then have two grow-out places or schemes--light weight summer stuff--each able to handle say 25 growing birds. One for the cockerels you hatch and one for the pullets. It's a pretty easy infrastructure. Then:

    1. Chose one breed and only one breed in one variety and only one variety
    2. Don't choose something overly rare or a color pattern that's overly complicated.
    3. Get the best stock possible in that breed; don't settle to save a few bucks.

    Bada Bing! Here's a great homesteading set up that provides you with plenty of eggs, a freezer with good, healthy meat, and it just so happens that it's all you need to become a great, small-scale, stress-free breeder, which is to say a focused, manageable homestead.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
    2 people like this.
  10. mountaindog66

    mountaindog66 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I could certainly envision it when I retire in 4 years, LOL. I only have a single 7'x8' coop right now though, so too small. I hear what you are saying though, that even someone like me who will never be an expert on conformation to the breed SOP can still selectively breed for vigor and therefore help diversify the breed? My hesitancy somes from not quite understanding most of the SOPs, however, I find a lot of the descriptions a bit subjective to my untrained eye.

    I'd like to build a larger coop once I don't have to commute to a job each day and can be home more, my husband even suggested as much. We are buildiing a hoop coop this winter to use both as a grow-out pen in warm weather, and a tractor grazer in our unfenced field. The area where my 7x8 coop is located is fenced with a 7' tall fence for my dogs, I'd like to let my flock free-range within that fenced area, but I'm still building a covered wire run attached to the coop. In the ideal setup you describe, would I let the segregated breeding groups free-range at different times, or are they strictly kept in the runs?

    We really like the various Wyandottes because they have origins in NY State (where I’m located) and really have all the traits I’m looking for (cold-hardy, good layers, plump, docile, and pretty). Do you recommend any particular variety of Wyandotte in more need of support than others, or a better homestead/utility variety than those more recently bred for looks and show?

    Cheers,
    --Terry
     

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