If you HAD to choose just ONE Breed of Chicken to Raise....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aoxa, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    What breed would you choose? Why?

    What are the merits of the breed you chose? Are they hardy, friendly, cute, or good producers? There are no wrong answers.

    I'd like to see your final decision to be one you came to with experience in the breed. I'd love to have FBCMs, but I don't have any now, so my experience is nil with the breed and therefore they are not my final choice.

    For ME, my choice would be....

    the Barred Plymouth Rock.

    My reasons:
    • Fantastic Layers
    • Good Mothers (from MY Line)
    • Beautiful
    • Good meat on the extra cockerels
    • FRIENDLY and CALM
    • Never once had an aggressive male in this breed
    • Wonderful foragers
    • It's what my grandfather thinks of when you say "Heritage Chicken"
    • Easy sells!

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    Note: Please add a photo, so new people checking out this thread can relate your experience with something visual if you can!

    :)
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Well darn, turns out I don't have any photos on this computer - I'll have to try to get out and get some today.

    Aoxa, what line are your BR's? - they look really good. I couldn't settle on one breed but I did get down to two: Barred Rocks and New Hampshire Reds. Both are from a heritage line that can be traced back 100 years and, like yours, my BR's barely resemble the hatchery BR's, either in looks or personality.

    I chose these breeds for most of the same reasons you did. The breeder I got my original stock from was breeding for a good tasting meat bird primarily, so the cockerels I can raise up to provide my family with meat, while the hens are either added to my laying flock or sold as pullets.

    Both breeds are calm, gentle, almost regal. They aren't "laying machines" like hatchery birds, but are decent layers and good mothers.

    By keeping the two breeds, I can raise pure BR's, pure NH's, but also have the option to cross BR over NH and make Delawares, or NH over BR and make black sexlinks.
     
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I started with Derek Fulton Lines in NS Canada. He imported White Rocks to improve type from Maine six years back. He has the best Barred Rocks in the Maritimes. He donated a trio, 40 eggs (because he heard about the fire) and I bought another trio from him in June this year. Very nice man.

    [​IMG]

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    I think they are showing some great potential.

    I've never once seen a NH in person. I like to collect heritage breeds for my laying program. I'd enjoy having a couple hens for eye candy to test them out!
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    They are lovely. Mine are from Frank Reese, of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.

    I love the NH's for the eye candy. I started just wanting a colorful egg basket so, before making the decision to narrow to the two breeds a year ago, I had accumulated a multi-colored flock. Yet the NH's stand out, even in a flock that contains many reddish and wheaten colored birds because the orange is so vivid.

    I also like the NH's because, like the BR's, they are are a large bird that is very calm and quiet - the two are really quite perfect to be raised together. Oh - I found I do have a photo of my NH cock bird after all. It may not show him off the best because I am not a great photographer, but nevertheless, here he is:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

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  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh - I should add that my cock bird is NOT from Frank Reese. He is a German NH obtained from another breeder and is also from good lines. I then put him over my Reese NH hens and hatched a bunch this year.

    I did also find a slightly out of focus pic of one of my hens.
    [​IMG]

    It doesn't really do her justice but you can get an idea of her barring from it. I am pleased with this girl's barring but less pleased with her overall type - that is something I am working on. I have a pullet who is only 12-14 weeks old that is showing a LOT of promise now - love her type so far and her barring is phenomenal. I hope she maintains as she grows….will try to get pics that show her well, later today.
     
  7. mithious

    mithious Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are beautiful!!!! I can't wait till spring. I am getting 10 of the Reece line and 6 Dom's from a local breeder....

    I have 15 BR hatchery birds and there is just no comparison...the heritage BR's are, hands down, my choice for sure!!!

    For all the reasons you mentioned above!
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

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    3 for team Barred Plymouth Rock!

    The Reece line has some fertility trouble, but their barring is almost unbeatable (Stukel is about tied in my opinion).
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
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    Aug 12, 2009
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    My Coop
    LOL - I mis-spell it every time as Reese, primarily because I over think it. My natural inclination is to go with a 'c' but then I think "well, in that case it must be an 's'". Gotta come up with a way to remember c, c, c!
     
  10. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Barred Rocks are nice, great layers, and good eating. It's the brred I was raised with. NHs are also nice.

    But I prefer

    AMERICAN DOMINIQUES!

    For nearly all the same reasons you mentioned:
    •Fantastic Layers
    •Beautiful
    •Good meat on the extra cockerels
    •FRIENDLY and CALM
    •Only sometimes have we had an aggressive rooster
    •Wonderful foragers
    •The consummate Heritage Chicken.

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.

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