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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. Robert Blosl

    Robert Blosl Rest in Peace -2013

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    A Heritage Chicken is a bird that at least can score 92 points out of a hundred. No hatchery chickens count here.

    Should we lower the point score that a heritage chicken should be able to score at least 90 points to be considered a heritage fowl?

    I just put out at least 92 points as a standard for the breed.

    I hate to tell you this but if my birds don't score at least 92 points I don't want them. My goal was to have a strain of birds that would average at least 94 points and have a few that would get into the 95 1/2 point area now and then. I wanted a flock that would lay about 200 eggs a year and go into a molt as a pullet and rip out and start laying again. I wanted a flock of birds that had impeccable feather quality to take the heat and the cold. They had to have meat, eggs and beauty to live on my yards.

    That to me is just me. I have done this since a kid. I wanted the best I could get my hands on and only hoped I could grow up some day and have a good strain that could be considered one of the top five strains in the USA.

    Not all people want to do that. I understand this.

    But I don't want to get a flock of chickens that look like sub par mutts that are trying to look like a old time breed.

    New Hampshire's could be on the list but I did not think about this. No one has said how many eggs these birds should lay.

    Kathy your New Hamps are most likely the top strain in the USA today. The blood lines have been crafted by some great German Breeder who knows what he is doing and this is what you want your Heritage Fowls to look like in five to ten years of breeding them up.

    Well got to check the incubator and clean pens tomorrow.

    I hope there are a few good strains of chickens left that will score at least 92 points. What we see today n the Poultry Press worries me. BOB
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  2. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I guess the next question should be, who judges the birds to determine their score? For those of us with no desire to compete in the show ring, but to limit our competition to the market place, who scores those birds? Or would the term Heritage be reserved for club members?

    Asking for a bird bred to be a dual purpose bird to score a 92/100 on a scale that doesn't use weight or egg production in the equation seems counter intuitive to me. All this just to qualify for a title that doesn't even match it's definition. "Heritage" chickens will soon be just like cage free and organic chickens...all name, no benefit.

    Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but beauty to me are birds with clear sharp eyes, clean well formed feathers, a straight keel and well formed pelvis all displayed with confidence from a proud bird. Those are the beauty traits I look for in a bird. First though, I look beyond the beauty to the production capabilities of the individual. All of these then come together to determine who goes into the breeding pen. After all, what is the purpose of the chicken.

    I hate to tell you but if my birds don't put out at least 180 eggs per year, I don't want them.
     
  3. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    Quote:No I am going to raise bantams as a side thing, I am going to raise Barred Rock LF too
    Quote:Ok so your birds do lay close to what most standard bred birds lay
    Quote:And, If anyone says a breeder bred bird lays only around 50 eggs a year you are making stuff up unless it was maybe, a 6+ year old hen.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  4. Jared77

    Jared77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WallTenters the reason I was pushing the size a bit is to have a larger bird when I make the decision to cull extra cockrels. Not for that ultimate bigger bird as a full mature bird, but around the point Id be culling if they'd be bigger, meatier, heavier. Thats all I was going for with that.

    I guess the next question should be, who judges the birds to determine their score? For those of us with no desire to compete in the show ring, but to limit our competition to the market place, who scores those birds? Or would the term Heritage be reserved for club members?

    At the rate its going I think so. I personally think needs to stay as a breed term (like breeds and approved colors of those breeds recognized before 1940) otherwise how would you determine a flock is heritage? Based on the bloodline? I have yet to hear of a chicken registry like they have in other livestock so you really can't trace a birds lineage to prove its a "heritage".​
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  5. Robert Blosl

    Robert Blosl Rest in Peace -2013

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    Silverhill, Alabama
    Quote:At the rate its going I think so. I personally think needs to stay as a breed term (like breeds and approved colors of those breeds recognized before 1940) otherwise how would you determine a flock is heritage? Based on the bloodline? I have yet to hear of a chicken registry like they have in other livestock so you really can't trace a birds lineage to prove its a "heritage".

    If you dont show them you will never know what thier value is. If you dont own a standard or dont want to use a standard that is fine. No judge uses the old point system to score birds to a certain value. I have judges who told me they where paid expensess to go to a persons farm to check out thier Barred Plymouth Rocks and when he got thier the birds where nothing but hatchery birds. The person who owned them did not know the difference between standard barreds and production barreds. You can take four of five good breeders and they maybe judges and look at a bird and get a idea by just looking at them what the score of the bird would be. I use this method in breeding my birds using faults in different sections then find mates to compensate for those faults. In this thread I dont think will apply. You are Homesteading and dont really have looks as a issue on the over all board. That is why many dont like the old time Rhode Island Reds. They are so use to the current production reds they can not except them. Thats ok. That is why so few people can get a old breed and stick with them. They breed back wards and loose interest. Even the current show people who want to win points and throphys cant do it. It takes ten to twenty years of work do figure out a breed and then when you hit twenty years you have a different idea if you have it over again.

    I think raising old time chickens is like raising Roses. Many people want to have roses like a few raise but dont want to spray them for fungus or feed and water them like you have to.

    I was told the other day what happens in Roses happens with chickens and I think that is the scret to success.The other problem when you use Heritage on this board is what should be and not be. Who cares. I dont.

    Most of those people who worry what should be on what list will not have the breed in five to ten years any way.
    bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  6. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anchorage, AK
    Quote:Oh Bob, you are so full of knowledge and information but surely you can't mean that statement the way it sounds! You out of everyone here have come closest to creating your own strain of exactly what so many of us on this thread want, and I don't understand why there is conflict, but I suspect it might have something to do with comments such as this. It sounds straight up snobby! Ok, if I had birds like yours, I might be a snob about them too...but really!

    If I don't show my birds, and it won't be an option as there are no APA shows in Alaska, I will know their value by how many eggs they put in my basket and how many pounds of meat they put in my freezer and how pleasing they are to look at. I will take pleasure in knowing they are a useful animal that adheres at least mostly to the standard, but perhaps not perfectly on all points. I will be proud of the history the birds represent, even if I am not fortunate to lay my hands on the purest of pure bloodlines to start with.

    AFTER those things are being improved upon with good success, of course I'm sure all of us intend to breed birds that look as they ought to look. And I believe most of us could pick up a standard, study it, compare it to good examples that we can suss out from the garbage, hopefully with a hands on approach but at least in pictures, and breed towards a bird that would do our grandmother's proud, if not the top APA judges in the country.

    I sincerely hope that Heritage will not become a term reserved for show birds. It offers so much more to so many very different situations than that.
     
  7. Chickielady

    Chickielady Spiritwood Farms Premium Member

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    Raymond, WA
    My Coop
    I have alot of people knocking on my door to buy eggs for breakfast, which are scarce this time of year as we are incubating and selling them as hatching eggs.
    And baby chicks, and breeding for better type in our flocks.
    But still have very special people, our customers that waite for eggs.
    And all but my Cochins pump out eggs year round w/o artificial light, albeit down to maybe 3 a week per hen, even 5 year old hens.
    They are healthy, wormed and well housed and fed.
    And all are heritage breeder stock.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  8. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
    Quote:Seems to me that if the population of the "homestead" is two middle aged folks, who have no interest in selling eggs or chickens, medium size bantams would be ideal.

    You have a point Ken, but bantams are not a typical breed for the homestead flock and, I have little experience with bantam eggs, but I know if it were just me and my wife, we could not depend on our bantams to provide eggs for even our consumption. Maybe if they weren't fond of eggs or didn't cook with eggs, a couple could manage a homestead with a pair of bantams.

    Our needs are about a dozen eggs a month and a small fryer a week. Unless one is planning on marketing their excess (which I don't) it seems like a good idea to honestly judge the family's needs and choose accordingly. I was drawn to this thread because the whole "chicken as a pet" concept, which is pervasive on this BB, is not me.

    My family is redneck on one side and hillbilly on the other. Their concept of dual purpose was a gamecock that could be eaten if necessary. : )
     
  9. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You have a point Ken, but bantams are not a typical breed for the homestead flock and, I have little experience with bantam eggs, but I know if it were just me and my wife, we could not depend on our bantams to provide eggs for even our consumption. Maybe if they weren't fond of eggs or didn't cook with eggs, a couple could manage a homestead with a pair of bantams.

    Our needs are about a dozen eggs a month and a small fryer a week. Unless one is planning on marketing their excess (which I don't) it seems like a good idea to honestly judge the family's needs and choose accordingly. I was drawn to this thread because the whole "chicken as a pet" concept, which is pervasive on this BB, is not me.

    My family is redneck on one side and hillbilly on the other. Their concept of dual purpose was a gamecock that could be eaten if necessary. : )

    This topic now has me inquiring into dual purpose Bantams as a possible solution to my current space restrictions. [​IMG] I could keep a few large fowl birds, but I would be able to keep MORE bantam birds, thus opening up my possibilities for a better breeding program. Thanks for the idea guys! I never would have thought about keeping banties otherwise.

    Oh, and as for needs, my husband and I are not huge egg users, maybe going through a couple dozen a month, max. And one bantam bird with plenty of side dishes would feed us a great meal. Thinking a large bantam or small large fowl will suit us well for this period of our lives, and keep me in the birds, so to speak, until I have more space for my ultimate goals.
     
  10. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think Bob's the guy to talk to about this. Though I love Dominiques, and they also come in bantam size and could always use more dedicated breeders [​IMG].
     

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