Heritage Birds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Izzymoon, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Izzymoon

    Izzymoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    My Coop
    I have questions.

    I have my 6 hens which I love dearly and they have been a joy in my life. My goal was just to raise them for eggs and life goes on. Chicken math predicts I want more.

    So I have been thinking of raising a heritage pair of Chickens.

    Probably Black Copper Marans. I probably will keep them in a separate coop all together,

    How hard it it to raise a pair in Massachusetts?

    Will my other 6 hens start acting up knowing there's a handsome male about?

    Is it necessary to have an incubator and all the trimmings or can I just let nature do it's thing, and hope for the best?

    Are there strict regulations when keeping a heritage pair? Do they have to be registered etc?

    Would I be better off just getting a black copper hen and calling it a day?

    any advice you can give me from links to opinions would be very helpful.

    thanks :)

  2. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 29, 2012
    East Texas
    Hi! I have 2 black copper maran hens, I live in Tx so I don't have a clue how they would do in Mass, but mine do very well here. They lay pretty good and they are fairly friendly. Mine have not gone broody, but I have heard of some in my area that theirs has.
    I have 2 silkie hens that go broody constantly, so my idea would be to let my silkies hatch and raise my marans eggs. Much easier than using an incubator IMO! Also your chicks will be healthier, very rare that hen raised chicks get cocci.
    My marans are not registered, so someone else will have to help you with that question!
    I personally would not just have 1 hen with 1 rooster, seems to me he would drive her crazy! Doesn't mean it wouldn't work out, that's just my opinion.
    Hope that helps some!
  3. Izzymoon

    Izzymoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    My Coop
    Thank you yes, that is helpful :) Never thought of having a dffernt hen to hatch and raise the chicks...so much to think about!
  4. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2012
    Funabashi Japan
    My Coop
    I like the advice already given.
    But if I may add to it

    I raise Houdans, a heritage breed and I vastly enjoy it. They are really good layers and claimed to be great meat birds, but I dont think I'll get the chance to test that in the near future no matter how many roosters show up. Most importantly they are interesting and enjoyable to have around.

    As far as breed information and possible regestration you would want to look for a local 4H club, they seem to have good contacts with the chicken community in local areas. I say this because most people seem to have gotton into chickens as part of a 4H program and I hear about 4H standards and competitions a lot also. Still, it could be a dead end as you also have a rare heritage breed in mind.

    Also try to find any online clubs, but again I've never heard of a registry. Best you can do is list your breeding practices and results of the bloodline with a group or just do it personally.
    As I've seen most breeders pick a standard then doccument how they attempt to get close, match, or surpass the standard, I'd try that first. (if you want)

    In the end dont worry and have fun.
    As stated before 1 roo and 1 hen is a bit much. If you let the Black Copper roo frolick with the other girls it will vastly improve the life of the Black Copper Hen, just make sure the other roos dont have access to her if there are any in the future.

    In addition to this simple factor of repeated mating you would also want to get a larger genetic pool (provided you want to breed the pair). Id say 6 hens to the 1 roo, and if you can 10 hens with 2 roos and keep good records for the first two generations. If you do the mating properly you can most likely let them go wild after 2 or three generations of careful breeding.

    That is unless you want more than just a pure and sustainable backyard flock.
    If you are after some specific traits or a particular standard it will be many generations before you can let them go semi wild and just mate freely to keep the selected breed characteristics going.

    Good luck and remember: Your chickens are YOURS, do what you enjoy and take any advice you hear against your own goals first.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012

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