I just can't decide

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CrazyBirdLady, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    I'm using process of elimination to choose a breed of bird... I chose the original list of birds for their cold hardiness and eliminated breeds based on things I didn't want in a bird. This is more for my mental organization so if you don't want to read, it's okay, I don't blame you. [​IMG]

    I'm looking for:
    *good brooder/mother
    *cold hardy
    *early maturing
    *dual purpose, eggs/meat
    *adapts to confinement (winter) and free range (summer)
    *friendly

    Options:
    Orpington: good in all areas, +lays winter eggs
    Sussex: good in all areas, +lays winter eggs
    Ameraucana/Araucana: good in all areas, +lays pretty eggs
    Australorp: good in all areas

    Denied:
    Brahma: slow to mature
    Delaware: can be broody
    Dominique: mostly calm
    Jersey Giants: slow to mature, big eaters

    I plan on having eggs all summer then butchering in the fall. This will leave me with a few egg layers during the winter; fewer beaks to feed and some roasters/fryers in the freezer.

    The other thing I'm worried about is cross breeding. Let's say I choose two breeds and the Roo breeds with a different breed of hen. Is that bad? Does it matter?

    Also looking for input/feedback/comments on my chicken options. TIA!

    ~Nicole
     
  2. preppy*hippie*chick

    preppy*hippie*chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2009
    Centerburg, Ohio
    I was looking for most of the same things you are. I wound up with Wyandottes. Blue Laced Red, specifically. However, they come in a wide range of colors. They have a rose comb not prone to frostbite and lay winter eggs, As far as broody goes, nothing (as far as I know) is universally broody. Closest thing is banties. I've only had these five week old girls for a week or so and they're lap chickens.

    This link shows some really top quality Wyandottes owned by some BYC members, shows many of the colors too!
     
  3. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Good luck! [​IMG] I could never decide what breed I wanted/needed so I decided to get several different breeds but meat was not one of my concerns.. I want layers and eye candy! I think if you only want meat and eggs--mutts would be great! Some of the nicer looking roos, I have seen are mutts...
     
  4. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Those that lay well do not tend to brood. It would be counter productive. Those that develop too rapidly have an assortment of trade offs to get that. How large a table bird are you looking for? Also the taste of all chickens is NOT the same. Even in the home grown varieties there are taste differences among the breeds. Sort of like the difference between generic discount ground beef & REAL black angus or highland cattle. You may find it suits your purposes to have a couple of bantams around as broodies and something else as your main flock. Just my opinion, but we used this technique for several years until our (my) bird addiction out grew that approach.
     
  5. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    Quote:I'm very interested in purchasing a specific breed or breeds in order to help out the breeders of rare/endangered(?) chickens; I'm a sucker for animals that need help.
    If there are no issues with cross-breeding than I can breed little cute mutt chicks for eggs/meat and buy from breeders if I need to up the numbers of the flock.
     
  6. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    Quote:The chart that I'm looking at does not say how many eggs per year each breed lays; only the color and size of eggs. It's not specific to broodiness (?) either, except to say "good brooder & mother" or something to that effect. I'm not looking for a huge table bird, but something that will feed at least 4 people and taste good.
     
  7. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you checked out the American Livestock Conservancy Board website?
     
  8. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    Yes, that's where I had originally chosen the Chanteclers and Brahmas as possible breeds. But from my list of 4 choices, I think that Sussex might be my bird of choice. Husband is thinking of breeding Chanteclers due to it's rarity, but that's yet to be decided.
     
  9. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you don't want slow maturing you don't want Brahmas. I think the Chanticleers look terrific but I opted to go with a couple of these developed in America breeds (and Buckeyes 'cause they were developed by an American woman). [​IMG] Good luck in your search.
     

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